Durban
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Introduction

The city of Durban sits along the South African coastline on the Indian Ocean in the province of Kwa-Zulu Natal. Although not a city renowned for big business and commerce, it is home to the busiest harbour in the Southern Hemisphere. Durban boasts over 100 km of long sandy beaches stretching further than the eye can see. These are frequented by locals, holiday makers and water sport enthusiasts, both in summer and winter alike.
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What to See


Harbour
Drive along the Victoria Embankment and you will find an entrance into the Harbour. You can take a walk around or if you fancy enjoy a meal or drink at the bar and restaurant situated in the Harbour Basin.

Durban Waterfront
The waterfront is situated at the end of Point Road. It is here that you will find a restaurant for lunch or dinner. Some of the restaurants back onto the sea where the ships come into dock making for interesting mealtime viewing! The area itself comprises residential and office property development.

Beachfront
You can choose to lie on the beach sand, pick a spot on some grass or wander along the paved area alongside the sea. Beaches include North, Dairy and Wedge beaches and there are of course plenty of beach shops and take away outlets so you won't have to go too far to get what you need including curios and trinkets sold by the locals.

uShaka Marine World
For hours of entertainment for the whole family visit the amazing aquarium called uShaka Marine World that has moved location from the beachfront to the waterfront area.

For more information visit uShaka Marine World.

Durban International Convention Centre
This impressive centre is conveniently situated on the main road to the beachfront and hosts various conventions and functions throughout the year.

Drakensberg Mountains
This majestic mountain range is about a three to four hour drive from the city of Durban. The Berg is a haven for mountaineers and hikers with walks ranging in length and difficulty. The Berg is home to some gorgeous resorts and hotels and numerous campsites.

South Coast
Southgate, Southbroom, Margate and Port Shepstone to name a few are some of the towns along the South Coast. They are exceptionally popular for holiday makers where you can pretty much guarantee a holiday filled with fun and sunshine and mix of all age groups.

Midlands Meander
Drive inland from Durban towards Pietermaritzburg and treat your senses to lush green surrounds. The trip into the Natal Midlands caters for all with restaurants, craft markets, adventure sports and horse trails.

North Coast
The coastline north of Durban is where you will find the affluent suburbs of La Lucia and Umhlanga Rocks. The area has become a popular holiday spot so there is no shortage of accommodation and entertainment. Continue up the coast towards Sodwana, Kosi Bay and Mozambique.

Greater St Lucia Wetlands Reserve
St Lucia Wetlands Reserve
The Greater St Lucia Wetland Park on the North Coast is a World Heritage site and one of the world's most ecologically diverse santuaries. Fishing, camping, bird watching and generally relaxing are great little activities in this pristine stretch of coastline.

The town of St Lucia itself is a popular weekend and holiday getaway with plenty of accommodation, restaurants, activities and bars to enjoy your stay. The beach and lagoon are a short distance away from town are easily accessible.

Pongolapoort / Pongola Dam
Impala
Further inland and just below Swaziland is the Pongola Dam where the only Tiger fishing in South Africa is available. The Tiger fish is reputed to be one of the best fighting fresh water fish to catch. The large Pongola dam is home to countless African Lodges featuring good food, drink, relaxation, luxury and adventure all in one. The game viewing in this area is great and worth the trip.


What to Do


Scuba Diving
The warm waters of the Kwa-Zulu Natal coast are ideal for scuba diving. Dive the world famous sites in Sodwana, Kosi Bay and Aliwal Shoal.

Go the Markets
Durban has its fair share of flea markets catering for all. For arts and crafts and curios head for Essenwood market and The Stables. Why not treat your senses to the Victoria Street market, an Indian market filled with carvings and ceramics and of course curries and spices. In the centre of the city of Durban you will find Church Square market, open daily with food, fruit, clothing and shoe stalls.

