Durban

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Durban is located on the east coast of South Africa in the province of KwaZulu-Natal and in the municipality of eThekwini. It is the third largest city in South Africa and the busiest port in Africa. According to the 2007 Community Survey, the population of the eThekwini municipality was 3,468,086.

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Hotels

  • 5 star hotels 5 star hotel
  • 4 star hotels 4 star hotel
  • 3 star hotels 3 star hotel
  • 2 star hotels 2 star hotel
  • 1 star hotels 1 star hotel

Cities

  • Metropolis over 100 hotels
  • Big city 50-100 hotels
  • Medium city 20-50 hotels
  • Small city 5-20 hotels
  • Village below 5 hotels

Points of Interest

  • Beach Beach
  • Business object Business object
  • Casino Casino
  • Civic property Civic property
  • Education Education
  • Entertainment Entertainment
  • Golf course Golf course
  • Green space Green space
  • Harbor Harbor
  • Historic site Historic site
  • Interesting place Interesting place
  • Medical Medical
  • Monument Monument
  • Museum Museum
  • Shopping Shopping
  • Skiing Skiing
  • Sports facility Sports facility
  • Theater Theater
  • Winery Winery

Points of Interest in Durban

  • Durban Botanical Gardens +27 (0)31 201-1303, fax: +27 (0)31 309-1271, e-mail: dalzellc@durban.gov.za. Visit on a Saturday and see a mixture of Cultural weddings all having their photos taken
  • Berea. This is a long ridge overlooking the harbor, city center and beaches. Once covered with coastal forest, it is now completely built up.
  • City Hall. There is an art gallery and outdated science museum inside, as well as a public library.
  • The Golden Mile The Golden Mile, the nickname for the beaches near downtown that stretch along the Indian Ocean, is well known for it's excellent surfing, occasional shark attack and wide sandy beaches. Visiting around the Christmas holidays ensures a crowded experience, complete with stations for missing children, but visit at the off season and you'll practically have the place to yourself, save the serious surfers. There are also play pools and playgrounds for children along the waterfront, as well as hotel, bars and restaurants.
  • Crocodile Creek. In the ‘sugar town’ of Tongaat (just a few miles past Umhlanga) you will find Crocodile Creek, on the Tongaat river in sub-tropical bush. This creek is home to over 7000 Nile Crocodiles, Alligators, Caiman, snakes and other reptiles. The farm includes bush and hill trails, a waterfall, river plains and thatched buildings with tree top walkways. An awesome place to spend a day, refreshments are available and you can also browse through the shop which sells curios, crocodile leather goods and even croc dishes.
  • Mahatma Gandhi Settlement. Tours Available
  • Durban North Japanese Gardens +27 (0)31 563-1333. Free entrance.
  • KwaZulu Natal National Parks.

uShaka Marine World

South Beach

North Beach

Moses Mabhida Stadium

Durban Botanical Gardens

Mini Town

Kwa Muhle Museum

Dairy Beach

Durban Funworld

Durban City Hall/Natural Science Museum

Exhibition Centre

Old Courthouse Museum

Workshop Mall

Juma Musjid Mosque

ABSA Stadium

Sahara Stadium Kingsmead

Battery Beach

Victoria Street Market

Durban International Convention Centre

Old House Museum

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Popular events in Durban in the near future

Date: Category: The event list provided by Eventful
The event list provided by Eventful

About Durban

Background

Durban was originally called Port Natal, and was founded by British settlers. Indian workers were brought in to work the sugar cane plantations, making this one of the largest population centers of Indians in the world. Zulu and English are the most common languages in Durban.

Activities

  • Meditate, Mahasiddha Kadampa Buddhist Centre, 2 Hollings Road, Malvern (Queensburgh),  +27 (0)31 464 0984, e-mail: info@meditateindurban.org. Offers relaxation meditations and meditation classes to increase inner peace.
  • Watersports. Swim, surf, canoe, snorkel, dive
  • Calypso Dive & Adventure Center. Scuba Dive at uShaka Marine World. PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Center. Dive to wrecks, caves, offshore reefs. Offers 6-month "From Zero to Hero" carrer dive course.
  • Skydive Durban, Pietermaritzburg Airport,  +27 (0)72 214-6040. Take a 25 minute plane ride, then 35 seconds of freefalling before the parchute opens, then a post-jump barbeque. Tandem Jump: R1.350; DVD: R400.
  • Suncoast Casino, Suncoast Boulevard, Marine Parade,  +27 (0)31 328-3000, e-mail: webmaster@tsogosun.com.
  • Sibaya Casino (Sun international).
  • uShaka Marine World, 1 Bell Street,  +27 (0)31 328-8000. To see the HUGE Aquarium or ride more than eight different rides in the Waterworld.
  • Glenholme trail for disabled & blind persons, Glenholme Nature Reserve,  +27 (0)31 705-5448. Caters for wheelchairs and the blind with elevated walkway and guide rails and braille plaques.
  • Nature Parks - There are dozens of nature reserves in the suburbs, just ask around. Please remember to be safe, there are natural hazards like snakes, and criminals like the isolation for different reasons.
  • Greyville Race Course. Horseracing
  • Surf Artificial Waves. At Gateway Shopping Center
  • Shark Institute. Take a boat to see the shark nets that protect beachcombers from shark attack.
  • Historical compensation sugar mill.
  • Zimbali Golf Estate. 18 holes
  • Skydive Durban, Durban,  +27 (0)72 214-6040, e-mail: vernon@skydivedurban.co.za. Skydiving
  • Durban Tourism (Tourist Junction), 160 Monty Naicker Road,  +27 (0)31 3044-934. The City's official tourism body can provide you with maps, accommodation information and general guidance around your trip to Durban. Tour guides, registered tour operators and approved accommodation form part of Durban Tourism's extensive services.

