South Africa is probably best known for two places, the Kruger National Park and Cape Town. And that’s great, they two fantastic places to visit. There is a third place that should absolutely be on your itinerary, and that’s the city of Durban in the province of KwaZulu-Natal.
We’ve broken our post into 3 sections that will definitely convince you to make Durban your next vacation destination… so read on!
Durban, South Africa
Durban is the third largest city in South Africa, but it has to be the city with the biggest heart! The first deliberately settled arrived in 1824 (before that it was shipwrecked sailors) and thanks to the harbor, the settlement flourished after a slow start.
Today around 600,000 people call Durban home and every year receives around a million visitors to the city alone. It’s no surprise that Durban is one of the fastest growing cities in South Africa and has received loads of awards and accolades.
So why should visitors visit Durban? We’ve put together a few of what consider the best reasons.
#1 The Weather
Blue skies, hot summers and cool winters, it’s what we love Durban for. Officially Durban has a sub-tropical climate with average summer temperatures of 24 celsius in summer and 18 celsius in winter. The war Indian Ocean compliments the azure skies with a summer average temperature of 25 celsius in summer and 20 celsius in winter.
What to do…
- Sun tan on beautiful beaches.
- Learn to surf with the pro’s.
- Enjoy a cycle, walk or jog along Durban’s “Golden Mile”.
- Take a rickshaw ride.
- Enjoy a picnic at Mitchell’s Park.
- Ride the funicular at Moses Mabhida Stadium.
- Visit the Ushaka Marine World Aquarium and stay for the water park!
#2 The People
It’s the people that make Durban one of the best destinations in South Africa. We’ve a reputation for being warm, friendly and welcoming – it’s the Ubuntu spirit in practise! Durban is the ideal base from which to explore Zulu culture and history. Durban is also home to the largest population of Indian people outside of the Indian sub-continent. With the arrival of the Indian people came spices and curries that fill the air with their fragrances.
Things to do…
- Visit PheZulu Safari Park and enjoy a Zulu dance and tour.
- Shakaland is one of the best places to visit for an in depth view into Zulu culture.
- KwaMashu is home to not only one of Durban’s largest townships, but is also where Mahatma Gandhi and John Dube lived.
- iSithumba in the heart of the Valley of 1000 Hills is great to visit for a morning where visitors can get a person glimpse into the contemporary life of the Zulu people.
- Tour the Warwick markets including the Zulu muthi market.
- Visit Victoria Street Market for spices and curios.
- Walk the Grey Street area and absorb the fascinating history of the early Indian people and their influence on the city of Durban.
#3 The Wildlife
Fact is, most people visit South Africa for the amazing wildlife. It’s sad that so many miss out on some of the best wildlife viewing in South Africa in the province of KwaZulu-Natal! Durban with it’s international airport is perfect to fly into and then be whisked away to some of the nearby game parks, from 5 star luxury lodges to the the largest Big 5 state park in KwaZulu-Natal.
Where to go…
- The Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve is a “must” to visit. It’s not only Africa’s oldest proclaimed game reserve, but is credited with the survival of the Rhino through Operation Crash! The park is home to the Big 5 as well a bewildering range of other animals.
- St Lucia situated in the Isimangaliso Wetlands is probably one of the most spectacular places to visit. The estuary is chock-a-block full of hippo and crocodile and the birding is considered to be the finest in South Africa.
- Visit Tala game reserve, the closest to Durban. This private game reserve with it’s picnic site and rock pool is the perfect place to chill and watch animals.
- The Umgeni Bird Park is 10 minutes from the city center and the perfect place to view the astounding variety of bird life.
- The warm Indian Ocean makes Durban one of the best places to go shark diving. Choose to dive in a cage or if you’re brave enough, free dive with these amazing creatures!
- Take a tour along the Umgeni river mangroves and learn more about these incredibly important wetlands.
Many More Things to Do
There are so many more things to do while in Durban. Contact the local tourism office or even drop us an email and we’ll give you some more ideas.
Part 2 to Follow…
If you want further information on any of the tours we offer, or if you wish to make a booking, simply use the form below to get in touch.
About Country and Coastal Touring
Country and Coastal Touring are tour operators and guides based in the city of Durban, South Africa. We offer a range of day tours, overnight tours and extended tours throughout KwaZulu-Natal and South Africa. All our guides are registered with the relevant authorities and all the vehicles we use are registered with the relevant authorities and are insured.