4 Unusual and unique places to stay near Durban

For special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries, we love to go on adventures, explore new places and stay somewhere out of the ordinary.

Months before the date, we will start searching for unique places, or adventures to find the perfect place, the perfect experience to make it super special.

If you haven't figured it out already based on our blog, we always choose the road-less-travelled. So, as a result, we have stayed in amazing, but unusual places throughout the 13 years we've been together. It's been loads of fun and we've had some epic adventures.

Since our local travel industry has suffered so much due to you know what, we are celebrating and supporting local travel in South Africa, here is a list of our favourite places to stay in KwaZulu-Natal. And trust me, you will want to make a booking ASAP!

Ammazulu African Palace, Kloof

Entrance of AmaZulu African Palace Hotel
AmaZulu African Palace, Kloof - image credits Booking.com

This place is truly one of a kind, and you have to see it to truly experience it for what it offers.

Located on the edge of the Kloof Gorge, this guesthouse overlooks the Krantzkloof Nature Reserve and has stunning views from the dining and lounge area.

It is the perfect location to explore the nearby Valley of a 1000 Hills.

This double-story, open flow building is decorated with various Zulu arts and crafts of the artist Peter Amm's entire collection, incorporated into more than 40 beaded columns. The palace showcases unique African décor, doors, and furniture that makes you feel like you really are in an African palace.

Ammazulu African Palace sleeps 20 and offers the following accommodation options:

  • 3 Executive Suites

  • 3 Deluxe Suites

  • 2 Presidential Suites

  • 2 Junior Suites

Each room is decorated in heavy wooden furniture and materials reminiscent of stately African palaces but very comfortable and luxurious. Each with an amazing en-suite bathroom with a spa bath. TOP TIP: ask for one with a private balcony.

Breakfast is included, lunch and dinner can be ordered for an extra charge, all prepared by an amazing chef.


Outdoor swimming pool, steam room, sauna, and massages.


Hiking, horseback riding, fishing, and many more.


Prices usually start from R1 550 per couple per night (Junior Suites) to R2 200 per night (Presidential Suites).

At the moment you can find excellent special rates available from Booking.com

The Hatchery on Amatikulu, Amatikulu

One of our favourite places to go to! We've been here a few times and always enjoy it!

Prawn Hatchery Accommodation
The Hatchery on Amatikulu Accommodation

A prawn farm established in the '70s was transformed into a rustic, yet modern and comfortable guesthouse and unique wedding venue at the Amatikulu river mouth and lagoon.

The Hatchery offers rustic, luxury accommodation of 11 rooms, most are en-suite, named appropriately within the prawn farm theme, ranging from family rooms, suites, and cottages as well as a rooftop tent. There is a big communal kitchen, braai area, and outside seating.

It is also an amazing wedding venue.

The Hatchery accommodation outside seating
The Hatchery accommodation outside seating and eating

There is a pool and a smaller pool called the "gin tank" where you can relax in the hot KZN summers overlooking the lagoon.

The Hatchery Gin Tank pool
The Hatchery Gin Tank pool

This place is surrounded by nature, it is calm, quiet, and relaxing. There are butlers to help you with organising activities, prepare a picnic or take the little ones off your hands for a while.


  • Take a canoe across the lagoon to Casuarina Island.

  • The Prawn Shack restaurant is up the road where you can enjoy a Long Lazy Lunch - a 7-course meal with lots of seafood with lots of local flavours. The price is R250 per person and can be booked here.

  • Walk the aerial walkways in the canopy of the Dlinza Forest in nearby Eshowe.

  • Lots of hiking trails and 4x4 exploring in the Amatikulu Nature Reserve.

  • Weddings and events venue.


Accommodation prices range from R900 per room per night, up to R 1660 for a 3 bed family room, or R 560 for the tent.

Book here: Agoda or SafariNow Or check prices in the search box below

Sycamore Avenue Treehouses, Mooiriver

One of the most unique places we've ever stayed at. Sycamore Avenue Treehouses and Cottages in Mooiriver in the Midlands, was actually quite amazing.

We were amazed by the craftsmanship of these treehouses - all handcrafted!

And honestly, words can't really explain the magnificence and magic of this place!

All treehouses and cottages feature a private patio, a fireplace, and an amazing spa bath to enjoy. Some of them have views of the Drakensberg mountains and a hammock. You can also enjoy a breakfast and dinner meal at the on-site restaurant.


6 treehouses and a cottage, sleeping 22 in total.

Most treehouses sleep two, however, the cottage and the Fantasy treehouse sleeps 4, and the Planequariam Treehouse sleeps 6. Ideal for families!

Each treehouse has a name and a theme, like the Romantic treehouse, the Pegasus treehouse, the Planequarium treehouse, and more.