What, Where and When on The
Durban has always held a special charm for visitors… it offers the buzz of a large metropolitan city, a vibrant mix of cultures, miles of sun-drenched beaches and a wonderfully moderate climate. Its subtropical weather makes it the perfect place for beach walks and ocean experiences as well as nature walks, sunset cruises, and romantic picnics… or for the more adventurous, quad biking, helicopter flips or even shark cage diving!
Durban’s golden beaches and warm Indian Ocean are the perfect combination for late summer fun. Not keen to get your feet wet? Then Durban’s beachfront promenade, which links the harbour mouth to Blue Lagoon, offers the perfect way to get your beach feels, whether that be on foot, by bicycle or even by rickshaw. Whilst in that area pop into uShaka Marine World for some great marine creature experiences – and if creepy crawlies are your thing, then uShaka Dangerous Creatures is sure to delight. Stroll along the promenade, stopping occasionally for an ice-cream or a masala pineapple on a stick, shop for crafts from the several stalls along the promenade, or pop to a local market for some food, fashion, and creative design. Pause a while at the harbour end of the promenade and watch ships entering and leaving the harbour, which, as Africa’s biggest container terminal, is always a hive of activity. Or get ‘up-close’ on a fun harbour cruise with the Sarie Marais, South Africa’s oldest boat company, or the Isle of Capri for a more informative experience with experienced marine life guides on board.
Be an explorer and venture out to Durban’s many outdoor destinations. Sample the wide-open spaces, great weather and stunning nature and wildlife areas – from Phezulu Safari Park and Giba Gorge Mountain Bike Park to more conventional spaces like local parks and gardens to wilder
and more untamed suburban nature reserves such as the popular Krantzkloof Nature Reserve in Kloof, the Kenneth Stainbank Nature Reserve in Yellow Wood Park and the Bluff Nature Reserve in the Bluff. Closer to the ocean there’s the Beachwood Mangroves Nature Reserve just north of the Umgeni River, the Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Reserve at the northern end of the Umhlanga promenade and, also in Umhlanga, the Hawaan Forest.
Not into ‘wild and wonderful’? Then spend some time in one of Durban’s many museums, get your detective on at Mind Games, where your team of friends will gather clues, solve puzzles, combine information, decipher secret meanings, and trigger hidden mechanisms or chance your luck with Gold Circle horse racing. Browse in one of Durban’s upmarket shopping centres with their brand name shops and quirky boutiques or a flea market to get the local vibe and ferret out a handmade treasure, and when you’ve shopped up a storm, then relax a while at a local restaurant, such as Havana Grill in both Suncoast and uMhlanga.. For some local authenticity and an eclectic cultural vibe pop into the Victoria Street Market with its numerous stalls selling everything from brassware, woven baskets, wooden articles to meat, fish, fruit and vegetables – the main attractions though are the exotic spices imported from India, ideal for making curries.
Visit the Woza eNanda Heritage Route for its history, culture and adventure offering. You can canoe, mountain-bike, hire a quad bike or have coffee at one of the most breath-taking spots in Durban, Wushweni – overlooking the Inanda Dam.
Did you know?
The isiZulu 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.