Durban is the third largest city in South Africa. It is an often-under-rated destination when compared to other major cities like Johannesburg and Cape Town.
Durban is only a few hours drive from the extensive mountain range known as the Drakensberg. Archaeological evidence shows that people have been living in this area for more than 100,000 years.
Durban is located on the eastern coastline of the province of Kwa-Zulu Natal. It has a mix of European, Afrikaans and Indian culture, but is predominantly Zulu, hence its name.
Natal is the Portuguese word for Christmas. It was a name given by Vasco da Gama in 1497. European settlers first arrived in the early 1800’s to set up a permanent trading station. British colonialists started trading with King Shaka of the Zulu tribe.
Durban has a tropical climate, so moderate temperatures are prevalent through most of the year. It can get very hot and humid between November and February.
Durban has been ranked as one of the top 7 up-and-coming cities in the world, along with Doha, Havana, Beirut, Kuala Lumpur, La Paz and Vigan.
Durban is also accessible via other smaller airports in South Africa like East London Airport. You can book flights online by making use of the flight booking tool on this website.
View and compare flights from and to Durban that are offered by SAA, Mango Airlines and FlySafair. Use one of these airlines to fly from Durban to locations within South Africa and further abroad.
You can also book a bus ticket with companies such as Greyhound for affordable prices to get you to and from Durban. A slightly more expensive option is to hire a car from King Shaka International Airport. This option offers more freedom if you want to explore the rolling hills of Kwa-Zulu Natal.
Markets are not foreign to the streets of Durban. To get a feel for the city, you can take a guided tour through nine traditional markets in the city. Or you could visit the night market in Musgrave Centre on the first Friday of every month. If you feel like a drive, Shongweni farmer’s market is worth a trip. It is runs every Saturday morning and offers everything you would want from a market. It has a vibrant atmosphere, delicious food and a wide range of artisan goods. It takes about 45 minutes to get there from Durban. The I Heart Market takes place at Moses Mabhida stadium on the first Saturday of every month. It likewise sells a unique blend of handcrafted goods and an assortment of drinks and food.
Something for the kids
There is no shortage of entertainment options for the kids in Durban. You and the whole family can spend the morning in Mini Town at the Durban beachfront.
You will find Fun World nearby that has a number of rides for thrill-seekers.
For an experience of old world charm, book a ticket for the steam train that takes passengers on a round-trip from Kloof through Ichanga. It runs on the first and last Saturday of every month. Immerse yourselves in the rich natural history of South Africa at the Natural Science Museum. Or families can spend a day amongst over 900 birds from 180 different species at the Umgeni River Bird Park.
The Gateway Theatre of Shopping is situated quite close to King Shaka International Airport. It offers everything of your heart’s desire including a range of shops, and an entertainment paradise for the kids. The mall itself stretches as far as the eye could see. In addition to the ample entertainment complex within the mall itself, kids can surf at the wave-house, play mini golf or spend some time at the skate park.
uShaka Marine World
The Point area in Durban underwent a massive upgrade in the run-up to the 2010 soccer world cup. Today it is one of the major tourist attractions in Durban. It’s a great hangout for locals too.
There are a few exclusive shops to browse through, plus a number of good restaurants. If you want a unique dining experience, experience African fusion food of the finest quality at Moyo.
Visit the world-class aquarium or spend the day on the water slides right next door to the aquarium. There are also bike hire facilities if you want to take a leisurely ride along the scenic promenade to Moses Mabhida stadium.
Moses Mabhida Stadium
Witness one of the 10 magnificent stadiums that were constructed especially for the world cup. Moses Mabhida stadium was named after a politician who was a leader of the South African communist party for 8 years. Conquer your fear of heights and get a stunning view of Durban from the top of the stadium. You can take the Sky Car up the northern arch of the stadium. Or, if you are feeling energetic and aren’t afraid of heights, walk up one of the arches. For the adrenaline junkie, there is also the Big Swing. This is one of the highest swings in the world.
Durban’s food culture is as colourful as its cosmopolitan community. The city has a unique blend of African, European and Indian culture.
Durban also has its fair share of modern fine dining restaurants. An example of a good fine-dining establishment is Café 1999. Max’s Lifestyle is a tourist spot in the heart of the township of Umlazi, with a menu appealing to meat-lovers in particular.
You have not truly been in Durban if you have not tasted a classic bunny chow. This is a twist on Indian curry that involves filling a half or quarter loaf of bread with curry. A decent curry place is not hard to come by but look out for Johnny’s Roti’s for one of the best in the city.
Book your tickets online to find cheap flights to this colourful city with plenty of culinary delights.