Durban Travel Guide

Known for its sun, surf, and sand, Durban is a cultural melting pot as famous for its authentic Indian curry as it is for its tropical weather:

Durban has long been a dream destination for visitors to South Africa. The city offers some of the country's most popular beaches and some of its best weather.

Travellers should visit its shores for unique experiences like a traditional rickshaw ride along the buzzing beachfront, named the Golden Mile, and some excellent curries prepared by the local Indian community.

The city is very family-friendly with its funfairs, waterparks, great beachfront hotels, and good restaurants and shopping malls. It is also a top choice for international conferences and trade expos held in South Africa.

Durban serves as a fantastic gateway to diverse attractions including the majestic Drakensberg Mountains, the UNESCO-listed wetlands of Isimangaliso, the historic battlefields of Zululand, and the immensely popular beach resort towns of Ballito and Umhlanga.

A few days spent on holiday in Durban are fun and interesting, but the abundance of world-class destinations nearby make the city a truly rewarding travel base.

Best time to visit Durban

Sunny weather throughout the year makes a Durban holiday a sure-fire hit. With its sub-tropical climate, the summers are hot and winters mild, and the sea is blue, warm and enticing, no matter what time of year travellers visit in. The summer holidays (December and January) see South Africans flock to the beach resorts surrounding Durban and it can get very crowded.

What to see in Durban

-Bask in the sun, sand and sea along Durban's famous Golden Mile.

-Learn about Durban's Apartheid history at the Kwamuhle Museum.

-Visit the historic Francis Farewell Square, ringed by some interesting buildings.

-See the colourful menagerie of birds at Umgeni River Bird Park.

What to do in Durban

-Enjoy the views from the Big Swing or Sky Car at Moses Mabhida Stadium.

-Stroll or picnic in the beautiful Durban Botanic Gardens, established in 1849.

-Treat the kids to a day of fun at Ushaka Marine World.

-Take an early morning boat ride with the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board as they maintain the nets along the coast.

Beyond Durban

KwaZulu-Natal is a fascinating province with a rich and turbulent history and a multicultural heritage. Numerous charming towns dot the region and the the Zululand Battlefields make for a popular trekking route for military history buffs.

The stunning Drakensberg Mountains and the isolated kingdom of Lesotho are exciting destinations and the Isimangaliso wetlands (formerly called St Lucia) provide beautiful, otherworldly landscapes seen nowhere else on earth.

Getting there

The newly built Durban King Shaka International Airport is a world-class facility situated 22 miles (35km) north of Durban. There are shuttles, taxis and car rental services to get travellers into the city.

Did you know?

-The British settled in Durban in 1824, but the site was 'discovered' by Vasco da Gama in 1497.

-Durban harbour is the ninth largest in the world and Africa's busiest container port.

-Gateway shopping centre is the largest mall in Africa, modelled on the Mall of America.