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Durban is South Africa’s self-styled 'playground', where year-round warm weather encourages visitors to make the most of the province’s outdoor lifestyle.
Also known as 'Surf City', Durban is renowned for its magnificent bathing and surfing beaches, which stretch along the city's beachfront from Durban harbour in the south to the upmarket suburb of Umhlanga in the north.
An expansive paved promenade offers access to the best of these beaches – the Golden Mile – where joggers, cyclists, dog owners, surfers, bodyboarders and walkers enjoy early-morning and late-afternoon exercise.
Visitors cannot miss Durban’s striking Moses Mabhida Stadium, host venue to top-notch sporting events, Segway tours, a city-viewing SkyCar and bungee swing.
Closer to the harbour, uShaka Marine World, a world-class water park, aquarium and restaurant complex overlooks the ocean and offers hours of entertainment for the whole family.
Culturally, Durban exhibits a mix of Indian, Zulu and post-colonial influences, reflected in the city’s architecture and cuisine. Curries, seafood and fusion food are popular at beachfront restaurants, Wilson’s Wharf, and at the gourmet hot spots and coffee shops that line Florida Road and Helen Joseph Road.
The art deco-style Suncoast Casino complex, flanking the promenade, houses seafood and curry restaurants, movie theatres, a casino and coffee shops – with secure on-site parking and semi-private beach access.
Shopping is best enjoyed at Durban’s out-of-city malls: the Gateway Theatre of Shopping in Umhlanga; the Pavilion in Westville; and the Galleria in Amanzimtoti. An overwhelming choice of shops in air-conditioned comfort makes spending money a most enjoyable pursuit.
Half an hour inland from the city, the Valley of a Thousand Hills promises a taste of African culture, while further into the countryside the Midlands Meander features about 150 art-and-craft outlets for city-dwellers in search of fresh air and home-made fare.
Adventure activities are well catered for in and around this coastal city, with deep-sea fishing charters, dolphin viewing, jet-skiing, quad biking, scuba diving, hiking, mountain biking, canoeing, boat cruises and much more readily available.
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South Africa is a surfer’s paradise, and whether you’re a novice or an old pro, the different conditions of the West Coast, Garden Route, Wild Coast and KwaZulu-Natal offers something for everyone.
Runners who visit South Africa to conquer iconic marathons like the Comrades or Two Oceans get an added bonus: recovering afterwards on the holiday of a lifetime with a huge range of options.
South Africans are a diverse mix of peoples from Africa, Europe, Asia and elsewhere, and the many museums scattered around the country preserve rich histories, heritages and cultural traditions.
The Royal Natal Yacht Club in Durban, more than 160 years old, offers visitors sailing and more – like meals or sundowners with impressive harbour views in the welcoming KwaZulu-Natal climate.
South Africa is a country of rich religious diversity, protected by the Constitution, so explore sacred architecture and spiritual traditions at our many historic places of worship.
KwaZulu-Natal’s climate allows for some excellent beer making, and a tour up and down the coast, then inland to the Midlands, allows you to sample the wares of brewers large and small.
A Segway tour of Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, or along the beachfront on these nippy mobility transporters, is a fun way to see 1 of South Africa’s latest sporting attractions.
The Durban City Hall, now the eThekwini City Hall, is a must-see for visitors keen on Edwardian neo-Baroque architecture, the Durban Art Gallery, the Public Library or the Natural Science Museum.
The Durban Botanic Gardens form a peaceful haven of birds, butterflies and frogs amid a massive collection of beautiful flora, including orchids, palms, ferns and cycads – a great day out.
The Durban beachfront promenade lets you walk, jog or cycle along the Golden Mile from Vetch’s Pier and Addington Beach to Blue Lagoon, offering beaches, water sports and plenty of bars and eateries.