Tips, Travel

Durban is the BEST CITY in South Africa

With the summer holidays approaching everyone is planning how to spend their holidays. Over and over I keep promoting the concept of being a local tourist in your city or country. Durban is a popular holiday destination for both local and international tourists.

I was born in Durban and returned  here after living abroad to make it my home again in 2010. Coming home I have discovered just how beautiful my city is and now am seeing Durban through the eyes of a Tourist. During July , I headed off on a 15 day #ExploreWC and this made me realise how much I love my home city and miss all the things I take for granted.

Durban History

In 1497 , Portuguese explorer Vasco de Gama discovered Durban on Christmas Eve and called it “Terra do Natal” meaning Christmas country. A proper settlement started in 1824. A group of 25 British men arrived from the Cape Colony and set up camp in Durban.
The British established a sugar cane industry in the 1860s. Farm owners had a difficult time attracting Zulu labourers to work on their plantations, so the British brought thousands of indentured labourers from India on twenty five-year contracts. As a result of this , Durban has the largest Indian population on the African continent, and has the largest Indian population outside of India. The local African tribe of Zulus led by the mighty warrior King Shaka were the original settlers in Durban.
With such a rich melting pot of history and culture Durban truly is the best city in South Africa. But incase you are not convinced check out these :

Durban Facts

  1. In 2014 , Durban was named one of the New 7 Wonder cities by the New7Wonders Foundation.
  2. It is home to the world’s oldest and longest Ultra Marathon that takes place each year. The Comrades Marathon draws runners from around the globe yearly to compete in this race.
  3. Moses Mabida stadium is home to the World’s Largest Bungee Swing.
  4. uShaka Marine world is the 5th Largest Aquarium in the world.
  5. Gateway Shopping Centre in Umhlanga is Africa’s largest shopping centre. Boasting 350 shops and 70 eateries this is a popular shopping destination.
  6. CNN in 2014 rated Durban “as the coolest city in SA”
  7. Durban port is the largest in Africa and operates 24 hours a day and 365 days a year.
  8. It is the 3rd largest city in South Africa with approximately 3.4 million people.
  9. The Jummah Masjid Mosque in Grey Street is the largest mosque in the Southern hemisphere.
  10. The Durban July is Africa’s greatest horse race which happens the first Saturday of July. It is a day of fashion and betting on the horses.

So yes Durban is pretty awesome all year round because of the weather and the fact that we do not really get winter. Durban is filled with many exciting and interesting things to do for the whole family all year round.

What to do in Durban ?

  1. Eat , Eat and eat some more. Durban is filled with numerous places to indulge in very good food. With a high population of Indians in the city , Indian cuisine here is exceptionally good and no visit to Durban would be complete without eating a Bunny Chow ( Hollowed out quarter loaf of unsliced bread filled with curry). There are also fantastic eateries in all the major hotels. The food scene is growing and your taste buds will love visiting here.
  2. A family day at uShaka Marine World is a great option. The Wet ‘n Wild Water Themed park is a hit for the whole family while the village walk provides loads of options to satisfy hungry tummies after all that fun. The Sea World part of uShaka is home to a large variety of fish and sea creatures. There are often special themed events. Cargo Hold is a unique eating experience where the restaurant is built-in the helm of a ship. The interior looks like a ship but the highlight is the large tanks which make up the interior of the place allowing you to literally have dinner under the sea.
  3. The Golden Mile is a popular stretch of beaches along the promenade. There is always a hive of activity down here. Bicycles can be hired to cycle here along the beach. Besides the gorgeous beaches there are several splash pools along the golden mile. Durban’s beaches are very popular among the surfers. Mini Town as well as a skate park add to just some of the activities one can do here. Dotted along the way are several great places to stop for a bite.
  4. Moses Mabida stadium is a beautifully designed and very eye-catching stadium that can be seen from various parts of Durban. There are several activities at the Stadium which include a ride up in the Skycar which is 106m high and once at the top gives you a spectacular view of the city. For the adrenalin fans The Big Rush Swing will definitely be on your list to do. And for those who feel like walking up 500 stairs the Adventure Walk is for you instead of the SkyCar.

And if you still were not convinced why should visit Durban check out this amazing guide of things to do in Durban.

