As one of the most vibrant cities in South Africa, Durban is an excellent destination for travelers. There is something for everyone to do and explore in this coastal city. Durban is home to beautiful beaches, vibrant markets, fascinating cultural attractions, and more.
In this overview, we’ll discuss all the things to do in Durban and how to plan a fun and memorable trip:
Durban, South Africa, is situated on the eastern shore of Africa and is renowned for its stunning beaches and sub-tropical climate. Located in KwaZulu-Natal, it is the third largest city in South Africa. The town can be reached from Johannesburg, around 500 kilometers. Alternatively, Durban has its international airport, which is well connected to major cities worldwide. Being an all-year resort destination, it makes for a great holiday spot, whether looking for fun and adventure or some relaxation time away from home.
Once here, there’s plenty to do! Surrounded by beautiful scenery, numerous country parks offer a range of activities, such as walking and cycling trails and picnic spots with BBQ facilities. Culture lovers can visit various museums, such as the Natural Science Museum or Old House Museum. At the same time, art enthusiasts can explore the many galleries featuring works by local artists and international mavericks. Shopping centers abound, with major retail stores and smaller boutiques selling handmade crafts of the region. Foodies will love the various cafes scattered across Durban serving delicious African delights. At the same time, thrill seekers can hit up local hotspots such as uShaka Marine World or Suncoast Casino & Entertainment World for exciting rides, beachfront promenades, incredible viewpoints, and more!
Finally, don’t forget to stroll along one of its many beautiful beaches, where you’re guaranteed a wonderful experience!
Durban, located on the east coast of South Africa along the Indian Ocean, has beautiful beach-lined shores, warm waters, and a temperate climate all year round. The city experiences hot and humid summers from September to April when temperatures reach 30°C (86°F). When summer passes, temperatures usually drop to 18°C (64°F) during the winter season with cooler days but still plenty of sunshine.
Durban receives most of its rainfall in summer when afternoon thunderstorms refresh the atmosphere. Nights and mornings can be quite cool during this period. During winter, nights can get quite cold – down to 10°C (50°F) – so you mustn’t forget your jacket and sweater! With this temperate climate comes plenty of delightfully sunny days that hit peak numbers in January and February at around 8 hours per day; great weather for exploring Durban’s outdoor offerings.
Durban is the third largest city and one of the most popular holiday destinations in South Africa. According to the latest census statistics, it is located on the east coast of KwaZulu-Natal and has a diverse population estimated to be around 4.4 million people.
Durban’s population consists primarily of people from Zulu, Xhosa, and other tribal backgrounds and Indians who arrived in large numbers with the British colonialists. The city also had many foreign immigrants from Europe, North Africa, and other African countries before and after Apartheid ended in 1994. The diverse heritage significantly contributes to Durban’s unique atmosphere and lively culture.
Durban is a famous beach city in South Africa filled with many activities for visitors and locals alike. From outdoor adventures to cultural attractions, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Let’s explore some of the attractions that Durban has to offer:
South Africa’s Durban is a premier beach destination and offers some of the best coastal views available in the country. With picturesque views of both the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean on one side and massive mountain ranges on the other, it’s no surprise that visitors flock to this part of the world for some much-needed R&R. Home to several beaches; there are activities for all tastes, whether it be relaxing under palm trees or taking part in some adventure sports. From North Beach to Brighton Beach and Warner Beach, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
- North Beach: North beach is one of Durban’s most popular beaches along the Marine Parade. Its sandy shores make it ideal for swimming, while its nearby park offers shady spots with green grass, making it great for picnicking or walking your pet dog. The nearby Esplanade Promenade has shops and restaurants offering plenty of mealtime options.
- Brighton Beach: Let yourself be lost in its beautiful scenery as you stroll along Brighton beach while listening to the soundscape of waves crashing ashore against sandstone rocks as they spray ocean mist onto onlookers. There are also numerous facilities such as restaurants, bars, and hotels for those who want a more extended stay by the sea.
- Warner Beach: This well-positioned beach lines up alongside 25 km worth of classic surf, which makes it popular amongst local surfers but also casual swimmers alike due to its moderate conditions that one can find at this location throughout most months out of the year due to its prime placement within Ballito Bay. Warner Beach forms part of an extensive coastline known as “The Dolphin Coast” because dolphins can often swim about during certain times in multiple areas along this section of Durban’s coast.
Durban offers many engaging retail experiences, from one-of-a-kind stores to large shopping malls. So whether you’re into unique souvenirs, stylish clothes, exotic spices, or ocean views, there’s a spot in the city tailored just for you.
For an upscale shopping experience, visit The Pavillion Mall in Westville. This five-floor mall features local and international clothing labels and brands, chic restaurants, movie theaters, and several beautiful gardens. Another great option is the Gateway Theatre of Shopping. It’s practically an indoor township with hundreds of stores and small businesses selling everything from fashion to hardware to traditional African crafts.
