Everyday I see posts about all the wonderful places around the globe that families can visit, and they always sound so inviting and fabulous. But it got me thinking about my own home city, the city of Durban, With a rich history, vibrant people and city life, it’s not only an amazing city to live in, but one of the most interesting to visit. Here then, is my 5 reasons to make Durban your family destination in 2019.
1. The People of Durban
It’s an absolute fact that Durban is home to the friendliest and warmest people throughout South Africa. I think it has something to do with the beaches, it makes us laid back, all we want to do is play in the ocean or sun tan. Every where you go you’ll be treated to broad smiles from the locals and you’ll be made to feel welcome.
Durban is home to the Zulu and Indian people who have influenced the city for the better, from the food to the music and in between. It’s no wonder that travel writers constantly refer to Durban as a “hidden gem” and a must see destination in South Africa; British Airways have even started a non-stop flight to Durban from Heathrow, they must know something right?
Durban has these amazing places full of rich culture and heritage, like the Warwick Markets where the Muthi, Station and Bead Markets can be found, or the Grey Street area where indentured Indian laborers settled and traded. There’s the township areas like KwaMashu that offer an amazing glimpse into township life not too mention the taverns where laughter and drinks are shared!
Want to learn more about the city of Durban and her people? Join one of our city tours below.
2. The Amazing Beaches
It’s what Durban is known for best, our amazing beaches that go on as far as the eye can see. And the bonus? – the water is warm. If you’re into surfing, swimming, diving and or just splashing about in the ocean, we have you covered.
From the Golden Mile which runs along Durban, to the secluded beaches north and south of Durban, there are more beaches then we know what to do with! Head down south to Margate and experience a once in a lifetime opportunity to swim with sharks. Or if that sounds a little wild, head north and explore the World Heritage Site of iSimangaliso to watch turtles hatch and make their way to the ocean.
On the beaches you can try our your hand at surfing or “stand up paddling” at the many surf schools along the beach; keep your eyes out for the friendly dolphins who are often found playing about the SUP’s.
Want to swim with sharks or explore iSimangaliso or learn to surf? Check out these tours.
3. The Great Food
Durban is home to South Africa’s greatest gift to the culinary world, the Bunny Chow. From very humble beginnings, this fast food has become the iconic soul food of Durban; CEO’s to factory workers, doctors to policeman and everyone in between can be seen to be tucking into Durban’s favorite.
It’s not just the “bunny chows” that are popular. With the Indian ocean just a line cast away, some of the best seafood int he world can be found on our doorstep, still dripping wet from the ocean. Durban also boasts some of the best creatives when it comes to food – SPICE restaurant in Westbrook, S43 in Umgeni Road, the Beverly Hills Hotel in uMhlanga, these are just the tip of the iceberg for Durban’s food scene.
And let’s not forget Durban’s favorite part time, the braai (barbecue to everyone else). The humble braai is ingrained to the psyche that every weekend a braai along the beach is accompanied by the mouth watering smells of a thousand braai’s being started up. Hell, we’re so fanatical about it that we started a cooking show to find the best braai’er in the country (check out this link to the Ultmate Braai Master).
There’s also the amazing craft breweries that have dotted about like Robsons and Odyssey and Poison (yup, that’s really the name). There’s also the gin makers with their different flavors of gin to keep you reaching time and time again for a glass gin and tonic.
Our places to eat and their contact numbers.
4. Amazing Wildlife
There is no city in South Africa that is better suited to visitors wanting to see wildlife! Just 20 min from the city center is Kenneth Stainbank. And just 45 min from the city is Tala game reserve. Both these sites are home to a number of different game species.
If you’re looking for the Big 5, look no further than the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve – it’s the oldest in Africa and considered to be one of the best on South Africa. There’s also St Lucia which is north of Durban and Oribi which is south of Durban. All of the parks can be reached within a few hours making day trips totally viable.
I haven’t even mentioned the birding opportunities that are available, there’s so many options that I’ll have to do a separate post just for them!
Want to experience wildlife while in Durban? Check out these tours.
- Hluhluwe Imfolozi Big 5 Game Reserve Day Tour
- Tala and PheZulu wildlife day tour
- St Lucia Estuary Cruise and Game Drive
5. Beautiful Weather
It’s Durban’s superpower – sunshine nearly all year round. Sure we get the odd day of cloudy skies and a bit of rain, but this just helps us appreciate the amazing blue skies and warm temperatures all the more! And it’s the weather that makes us such outdoor people.
Ready for some stats? Durban has on average 320 sunny days a year – that’s amazing right! Durban averages around 28C (82F) during the summer months and 22C (72F) during the winter months. This means Durban is perfect to visit all year round!
This so much warm and sunny weather it’s no wonder we Durban’ites are found outdoors playing golf, surfing, playing soccer or rugby, cricket, mountain biking or any other of the many sports enjoyed year round in Durban.
So this was just 5 of the reasons to visit Durban that I can came up with while enjoying my coffee on the beach yesterday! If you can think of more, comment below. Otherwise follow me on one of social media channels and keep up to date as to why Durban might be the greatest city in Africa (maybe the world!).