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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.
South Africa offers both indoor- and beach-volleyball facilities, and anyone can start playing.
The Suncoast Casino and Entertainment World in Durban is a perfect family destination with entertainment for kids and adults alike.
South Africa’s national botanical gardens are managed by the South African National Biodiversity Institute. The most famous is the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens in Cape Town. More local botanical gardens, also very beautiful, can be found in various cities throughout the country.
There are many well-known historic and contemporary art works on display in art museums and galleries in each of South Africa's 9 provinces, with many important permanent art collections centred in the country's major cities.
South Africa’s sacred sites stretch from Lake Fundudzi in Limpopo and eMakhosini in KwaZulu-Natal to the energy centres identified by spiritualists and mosques and temples.