Durban offers excellent urban vibes, including a mix of design, art, music and food – peppered with fascinating cultural influences.
Even in winter there’s lots to experience, especially with snow-capped mountains, top game reserves, country meanders and loads of other top attractions nearby.
How to get here
Fly in via Durban’s brand-new King Shaka International Airport.
Best time to visit
Due to its tropical climate, Durban is good to visit all year round.
Where to stay
There’s everything from B&Bs to world-class hotels.
Around the Durban area
To the north are some of the best Big 5 game reserves, subtropical marine reefs and the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park World Heritage Site. To the east is the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park, also a World Heritage site and the highest range in Africa (this side of Kilimanjaro). To the far south is the rugged Wild Coast with stretches of uninhabited indigenous dunes and forest, and some of the best fishing. The province has one of the highest ratios in the world of areas under conservation.
Tours to do
Phezulu in the Valley of a Thousand Hills is a great introduction to the traditional Zulu way of life. See what present-day life is like in an urban township by taking a shebeen tour. At Warwick Triangle, you’ll find one of the largest retail medicinal plant markets in the country.
DID YOU KNOW ABOUT DURBAN?
Durban’s harbor is the busiest in South Africa and one of the 10 largest ports in the world.
Durban is South Africa’s most popular domestic holiday city and it’s easy to see why. It has miles of soft, sandy swimming beaches, great surfing and warm weather all year round. There’s everything from B&Bs to world-class hotels, and you’ll never run out of fun things to do.
Head to the ocean for a fishing charter or chill out on a sunset sundowner cruise. Take in the marine life at uShaka Marine World and burn up some energy at Water World.
Durban is green all year round, thanks to its subtropical weather. To see the city and coastline at its best, head to La Lucia Ridge, preferably early on a clear morning. Look south to view the beach arcing around Durban bay. See a different angle of the same view by looking north from atop the Bluff at the harbor entrance.
Durban is recognized for its well-preserved art deco and Victorian architecture, particularly along Victoria Embankment and on the Berea. Many events, cultures and nations have shaped Durban and you’ll find more than a dozen museums that tell its unique story.
Durban attractions you might like to pack in during your visit include adrenaline-based activities at the Gateway Theater of Shopping which is close to the Durban entertainment drag. Gateway has a powerful wavehouse and an indoor climbing wall – at 23 meters the highest in the world. There are also fast go-karts and a Tony Hawke-designed skate park.
Take an early morning stroll along the Umhlanga Rocks paved beachfront walkway and you may see dolphins surfing the waves just offshore. Or take to the air as a microlite passenger for a flip along the coast.
We call it Durbs or Surf City or “eThekweni”, which means “sea” in isiZulu, and that suggests what life’s like here – one long holiday.