Festivals

  • Poetry Africa. International Festival of Poetry. Early October every year.
  • Time of the Writer. International Festival of Writing - March every year.
  • Durban International Film Festival. International Festival of Film - July/August every year.
  • Jomba! Contemporary Dance Festival. International Festival of Contempary Dance - every year.
  • Awesome Africa. World Music Festival - September every year.
  • MTN Durban Fashion Week. For all fashion-lovers! June every year. For all fashion-lovers!
  • Durban July. July every year.Africa's Premier Horse-Racing Event, with plenty of celebrities and walking fashion models to bump into.
  • Hindu Festivals - There are dozens of these and you'll need to ask around because they're not well publicised, but there's one in Easter in the Umbilo area where devotees walk on hot coals, and another sometime between February and July (it moves) called Kavady where the devotees pierce their backs with hooks and drag decorated portable shrines. Not to be missed!
  • Umhlanga (Rocks) Festivals. Umhlanga is one of the most sought after beach holiday destinations in SA. It is popular with both local and international visitors. It sees a fair amount of internationals the world over who come to shop, unwind, party and have fun on one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world. It is located on the east coast of SA, 15min north of the the port city of Durban. Some of the best accommodation options with excellent holiday apartments, luxury hotels, lodges and guesthouses are dotted around Umhlanga. It is fast becoming an attraction with its winter and summer festivals, street cafe culture, restaurants and pubs.

Its winter festival is held on the main beach and the summer festival on the main street where live jazz bands play out late into the evening A must to visit.

Food

As Durban has one of the largest Indian populations outside of India itself, a Durban curry is a popular dish and can range from mild to very hot. There is also the Bunny Chow which is unique to the city, a quarter loaf of bread hollowed out and filled with a curry of your choice. Check out the Workshop restaurants for some of the best bunny chow in the city. Or head over to the Indian neighborhood near Victoria Market for more authentic Durban Indian food.

Good Indian dining is at Vintage Restaurant next to Bean Bag Bohemia - Windemere Road

Try the Roma Revolving Restaurant at the top of John Ross House on the Esplanade for Italian food and the best view of Durban.

Wilson's Wharf a long pier build into the harbour, hosts a wide selection of international restaurants and watch the busiest harbor in Africa's activity. Take in a show afterwards at the upstairs Catalina theater.

Try Morningside restaurants, along Florida Road, for trendy cafe sidewalk eateries including one Italian style, Spiga d'Oro, frequented so often by South Africa's notorious businessman, Schabir Shaik, that a dish is named in his honor 'Pasta a la Shaik'. Bill Clinton and Bill Gates ate at "Spice" set off the busy street in a quiet upstairs courtyard. And nearby, be nearly guaranteed to rub shoulders with the up-and-coming in-crowd at the Bean Bag Bohemia, Windermere Road, a restaurant that makes great dining an artistic event.

Definitely try some 'biltong' when you're in South Africa. Its South African-style jerky and available in a whole range of flavors and textures.

Drinks

Zacks, located at Wilson's wharf on Victoria's embankment is a popular place to get thirst quenching drinks and just relax and enjoy the view of the harbor. Joe Kool's, on the beachfront is also well known as the best place for a "sundowner" after a long day on the beach. Check out their roof-top deck for the best views. The BAT Centre, on the port is also a good place for a quick meal or drink. There's free jazz most nights as well as other concerts, hip-hop and the occasional poetry slam. The Firkin is a micro-brewery on the top floor of the Pavilion shopping centre in Westville. It has some great ales and beers and good snacks at reasonable prices.Tilted house is a trendy place situated in the city center in an old Victorian house. It has its own VIP section, but it is open to the beautiful as well as important. Cool Runnings is a reggeaton place with cheap beer and a relaxed atmosphere. Burn is a good concert scene for Metal and Rock music with club evenings every weekend. Durban is known for it`s pot and you will easily find it around the clubs, but beware that the police does care if tourists break the law and you can be thrown out of the country if you are caught with it.

  • Florida Road 275 +27 (0)31 312-3355. Definitely the happening street in Durban. Restaurants, Bars Cafe's Boutique shopping the in happy friendly Durban hang out. Durban's most interesting book shop, Book Base also located at the top of Florida Road (275) and is open every day. Lots of interesting material of historical interest, Zulu Wars etc to be seen.

Shopping

Popular items to buy are Zulu beadwork, wirework, wicker work - from baskets and sustainable conference bags to fantastic lights and furniture, Spices - anyone dare 'mother-in-law's revenge' ? Fantastic!

  • Gateway Theater of Shopping, a mall situated to the North of Durban along the M4 or N2 highways. Believed to be the largest in the southern hemisphere. Also offers a great range of kids' entertainment like a skateboard park and an artificial wave in the Wavehouse to test your surfing abilities.
  • Victoria Street Market. Mostly oriental souvenirs. Haggle hard, beware of pickpockets.
  • Essenwood Craft Market - For a true taste of South Africa look out for a guy selling biltong (South African jerky). A good place to buy curios, and don't be afraid to haggle. Last time I was there I found some beautiful Zimbabwean soap-stone sculptures at a very good price. Only open certain weekends so please check local listings.
  • The Pavilion - A large shopping mall with a good range of shops, situated in the Westville suburb of Durban.
  • African Arts Center at Tourist Junction on West Street
  • BAT Center on the harbor front

This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Durban on Wikivoyage.

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