This coastal city, that’s blessed with the warm Indian Ocean and a summer that lasts for virtually 12 months of the year, invites visitors to walk the promenade at sunrise, to take the surfing lesson you’ve always wanted, or join the locals at the monthly Salsa dance sessions at the Suncoast Amphitheatre. Enjoy cocktails and live music at a trendy jazz club, pop into a street-side café for a cappuccino or craft beer, or head to a local shebeen for a memorable township experience. Get a taste of Durban’s colonial history with ‘high tea’ at one of the city’s hotels, its Indian heritage with a visit to the Victoria Street Market to stock up on spices and the Markets of Warwick for an African vibe. This is where local traders sell everything from beadwork and traditional art to fresh produce, herbal medicine and traditional cuisine.
Be sure to pop into the Station Drive Precinct, one of the latest urban renewal projects in Durban and is home to a variety of creative spaces. Check out the Morning Trade – a Sunday artisanal market selling everything from fresh produce, fab food and tasty treats to great coffee, craft beer and hand-crafted goods. Across the street is The Warehouse, an artsy kind of place with juice bar, tattoo parlour and a variety of cool retail outlets. Further down the street is the design and décor heaven World Travellers and around the corner The Station. For some local tipple visit Distillery031 (think G&T with local South African flavours), and S43, home of That Brewing Company. This is an ‘eat, shop, eat-some-more’, chill kind of place that mustn’t be rushed.
The adventurous can climb the arch of the Moses Mabhida Stadium, and for an extra adrenalin rush, do the ‘Big Rush Big Swing’. Or get to grip with the region’s history on the Woza eNanda Heritage Trail, which promotes some of Durban’s most important historical sites… Mahatma Gandhi, an icon of peace the world over, lived in the Phoenix Settlement north of Durban, and his home has been turned into a monument. From there you can head to the Ohlange Institute in Inanda Township, Gravesite of Dr John Dube and where Nelson Mandela cast his historic vote in South Africa’s first democratic elections.
No visit to Durban is complete without trying a legendary ‘bunny chow’ and Shisanyama – the Bunny Chow is a very simple affair consisting of a hollowed-out quarter or half loaf of bread filled with any available and is eaten with your fingers and the Shisanyama, which is meat barbequed over an open fire and is a popular experience in the local shebeens and township experience – visitors can absorb the vibe of the Rainbow Nation on a township tour pulsing with the life of both traditional and modern African life.
Whats On In Durban
DID YOU KNOW?
The Zulu name for vervet monkey is Inkawu and anyone who has spent time in Durban and its surrounding suburbs will be familiar with these cute but pesky critters. They live mostly at the edges of forests and well treed suburban gardens in organised troops and function on a strict hierarchical order dominated by males. They can often be seen feeding on fruits, flowers, leaves and insects, and occasionally on stolen goods from their human counterparts.