Hit the Beaches
With so many beaches to choose from a visit to Durban would be incomplete without going to the beach. Play some beach volleyball, go for a swim in the warm Indian Ocean water; body board, paddle ski or fish. Durban is a hot spot for surfers who head for North Beach, Battery Bay or Snake Park beach. You could even go for a ride on a rickshaw along the beachfront.

Shopping
A rainy (or hot) day may lure you into the shopping malls. Gateway shopping centre is up the North Coast and the Pavilion is in Westville. Closer to town is The Workshop and Musgrave shopping centre on Musgrave road.

Get in touch with Nature
Durban has a number of game reserves. Visit Itala near Pietermaritzburg and Hluhluwe -Umfolozi up the North Coast for the Big Five. Go see Mkuzi and the Greater St Lucia Wetland, declared a world heritage site in 1999, for animals and wildlife. With its warm water, Durban and its coastline is a mecca for divers. Hot spots include Aliwal Shoal, Sodwana and Kosi Bay moving towards Mozambique.

Be like the locals
The hot balmy nights in Durban are perfect for dining and sipping cocktails or cold beers. Go to Joe Kools on the beachfront on a Sunday night. Like anywhere else what's in and what's happening does change so don't be shy to ask around to guarantee yourself a good night, or two, out on the town.

Day Tripping
Visit uShaka Marine world; go to the Umgeni Bird Park; go dolphin watching on an organised boat trip up the North Coast; watch a rugby match at Kings Park stadium; play golf or visit the SugarMill and Sibaya casinos up the North Coast or the SunCoast casino on Marine Parade in the city. If you have the time it is worth the effort to go to the Drakensberg mountains where you can hike, horse ride or simply laze around at one of the plush resorts and hotels in the region.


What to Eat


Beer
Beers in South Africa range from the local Castle, Amstel, Hansa and Black Label to the Namibian imports Windhoek and Tafel. A wide range of foreign imports are available.

Bunny Chow
A bunny chow is a local Durban curry developed by the large Asian population in Kwa-Zulu Natal. A half-loaf of bread is hollowed out and then filled with a variety of curries. Mild or hot, your choice!

Boerewors
Boerewors is popular at braais and is a type of sausage. Droewors is dried boerewors and is great as a snack.

Cape Wines
South Africa's wine producing region, the Western Cape, produces excellent red and white wines in addition to Cap Classique using the méthode champagnoise to develop their own bubbly.

Seafood
When you are at the coast be sure to feast on crayfish, lobster, mussels and prawns. Durban has it's fair share of excellent seafood restaurants.

Biltong
Biltong is dried meat usually made with beef, springbok, impala or kudu to name a few. Game biltong is great.

Pies
Pies are widely available for those on the run or on a road trip.

Potjiekos
A potjie is a meaty South African type of stew done in a steel pot, a potjie, on an open fire called a braai. Chicken, beef and mutton potjies are common.

Bobotie
A traditional Cape Malay dish. It is spices, minced beef, egg and sultanas oven cooked and then served with rice and chutney.

Braaivleis
Braaivleis is barbecue meat. South Africans love a braai or barbecue.


Where to Sleep


Hotels
You can find excellent hotels in Durban. Many of the main hotel sites will have listings for you. Find Hotels.

Hostels
There are plenty of hostels and cheap accommodation in Durban. Prices vary from hostel to hostel but are generally affordable. Search and book a hostel in Durban.


How to Move


Airport
The national carrier of South Africa is South African Airways and you can book flights with them at www.flysaa.com

Durban Airport is modern and well kept with the usual amenities for shopping, car rental and tourism information. Find out more about Durban airport at www.airports.co.za

Taxi
There are pricey standard metered taxis at the airport. These are safer than what locals call "Boom-Boom taxis", avoid these as a tourist.

Car Hire
South Africans drive on the left hand side of the road. Your own transport is a necessity in Durban as public transport is not very good. Drive carefully and watch out for the "boom-boom" taxis!



Locals


Language
Afrikaans, English and Zulu

Currency
South African Rand

Time Zone
GMT +2






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