If you want a more authentic Durban experience, stroll down Florida Road for classic shops and delicious eateries. Or head to Warwick Junction, where vendors sell traditional jewelry and fabrics in the bustling Bazaar Market. Some great arts and music outlets include:
- Rockafellaz Records & Musik Cafè in Morningside;
- The African Art Centre and Catmandu Clothing Rehoused on Coopers Lane;
- Rhythm Afrika on Grey Street; and
- Natal Music Stores at 221 Anton Lembede Street.
Durban is an exciting, vibrant city that offers a range of entertainment options for all ages and interests. Head to one of Durban’s many theatres and venues for the best in live entertainment. Enjoy classic plays, music concerts, comedy shows, contemporary dance performances, indigenous performances, and international acts at local venues like Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre and The Playhouse Company.
The city also boasts some acclaimed museums featuring artworks from celebrated South African artists and evocative displays tracing Durban’s history. In addition, visitors can explore art galleries such as Tatham Art Gallery, which houses a permanent collection of works from the 19th century to the present. Other attractions include KwaZulu-Natal Museum in central Durban, the Natal Maritime Museum at Point Waterfront, and Phansi Museum, showcasing traditional Zulu artifacts and crafts.
For great family fun or corporate events, head to uShaka Marine World, filled with thrilling rides for water adventurers of all ages, or take a tour to enjoy art galleries, music cafes with great food, markets offering unique arts & crafts souvenirs and adventures activities like deep sea fishing or whale watching.
For even more entertainment, you can visit Suncoast Casino & Entertainment Centre, filled with gaming tables such as poker rooms & slot machines, along with cinemas and eateries making it a great night out experience without having to venture too far away from Durban’s city center!
Durban, South Africa, is a beautiful destination full of activities for every traveler. Whether you are looking for an adventurous activity like quad biking and zip lining, or something more relaxing like a boat cruise, there is something for everyone.
Here is a list of the best activities to do in Durban:
From aquatic activities beach visits, and extreme sports, Durban has everything you need to enjoy the perfect water-filled vacation. There are plenty of ways to marvel at the city’s unique environment while also having an unforgettable experience.
A popular choice is a kloofing, a type of canyoneering involving swimming in shallow cliff pools with steep valleys. Additional activities include diving, sailing, and whale watching with local boat operators. Finally, visitors can take a white water rafting trip down the Umkomazi River rapids near Pietermaritzburg for a more adventurous activity.
Surfing enthusiasts can look forward to some of the best waves in South Africa at certain beaches during peak season – perfect for beginner and advanced boarders alike. In addition, fishermen and women may appreciate a day out on one of Durban’s many fishing charters, where it’s possible to fish for rock cod and mackerel. Alternatively, head over to uShaka Marine World for an array of exciting aquatic activities such as jet skiing, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding.
There is also parasailing or flyboard riding that could easily top off any holiday experience to add even more excitement!
Hiking is a great way to explore Durban’s stunning landscape. In addition, there are numerous walking trails near the city, providing day-trippers with plenty of options for exploration.
One of the most popular routes is the Ohlange Hill Hike, which leads up to the birthplace of South African leader Nelson Mandela and offers an incredible summit view. Visitors can also explore Umhlanga Nature Reserve, a coastal path outside Durban that winds through mountainous bushland and nearby beaches.
Adventure lovers can hike up The Giant’s Castle in the Kamberg Nature Reserve for gorgeous viewpoints overlooking the countryside. There are also several nature reserves within Durban where visitors can find guided walks and plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife in their natural environment.
Additionally, two major mountain ranges near Durban – The Drakensberg and The Lumbombo – are ideal for experienced hikers tackling steep terrain and taking in spectacular views.
Durban, South Africa, is home to various wildlife species and offers exciting opportunities for wildlife viewing. Animals you may encounter on your trip include big game, such as the endangered African elephant, rhinoceros, black and white rhinoceros, cheetah, lion, buffalo, and leopard, as well as smaller species, including antelope and bushbuck.
Durban has over 230 species that call the area home for those interested in bird watching or bird photography, including eagles, owls, and migratory birds such as cuckoos and bee-eaters. The uMhlambanyathi Bird Sanctuary is one of the best spots to find rare species like the breeding mangrove kingfisher. At the same time, other widespread bird habitats in the area include wetlands such as Lake Victoria on Durban’s north coast.
Wildlife-watching tours are available throughout Durban and can take visitors on safaris through some of South Africa’s most exciting scenery, including Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park, about two hours from Durban or iSimangaliso Wetland Park, which is only 16 miles away. Visitors can explore these areas on foot or with a guide who can provide more information about what to look for. So whether you’re interested in observing predators like lions or elephants or prefer to see more reclusive birds like kingfishers, exploring nature by viewing its wild inhabitants can be an unforgettable experience during your stay in Durban!
If you’re looking for a fantastic food experience in Durban, South Africa, you’re in the right place. Durban is known for its diversity in cuisine and its vibrant food culture. From seafood specialties to traditional African dishes, there’s something for everyone.
