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TThe term 'sporting cathedral' is perfectly fitting of Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium. The stadium was rebuilt and renamed for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. Its classic design, which incorporates elements of the national flag, has made it one of the country's favourite sports stadiums.
The feature that stands out most at the Moses Mabhida Stadium is its grand arch. At 350m long and 106m high, the arch is symbolic of a diverse nation unified in its love of sport. The two legs of the arch on the southern side of the stadium join together on the northern side, representing a once-divided people now unified.
This Durban sports stadium was built at a cost of around R3.4-billion, across the road from the rugby stadium most popularly known as Kings Park home of the Sharks. It has been widely acclaimed as an architectural masterpiece and has already achieved iconic status.
AA high-tech sky car whisks visitors up the soaring grand arch to a viewing platform at its peak, to soak up 360° views of the seafront and the city. There's also a 500-stair adventure walk up the arch which is sure to get football fans' hearts pumping.
If your heart, lungs and nerve are up to it, then tackle the Big Rush Big Swing − not only the world's only stadium swing, but also the biggest swing of any kind anywhere. It's even in the the Guinness Book of Records. Leap into space 106 m above the pitch and swing out in a mighty 220m arc under the iconic arch.
The 70 000-seat 2010 FIFA World Cup™ stadium hosted seven matches during the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, including the semi-final between Spain and Germany.
In January 2011, the stadium hosted a T20 cricket match between South Africa and India, which was attended by some 54 000 people, a record for a cricket match in Africa. The stadium also hosts live music concerts, festivals and other events.
Named after a stalwart of the armed struggle against apartheid, it is estimated that the creation of the Moses Mabhida Stadium injected some R155-billion directly and indirectly into the Durban region, creating an impressive 14 000 jobs which have positively impacted on low-income households.
A lively new urban recreation district with sports stores, a gym, a high performance medical and training sports facility, restaurants, cocktail lounge and children's play area is adjacent to the stadium, and has become a popular destination for locals and tourists.
TTravel tips & planning info
Who to contact
Moses Mabhida Stadium
Tel: 031 322 9955
How to get there
The King Shaka International Airport is located 60km north of the city. The N2 freeway takes you from the airport to the city. National routes from other major cities to Durban are the N2 or N3.
Best time to visit
The winter months in Durban, between April and October, offer the most comfortable day temperatures, which are between 20 and 25° Celsius. Summer can be hot, humid and very sticky.
Things to do
In Durban, you're in the heart of the Zulu Kingdom, so experience Zulu culture at various villages in the Valley of 1 000 Hills, a pleasant hour's drive from Durban. The nearby Drakensberg region is a World Heritage Site on two counts – culture (thanks to San rock art) and nature. There are spectacular views and a variety of physical activities to tackle, such as hiking and fishing. Up the north coast lies another World Heritage Site, iSimangaliso Wetland Park, which offers superb diving.
What to pack
The weather in Durban can get extremely hot in the summer so if you’re visiting from November to February pack sunscreen and a hat.
Where to stay
Durban is one of South Africa’s most popular seaside destinations with many resorts, not only in Durban itself, but also all along the coast north and south of the city. Durban boasts a full range of accommodation options, from five-star hotels to friendly B&Bs.
What to eat
Indian food is highly recommended, along with a speciality that originated in in Durban, the bunny-chow (a hollowed-out half-loaf of bread filled with curry).