Durban is the richest trading city and fashionable resort, famous for its oriental bazaars and golden beaches. It is considered one of the most colorful cities on the continent. The city is divided into two parts: the old Durban with ancient buildings, the Indian quarter, shopping centers and restaurants, and the new Durban, located along the ocean, with a promenade where most of the city’s hotels are located.
How to get to Durban
According to bridgat, Durban International Airport is located 15 km from the city centre. It receives flights from all over the world and is home to Airlink, British Airways, Interlink, Kulula, Mango and South African Airlines. Another airport is being built for the 2010 FIFA World Cup 40 km north of Durban.
From the central railway station of the city there are daily trains to Johanburg and Pietermaritzburg (Spoornet company), and once a week trains to Bloemfontein, Kimberley and Cape Town. Port Elizabeth and East London can be reached with a transfer at Bloemfontein.
4 things to do in Durban
- Feel the spirit of wild Africa in the Thousand Hills Reserve.
- Feel like Vasco da Gama, stepping on the coast of the Golden Mile.
- Eat plenty of curry, the preparation of which is so famous for the Indians living in Durban.
- Dive into the colorful underwater world – local diving is rightfully considered one of the best in the world.
For the 2010 football championship, not only the city itself is being transformed, but also all communications necessary for tourists, including the transport system of Durban. Durban People Mover tourist buses, equipped with monitors and seats for the disabled, leave every 15 minutes from 6 am to 11 am. Thanks to the “hop-on, hop-off” system, tourists can get off and on during the day at stops: CBD, Victoria Street Market, Workshop, Suncoast Casino, Ushaka Marine World Water Park and stops along the beach.
There are a lot of options – from inexpensive hostels to “fives” with first-class service. The best hotels are located in the eastern part of the city, on the Indian Ocean coast, and have their own beaches with all the necessary amenities: umbrellas, sunbeds, showers and beach bars.
Cuisine and restaurants
Durban has the largest Hindu community outside of India itself, so it’s no surprise that curry is preferred to all dishes here, both spicy in India and adapted to local (and tourist) stomachs. Curry is eaten not only as an independent dish, but also in the form of “bunny chow” – a quarter of a loaf of bread with a cleaned crumb, stuffed with curry. City restaurants cluster on the Wilson’s Wharf pier – not only Indian, but also international cuisine.
Entertainment and attractions in Durban
St. Paul’s Church, a beautiful park on the ruins of the old fort, City Hall, the old railway station (now it houses a tourist office), Sri Ambalavaanar Alayam temple (the first and largest Hindu temple in Africa), the largest mosque southern hemisphere Juma in the Indian quarter. The National Museum of Natural History, the Museum of Natural Sciences, the Museum of Old Buildings, the Center for African Art, the Fitzsimmons Reptile Park, the Durban Dolphinarium and Botanical Garden are very popular among Durban guests. And, of course, a rare tourist will ignore the luxurious shopping areas of the city.
Near Durban is the Thousand Hills Valley, where, in addition to the hospitable Zulu tribe, you can visit a snake reserve and a crocodile farm.
Durban’s “Golden Mile”, the same one where Vasco da Gama once moored, has now become the best place for recreation, spearfishing, surfing and other outdoor activities in all of Africa. Here are located modern hotels, cafes, bars, restaurants, entertainment centers, swimming pools, a promenade and all kinds of entertainment venues. Even on the coast there is a water center “World of the Sea” (Sea World) with an oceanarium, an aquarium and a dolphinarium.
Diving in Durban
Diving in Durban and its surroundings is considered the best in the country. You can dive there all year round, visibility under water is 15-20 m. In addition to the impressive beauty and diversity of the underwater world, coastal waters delight with the opportunity to dive to the habitats of whales and sharks. Experienced divers can take a dip off the coast of Margate, an hour’s drive from Durban. Sabertooth, hammerhead and tiger sharks live at the Protea Banks reef with many open caves. And Umhlanga Rocks, 15 km from Durban, attracts wreck lovers with Fontano Wreck and T-barge wrecks.
From May to July, off the coast of Durban, you can watch the unique “races” of sardines.