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Durban, South Africa’s famous Surf City that is now part of the greater eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality, is justifiably proud of its Golden Mile – a stretch of some of the safest swimming beaches in South Africa. 

Since 2010, the view from the Golden Mile has included an additional landmark; 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 patronised by early morning joggers, cyclists, pram-pushing moms, dog-walking seniors and a host of perambulating city dwellers who love taking in the fresh, salt-laden morning breeze. 

From Addington Beach, just north of the Point and Durban Harbour, the promenade passes a laid-back 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 Vetchs Pier, with its great snorkelling opportunities, and a sheltered region popular among kayakers, windsurfers and jet-ski enthusiasts. 

Next stop is uShaka Marine World, an impressive shipwreck-themed aquarium incorporating the Wet 'n' Wild water park. The aquarium is home to a diversity of Indian Ocean marine species and includes 2 restaurants, one of which forms part of a shark tank. Curio and clothing shops, along with daily dolphin and penguin shows, complete this tourist attraction. 

Both southern and northern beaches attract thousands throughout the year with waves ideal for swimming, surfing and body-boarding – take note of signs posted on beaches, however, as these pursuits are usually allowed only in separate, designated areas. 

Youll pass several piers along Durban’s beachfront, most of which are used daily by anglers, and theres 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 on 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, plus plenty of dune scenery and amazing views, before reaching Blue Lagoon, a popular fishing spot where the uMgeni River flows into the sea. 

Did You Know?

TTravel tips & Planning  info 

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 Mini Town is located near Snake Park Beach and displays Durban landmarks at a 1:25 scale. 

Get around

Walking is popular, but the Ricksha Bus offers an alternative means of viewing the sights and it runs at 9am and 1pm daily, for 3-hour tours of the city. There are also bicycles for hire behind uShaka Marine World. Or you could try the rickshaw rides: powered by athletic men in elaborate beaded costumes that borrow liberally from both Asian and African design traditions, they are a great way to ride down the promenade taking in the sights. 

Length of stay

Walking the entire length of the beachfront promenade takes approximately 2 hours, so with stops to visit the attractions you’ll easily while away half a day here. 

What to pack

Durban can get extremely hot, and the sun sizzles so dont forget a hat and plenty of sunscreen. Comfortable walking shoes are also a must. 

Where to stay

The Durban beachfront is laden with hotels to suit a variety of budgets; take your pick. 

Best buys

The Amphimarket flea market at the beachfront on Sundays offers a variety of clothing and curios for sale. 


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