Durbanites love exploring their city as much as tourists. These are just a few things one can do in Durban over the weekend not forgetting all the amazing pop up markets around the city.This city is a must visit for so many more reasons than I have listed here.So why not book your Durban hotel accomodation with SafariNow and explore this vibrant and exciting city.
To book your weekend accomodation
 weekend visit

Be Inspired !

 ps. This is a sponsored post however I do love my city Durban 🙂
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52 thoughts on “Durban is the BEST CITY in South Africa

  1. It’s funny isn’t it, we may live amongst the most beautiful surroundings and historical extravaganza but because we are around it every day we get jaded and start taking it for granted! I certainly do, and only remember how amazing my home is when someone comes for a visit and I have to introduce them to my neck of the woods. Durban sounds amazing, I really hope to visit one day 🙂
    Katja xxx

  2. Most of the time it is the local cuisine which tourists looks for in a place. So glad that your top 1 thing to do in Durban is to eat! Your hometown sounds very nice, hoping to visit it one day 🙂

  3. This looks like a lovely city! Wish I got to plan my summer holiday already, but it’s pretty much winter up here already haha 😀

  4. I’ve never been to South Africa or heard of this city. Sounds like a great place to visit! I love Indian cuisine, so dining out will be lovely 🙂

  5. When you said indentured servants from India, I immediately thought Durban would have a great food scene. Sure enough, you confirmed it. It’s one of the best things that comes out of not-so-great circumstances like the importation of foreign labor.
    Sabra of Great Green Heron

  6. I’ve always wanted to visit south Africa and it’s so crazy that the population of Durban is nearly the entire population of my country haha

  7. What a cool history! I recently read about the Irish indentured servants and slaves in Barbados, but had no idea the British were doing the same to Indians in Africa! I love to learn the history of the places I visit.

  8. For some reason your photos arent showing up for me 🙁
    But I’ve seen some on your instagram! It looks so beautiful, another place to add on my bucket list !!

  9. The more I read about South Africa, the more I want to go there… Your post is not the exception! It gives me some ideas for my next holiday!

  10. It’s always so nice to see different places in the world trough the eyes of many people!
    I’ve never been there, it looks very nice out there.
    Thankyou for sharing!
    Love, Tina

  11. I’ve always wanted to visit South Africa! It’s funny though that we forget the beauty so close to us. I am definitely guilty of it!

  12. Durban sounds incredible, I love that you don’t get winter, fall i can deal with winter not so much lol, there’s lots of things to do sounds like a great place to go on holiday 🙂

  13. It’s amazing how we don’t explore what’s right on our own doorstep and take it for granted. I’m such a history nerd and love that you gave a bit of history as to how your city was discovered. Vasco de Gama was briefly mentioned in one of my history lectures. It’s cool that Durban was voted one of the New 7 Wonders cities in 2014.

  14. I love the idea of sponsoring my home town. I feel like many people nowadays hate everything including their origin and that makes me sad. I don’t mind to travel, I think it’s great even to live for a while in some other place, but there should be at least one happy memory and nostalgia. I just don’t get people who hate their town or country. But I guess if you haven’t seen anything else, you wouldn’t know there are far more worse places in the world. Anyway, Durbin seems so lovely, I would love to visit it. I think if there’s food in the picture the chances are more likely I actually do visit it!
    BS, xx |

  15. Awww I am really disappointed as I didn’t quite make it to Durban due to me breaking my foot in Coffee Bay. I really feel like I have missed out.
    I also feel that it is only recently I have rediscovered my home place and find that by having visiters from over seas via ouch surfing has really helped me become a tourist in my home town Thank you for sharing

  16. Wow I can’t believe it’s a wonder city and I’ve hardly even heard of it! Thanks for this education lesson, I’m convinced I now need to give Durban a chance

  17. Your city Durban is way beautiful. I noticed that when the city is a port area, the development and progress is much higher and faster than other cities.

  18. Reading up about Durban for the first time. It does have plenty of stuffs from tourism point of view.
    Right now food is attracting me the most. Hope to make a trip there soon.

  19. I am glad that you hve mentioned so many places to eat at! Food is my prime focus when I am visiting somewhere, and you seem to have taken some bit of pain to keep it holistic.
    Will have to make a trip to the place sooner than ever.
    Thank you for the post.

  20. I didn’t hear about Durban before reading your article, but I think that is because I didn’t plan yet to visit South Africa. I am a foodie so Durban sounds like a great place for me to spend some time in. The beach looks great too, can you learn how to surf there?

  21. I have seen sights of Durban in so many movies and have always wanted to visit. Would love to check out uShaka Marine World, that sounds like a lot of fun!

  22. Honestly, this is the first time I heard about Durban. Thanks for introducing it to me. Love your insider tips. Hopefully I’ll have a chance to visit it in the future.

  23. I have never been to Durban, but I have heard that the Indian food here is so delicious. A Bunny Chow sounds so interesting… would love to try that! I hope that one day I will be able to explore this part of South Africa.

  24. I would love to visit this place. Thanks for all those amazing facts on Durban. Was quite intrigued to know about Moses Mabida stadium …largest bungee swing. Not sure if I would try that out but definitely would like to see the others do. Nice read!

  25. I love learning more and more about South Africa from your blog! I feel like with every new post I read I am even more ready to hop on a plane and head there. I love that locals love to eat, eat, eat. That’s my favorite activity whilst travelling!!

  26. Durban sounds like a great city! I loved the photos of food that you posted. It sounds like eating is on the top of the list of things to do. I’d also like to visit marine world with my kids.

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