It’s probably one of the most used cliches in travel writing, that a city, resort or experience has “so much to offer” visitors; usually when I read that phrase I immediately think to myself “yeah right” and skip ahead. But, here’s the problem – when it comes to the city of Durban, on the east coast of South Africa, that tired old cliche is bang on.
I’ve given it a lot of thought and I believe I’ve come up with a 3 day tour itinerary that encompasses all that makes Durban amazing – I’m thinking a bit of culture, a bit of wildlife and of course a bit of history. There are of course other tour options; you can add another day or substitute one tour experience for another. Either which way, if you’re planning a trip out to Durban, give the itinerary below a bit of thought.
Day 1 – A Durban City Tour
Durban is an exciting place, there is so much going on, so many interesting places to visit and of course so many cool and exciting things to do – and how are you going to find out about it all? Well the answer is simple, book a Durban city tour with us!
On this chilled out day tour, we’ll whisk you around the city of Durban, stopping at the unique markets that make Durban so culturally rich. You’ll get to walk through a Zulu “muthi” (medicine) market as well as the Station market and Early Morning market. We’ll show around the historic city center as well as drive you along the “Golden Mile”.
You will also get to enjoy a tour of the oldest surviving botanical gardens in Africa and as an extra treat, you will get to taste Durban’s gift to the culinary world (you’re welcome), a “bunny chow”.
It’s not just all about the buildings and the food and markets, it’s also about the people and their challenges both in the past and today. Durban is unique in that it is probably the most “African” city in South Africa and that naturally brings about challenges – you’ll get to learn more about these issues.
This tour has a 9am start time and is really relaxed and chilled. Walking the markets does not require any fitness, as long as you can walk (stroll, or maybe even dawdle would be a better word) for an hour you’ll be good. We usually finish around 3pm. Oh and you can pay by credit/debit card and lunch in included as is pick up and drop off!
Don’t want a city tour, there are other options. Click on any of the links below to read up more.
Day 2 – A Big 5 Wildlife Tour
I would wager my left arm that 99% of all visitors to South Africa are here for the wildlife. Well, you’re in luck; Durban has wildlife, oodles of it, and none as exciting as the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve.
The Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve is Africa’s oldest proclaimed reserve, and lucky for us it’s an easy 2,5 hours north of Durban. Once there you cannot help but feel your worries just fade away as you get to marvel over the amazing sights, sounds and smells of the bushveld.
Just imagine the sight of a herd of elephant as the stroll on by or marvel as a Giraffe stares back at you with the same curiosity that you have for them. It’s a Big 5 park so there is a chance to see Lion and Leopard, Rhino and Buffalo.
And that’s not all. There are many animals in the park, from the Impala, Wildebeest, Warthog and Zebra, to birds like the Glossy Starling, the European Rollers, Paradise Bee-Eaters and more. And lets not forget that there are bugs, trees flowers and lots of interesting things!
And to make life as easy for you as we can, we’ll collect you and drop you off and as an added bonus, lunch is on us!
Maybe a full day out in the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve isn’t your thing, and that’s okay. Want some more options? Click on any of the links to learn more.
- Enjoy a morning game drive at Tala Game Reserve.
- Head down the south coast and swim with sharks!
- Visit St Lucia estuary and check out hippo on a 2 hour cruise.
Day 3 – The iSithumba Zulu Cultural Tour
The biggest indigenous population is that of the Zulu. And they have a fascinating history and a rich cultural tradition. Our iSithumba tour is a perfect way to learn more about the Zulu people.
The iSithumba village is located deep in the heart of the Valley of 1000 Hills. As you descend the steep road into the valley you can’t help but feel like you headed back into another time. As we drive you along we’ll tell you about how townships came to be in South Africa and what life is like for people living in rural areas.
At iSithumba you’ll be greeted warmly by a guide who grew up in iSithumba. You’ll get to learn about the isangomas and the inyagas who see to the Zulu peoples physical and spiritual health. You’ll also get to walk around the village, visit a spaza shop (perfect place to buy a fizzy drink) and if your luck is in, meet the village Chief and his wives (yup, wives plural).
It’s worth remembering that this is not some Disney type setup, this is an actual village with very real Zulu people who are opening their doors to us all.
Of course everyone has different ideas on how to spend their vacation, and if this is not quite what you’re looking for, then have a look at these next ideas.
- Travel by 4×4 up a narrow pass in the mountain Kingdom of Lesotho.
- Head out to the Karkloof Forest and Zip through the canopy on a zipline tour
- Walk the battlefields of Isandlwana and Rorkes Drift.
About Country and Coastal Touring
We’ve been guiding visitors around KwaZulu-Natal for the past 10 years and it’s been an amazing experience. We just love our part of the world and want to show it off to anyone who’ll stop a minute to listen. We have a number of pre-planned safari, history, cultural and adventure tours for you to choose from. If you want to design your own itinerary, that’s easy as well, we’ll put together something that will suit your interests, budget and time.