There is no other city in South Africa as charismatic and alluring as Durban. The largest city of the province of KwaZulu Natal, Durban is quite popular for its sun-kissed beaches and subtropical climate. Durban’s cultural diversity is what makes it different from the others. No wonder, the city attracts thousands of domestic and international travelers every year. Be it the mouthwatering cuisines, colorful ceremonies, festivals, gardens, tourist attractions or the cultural heritage, Durban is one city that has something to offer for every kind of traveler.
This city will surprise you in every manner. There is so much to see and explore here that you will need more than one trip to explore it all. Come, let’s begin our tour of this amazing South African city.
Best Time to Visit
Durban is a year-around destination with 320 days of sunny weather. As for the best time to visit this city, June to August (the winter season) is the perfect time to enjoy your vacations here. As for summers, (December to March) it can be really hot and humid with average temperature of 30°C. You can also visit this city during the autumn and spring months (April-May and September-November).
How to Reach
By Air – Most of the airline carriers operate daily flights to The King Shaka International Airport, Durban. The city is well-connected to major international countries via airways. From the airport you can board the airport bus to reach city center.
Getting Around – To roam around the city, you can opt for state run buses along with taxis, tuk-tuks and cheaper taxi alternatives. Durban rail is also a good option for getting around the city.
Top Tourist Attractions of Durban
Durban is a dream destination for travelers coming to South Africa. No trip to South Africa will be complete if you don’t spend a few days in this beautiful city. Listed below are some of the most popular tourist attractions of Durban that you just can’t miss on your trip.
- uShaka Marine World – Welcome to Africa’s largest marine theme park. uShaka Marine World comprises of fresh and sea water both, along with lush vegetation, natural materials and a re-creation of the 1940’s cargo ship wreck. It is also the 5th largest aquarium in the world (by water volume). There is also a 1200 seater dolphin stadium in the marine world, where you can enjoy some entertaining shows performed by dolphins, penguins and seals.
Address: Box 38416, Point, KwaZulu-Natal 4069, South Africa
- The Golden Mile – If you are more of a beach lover, then you must visit the beautiful Golden Mile. This beach stretches from uShaka Marine World (from the South Beach) to the Suncoast Casino and the Entertainment World. There are beautiful beaches, world-class restaurants and many entertainment hubs alongside the Golden Mile.
- Botanical Gardens – If you are searching for a perfect picnic spot in Durban, then Botanical Gardens are the best choice. You will find almost 475 species of trees here along with South Africa’s oldest tree Jacaranda and an Encephalartos Woodii (considered to be the rarest plant in the world). You will also find largest palm and cycad exhibits in the Botanical Gardens along with the herbarium, the Braille trail and the tea garden.
- The Valley of a Thousand Hills – Located between Pietermaritzburg and Durban, the Valley of a Thousand Hills is one of the most beautiful travel attractions of South Africa. The valley is formed around a vale created by the Umgeni River and its tributaries. The beautiful gardens, friendly pubs and breathtaking views over the dam will surely leave you wanting for more.
Other Must See Durban Attractions
- Grey Street
- Jumah Mosque
- Indian Quarter
- Victoria Market
- Oriental Bazaar
- Port of Durban
- Pigeon Valley Park
- Umengi River Bird Park
- The Moses Mabhida Stadium
- Bridgevale Japanese Gardens
- Killie Campbell Africana Museum
- Mitchell Park (Robert Jameson Park)
Things to Do
- Explore the underwater world at the famous uShaka Marine World.
- Watch a rugby match at the Kings Park Stadium.
- You can also play a round of golf at the Windsor Park Municipal Golf Course.
- Do not miss the Vodacom Durban July.
- Try your luck and earn some bucks gambling at the Suncoast Casino.
- Take a rickshaw ride along the beachfront.
- Shop for spices at Victoria Street market.
- Visit the Mangrove Swamps on the North Bank of the Mgeni River.
- Buy the local Zulu craft items and artwork at a beachfront market.
- You can even join an organized tour of the Indian District.
- Do take a hike in Umhlanga.
- People’s Park at Moses Mabhida Stadium is also a must visit.
- Love spending you holidays in a natural setting? Then you must visit the Virginia Nature Reserve.
- Try your biking skills at Giba Gorge.
- Dare to confront crocodiles and snakes at PheZulu Safari Park.
- Visit the Umgeni Steam Railway.
- Get painted at Hillcrest Paintball venue.
- Want to walk among the ‘living fossils’ or wish to see the world’s rarest plant? Then you must visit the Durban Botanical Gardens.
- Ever seen a Mini Town? If not, then visit one when in Durban.
- See the Sardine run.
- Africa’s busiest container port is located in Durban.
- The Ushaka Marine World (world’s 5th largest aquarium) is located in the Durban city.
- Mahatma Gandhi began his political journey in Durban.
- The Gateway Shopping Center in Durban is the largest shopping mall in Africa.
- Durban is named after the Cape Colony governor Sir Benjamin D’Urban.
- The Durban International Airport was decommissioned just before the start of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
- The first steam railway in South Africa was opened in Durban in 1860.
- Durban city has the highest population of Indians outside of India.