City Guide to Durban, South Africa
Author: Julie Thompson | Last Updated: 13 Jan 2019
Located in KwaZulu-Natal, which is a coastal province, Durban is one of the largest cities in south Africa. Durban has warm temperature throughout the year and is known for its beaches and a long coast line that stretches to the Mozambique border. The city experienced up to 300 days of sunshine a year, making it a preferred tourist destination for many. As a result, many tourists visit the city and are excited by the beach-front facilities and water sports. However, there is more that tourists can see and experience when visiting the city.
Experience the Zulu culture
Despite the nation having different cultures and languages, the KwaZulu-Natal province is predominantly Zulu. If you love to interact with people from a different culture and to experience their way of life, then Durban is the destination for you. To do this you can visit Shakaland, which is a Zulu cultural center, where you will see a traditional Zulu village, also known as Kraal. Here you can have Zulu lunch, enjoy the Zulu dances and learn more about their traditions, including weaving, beer brewing, and beadwork. You can also visit a sangoma, who is a Zulu traditional healer and learn about their traditional medicine. Here you will witness activities such as throwing a bone in a bid to communicate with ancestors.
Nelson Mandela Capture Site
This is a site that elicits a lot of emotions for many tourists, as it is the location where Nelson Mandela was captured in 1962. Here you will view the monument of Nelson Mandela, which is an extra-ordinary piece of art. When close to it, all you see are irregular shaped pieces of metal pointing upwards. Taking a few steps back, everything falls in place and you will realize that they all come together to form an image of Nelson Mandela’s face. Admission to this site is free, but there is a donations box where you can pay what you feel the visit is worth. As a result, the capture site receives numerous visitors throughout the year.
Beach life in Durban
Durban is known for its beaches and a long coast line, which provides a lot of activities for tourists. If you are looking for a place that is warm throughout the year and that has the sandy beaches, then Durban will be an excellent choice. The beaches close to the city are known as “the golden mile”, and they provide a good place for walks, jogging, enjoying music and high-class accommodation facilities.
The Howick Falls
This is a major site to visit when in Durban. The falls is over 300ft high and offers a serene environment to watch and take pictures. Along the river, you can follow the trails and find cafes, souvenir shops and other gift shops. If you enjoy the calming sound of water and birds singing in the trees, then the Howick falls offers you just that. This site is not far from the Nelson Mandela capture site and you can visit the two facilities on one drive away from the town.
Safari tour to Shamwari Game Reserve
A tour to any town in South Africa cannot be complete without a safari to witness animals in their natural habitats. The Shamwari Game Reserve is a private facility that covers 25000 ha. It is an amazing facility where you will observe the animals in their natural habitat. Here you will see the big five African animal and enjoy feeding and petting activities.
A short drive from Durban is the exotic seaside community of Umhlanga. It contains luxurious hotel, entertainment complex and huge shopping facilities. If you are travelling with family, this is a nice place to visit as you can do your shopping, watch different shows in the entertainment complex and seek accommodation in the luxurious hotels of Umhlanga.
The Moses Mabhida Stadium
Named after Moses Mabhida, who was a significant figure in the South African struggle for freedom, the stadium was to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup. This stadium receives numerous visitors and attracts even people who are not soccer fans. This is because of SkyCar that is created to travel up on the structure to a viewing deck on top. From there, you will have an epic view of the whole city, and miles of the coast. The charges for this ride is R60.00 for adults and it is cheaper for pensioners.
Durban Botanic Gardens
Botanic gardens are amazing places to relax and take in the beauty of nature, or to take a walk enjoying the beautiful flowers and trees. Durban Botanic Gardens started in 1849 and today is an amazing site featuring exotic and indigenous plants that are surrounded by big trees. If you are looking for a place where you can walk around and enjoy the beauty of nature, them Durban botanic gardens is the place to visit. Admission to the gardens is free and you don’t need to have any botanic knowledge to enjoy the beauty of flowers and trees. You can also sit on the benches in the garden and soak in the beauty and the pleasant smell of flowers’ nectar.
uShaka Marine World
If you are looking for a day’s fun, then you can visit a facility that will provide you with different activities. The uShaka marine world is one such facilities. In this facility, you can enjoy a world-class aquarium, where you will see different species of fish as they swim in the water. If you love water sports, this is also a nice facility to visit, as it offers thrilling water slides. The facility also has other creatures that you can view such as snakes and other reptiles. You can also enjoy food in their restaurants while still having fun.
This is one experience that you should never miss when visiting Durban. These are human pulled carts that are usually located on the beach and for a small fee, you can enjoy a ride while taking in the beauty of the beach or the city. The Zulu men are known to be strong and they can pull you on the cart or chariot and later pose with you for some photos.
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