Did you know?
The first South African Surfing Championships took place in Durban in 1966.
Durban (eThekwini) is justifiably proud of its Golden Mile – a stretch of some of the safest swimming beaches in South Africa.
A wonderful legacy of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ is the imposing Moses Mabhida Stadium, from which a meandering brick-paved promenade stretches north to Blue Lagoon and south to Addington Beach.
Durban’s beachfront promenade is well patronised by early morning joggers, cyclists, pram-pushing mums, dog-walking seniors and a host of walkers who love taking in the fresh, salt-laden morning breeze.
From Addington Beach, just north of Durban harbour, the promenade passes a laidback African-style restaurant overlooking the beach with a quaint pub on the pier that gives patrons a bird’s eye view of surfers and bathers.
To the south is Vetch's Pier, with its great snorkelling opportunities, and a sheltered region popular among kayakers, windsurfers and jetski enthusiasts.
Next stop is uShaka Marine World, an impressive shipwreck-themed aquarium incorporating a Wet 'n' Wild water park. The aquarium is home to a diversity of Indian Ocean marine species and includes two excellent restaurants, one of which forms part of a shark tank. A number of curio and clothing shops, along with daily dolphin and penguin shows, complete this premier tourist attraction.
Both southern and northern beaches attract thousands throughout the year with waves ideal for swimming, surfing and body-boarding.
You’ll pass a number of piers along Durban’s beachfront, most of which are used daily by anglers, and there's a host of hotels overlooking the beachfront, many offering excellent accommodation and restaurants. There are also more relaxed beer and burger spots, and a couple of trendy coffee shops worth a visit.
Travellers with small children might prefer to spend time at the paddling pools, where slides and fountains add to the kids’ enjoyment. There’s also the Rachel Finlayson salt-water swimming pool, as well as fast food eateries in and around North Beach.
Further north, you’ll pass the Suncoast Casino, with its array of restaurants and private beach access, complete with rolling green lawns.
Heading north, you’ll pass more swimming beaches and paddling pools manned by lifeguards, before reaching Blue Lagoon, a popular fishing spot where the uMngeni River flows into the sea.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
eThekwini Municipality Beach & Recreation Facilities
Phone: +27 (0)31 322 4354
How to get here
Drive into Durban via the N2 north, N2 south or N3 and follow the signs to the beachfront promenade.
Best time to visit
Summer is by far the most popular time of year, but the beaches are just as much fun over Easter and in winter, although the water cools down considerably.
Around the area
The Lilliputian world of Minitown is located at the northern end of the beachfront and displays a number of Durban's landmarks at 1:25 scale.
Tours to do
Take a ricksha ride along the beachfront.
Walking is popular, but the Ricksha Bus offers an alternative means of viewing the sights and it runs at 9am and 1pm daily, for three-hour tours of the city. There are also bicycles for hire behind uShaka Marine World.
Length of stay
Walking the entire length of the beachfront promenade takes approximately two hours.
What to pack
Durban can get extremely hot and the sun sizzles so don't forget a hat and plenty of sunscreen. Comfortable walking shoes are also a must for walkers.
Where to stay
The Durban beachfront is laden with luxurious hotels; take your pick.
What to eat
Fast food outlets abound near North Beach, as do trendy coffee shops. There are also many hotel restaurants along the beachfront.
The Amphimarket flea market at the beachfront on Sundays offers a variety of clothing and curios for sale.