Durban is the third largest city in South Africa. It is famous for being the busiest port in South Africa, it has loads of good beaches, is very popular for surfing and has a subtropical climate. The largest ethnic groups are Zulus, White English South Africans and the largest population of Indians living outside of India. This mix means Durban has a great mix of religions, traditions and fantastic food, most famously Bunny Chow which is particular to Durban. Durban attracts a lot of South African tourists, but most international tourists would opt for Cape Town, Kruger National Park and Johannesburg, which is such a shame as Durban has so much to offer!
I grew up near Durban and we'd often pop down for the day to go to the beach, but on my recent trip back it was the first time I returned as a tourist. I thought I'd share a few of the awesome things I got up to as I'd love to encourage more tourists to consider Durban as part of their trip to South Africa.
1. Take a stroll along Durban beachfront. The beachfront was redeveloped for the 2010 FIFA world cup and has a lovely promenade that you can cycle or stroll along. Try and go early in the morning when it is cooler and quieter. (If you happen to be there in June, you might be lucky enough to catch the sardine run!)
2. Visit the Moses Madhiba football stadium. Even if you're not a fan of football, you can take the sky car to the top for a view of Durban.
3. Go for lunch and some shopping at the Spice Emporium, a fantastic Indian supermarket selling spices, incense sticks, recipe books, sweets and every imaginable ingredient you could need in Indian cooking.
4. Watch the sunrise and the hundreds of birds flying overhead at Wilsons Wharf.
6. Go for a ride in a rickshaw along Durban beachfront. I have only ever seen rickshaws like these in Durban. My first ever ride in a rickshaw was with my dad when I was 5 and we caught a train from Zimbabwe to South Africa to look for houses for our family to move! :-)
7. If you happen to be in Durban in April, you might catch the Festival of Chariots, the colourful Hari Krishna parade. If not you could take a drive to visit their ISKON temple (Sri Sri Radha Radhanath)
8. Go for a walk around the Botanical Gardens and try their famous scones with apricot jam and cream, a South African cream tea!
9. Take a tour of Warwick Junction and the traditional African Herbal market
10. Visit uShaka Marine World
Slightly Further Afield - If you want to extend your stay in Kwazulu Natal, which I think you definitely should, you could include the following:
2. Visit the Valley of a thousand hills, take the Inchanga Steam Train or do a township tour
3. The midlands meander
4. Go on safari at Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve and on a hippo boat trip in St Lucia
5. Sani Pass