Prior to 1994, the territory now known as KwaZulu-Natal was made up of the province of Natal and the homeland of KwaZulu.
In the 1830s, the northern part was the Zulu Kingdom and southern part was briefly a Boer republic called Natalia (1839–1843). In 1843, the latter became the British Colony of Natal; Zululand (KwaZulu in Zulu) remained independent until 1879.
This region is the birthplace of many notable figures in South Africa's history, such as Pixley ka Isaka Seme (founder of the African National Congress and the first Black lawyer in South Africa), John Langalibalele Dube (founding president of the ANC), Mangosuthu Buthelezi (founder of the IFP), Anton Lembede (founding president of the ANC Youth League), Jacob Zuma (current President of South Africa), and Bhambatha. It is called the garden province and is the home of the Zulu nation. Two natural areas: the iSimangaliso Wetland Park and the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park, have been declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Located in the southeast of the country, the province has a long shoreline on the Indian Ocean. It borders three other provinces and the countries of Mozambique, Swaziland, and Lesotho. Its capital is Pietermaritzburg and its largest city is Durban.
Open Water Swimming
The Midmar Dam in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal is site of numerous open water swimming competitions including the aQuellé Midmar Mile, the world's largest open water swimming competition, and South African open water swimming national championships at 10 km and 25 km.