The word Kloof (cf. cleft) means 'gorge' in Afrikaans and the area is named after the deep ravine formed by the Molweni stream (stream of high cliffs). The Kloof Gorge is part of the 4.47-square-kilometer (1.73 sq mi) Krantzkloof Nature Reserve.
Kloof extends from the top of Field's Hill and borders Winston Park, Gillitts, Forest Hills and Hillcrest. These suburbs are collectively known as the Upper Highway Area or the Outer West region of Durban.
The M13 highway (built in the 1940s) intersects Kloof and on 16 June this forms part of the route of the annual Comrades Marathon, an approximately 90-kilometre (56 mi) ultra-marathon run between Pietermaritzburg and Durban since 1924.
It is a predominantly English-speaking area. Kloof features several upmarket shopping centres and the Kloof Country Club, founded in 1927. It is known as a mist-belt with winding roads and tree-surrounded mansions.