Let’s explore some of the top places to eat in Durban:
When traveling in Durban, you’ll find many excellent local dishes. The cuisine has been influenced by Indian and Malaysian cultures, using aromatic spices like cumin, curry, and mixed peppers. There are also European influences such as fish & chips and shepherd’s pie.
Traditional meals often revolve around pork (twar) or beef (stew). These dishes commonly feature potatoes, rice, beans, or noodles. Durban is known for its tasty bunny chows– deep-fried rolls filled with either curried meats or vegetable options. This traditional fast food is usually served with cheese and chili sauce.
If you’re looking for something a bit lighter, there’s an array of delicious vegetarian dishes like veggie bean burgers and various types of salads all over town. In addition, Durban has many seafood vendors to choose from. Fish options include:
- Bream (Morohe).
- Mussels (Xhosa samp).
- Steamed white bait wraps (fish roe wrapped in Inanda leaves).
- Authentic Indian prawn curry (karoo masala).
You have to try the intense flavors of this vibrant city!
Durban, South Africa, is a cosmopolitan city with various culinary choices. Durban’s ever-growing food scene has restaurants representing different cultures and cuisines, from South African specialties to European and Indian favorites. There is something for everyone, from casual eateries to chic fine dining establishments.
Whether you’re looking for seafood, vegetarian fare, or classic dishes with an international twist, you will find something that tickles your taste buds in Durban. Below are some must-try restaurants in Durban to get you started.
- Oyster Bar & Grill: Oyster Bar & Grill specializes in fresh seafood dishes such as platters and fish tacos in the buzzing North Beach area. This venue also provides a fantastic beachfront view from its outdoor seating area.
- The Butcher Block Grill & Butcher Shop is a unique concept offering grilled meats alongside six cuts of rare beef steaks and accompaniments such as salads, sides, and desserts.
- Capetown Fish Market: Situated at the La Lucia Mall, this restaurant is a must-visit if you’re looking for fresh catches of mainly local fish prepared as Asian-style curries or grilled platters with rice and sambals served alongside.
- Cape Town Kitchen: Centrally located near the Point Waterfront precinct, this restaurant offers contemporary South African cuisine with its extensive wine list. Dishes range from local specialties like bobotie (a dish made by layering spiced beef mince over eggs) to ostrich steaks, or pork belly served with creamed spinach, among others that give the nod to traditional flavors but in sublime combinations unimaginable before now.
- Kismet Restaurant Flavours and Franki’s Pizzeria: An Italian icon serving fire-baked pizzas made from premium Italian ingredients, including buffalo mozzarella and spicy salami soppressata -all cooked in an authentic pizza oven making Kismet’s ranks among the best pizzas around town! Serving lunch and dinner daily, Kismet also hosts an array of homemade pasta creations for all tastes.
When vacationers come to Durban, they’re in for a treat, as the city is well known for its delicious street food. It’s an integral part of their culture and a great way to sample local classics. You’ll find food stalls serving up fare from all over the continent, but some classic dishes you should look out for include:
- Bunny chows (an Indian-style curry served in a hollowed-out loaf of bread);
- Tongue sosaties (grilled pork or beef skewers); and
- Prego rolls (spicy steak rolls served on soft buns).
You’ll also find traditional South African snacks like vetkoek (deep-fried dough balls served with preserves or curried mince) and koeksisters (deep-fried twisted syrup dumplings). For those with an adventurous spirit, the grilled snails are a delicacy that shouldn’t be missed! And finally, there are plenty of beverages, including calamansi juice, mahewu fruit drink, and creamy homemade shakes.
The street food in Durban will introduce visitors to the city’s unique flavors while giving them an authentic taste of one of South Africa’s major cities. So whether you’re enjoying bunny chow traditional dishes or trying something different — like snails — deliciousness awaits around every corner!
When visiting Durban, South Africa, you have a lot of choices when it comes to accommodation. Many options suit travelers’ needs and budgets, from high-end hotels to budget-friendly hostels.
In this section, we will look at some of the top accommodation options in Durban:
Durban, South Africa, has fantastic accommodation options for every taste and budget. There is something for everyone, from luxury hotels and resorts to cozy bed and breakfasts.
Whether looking for a family-friendly hotel with fun activities or a romantic escape, Durban offers plenty. Hotels range from music-filled boutique hotels to five-star establishments featuring all the modern conveniences.
For luxurious accommodations, consider staying at the iconic Oyster Box near Umhlanga Rocks, the Beverly Hills Hotel in Durban North, or one of Durban’s luxurious beachfront properties. For prestige and exclusivity, head to The Umkhumbane Boutique Hotel in Mayville or The Cotswold Villas in Glenwood.
For those seeking something more economical, there’s no shortage of mid-range hotels throughout the city, such as The Blue Waters Hotel along Durban’s beachfront promenade or The Ridge Where Business Meets Leisure overlooking Maydon Wharf Port Complex.
If you’re looking for something a little out of the ordinary, consider a stay at Parklands B&B near Mitchell Park Zoo or Wilderness Retreat, tucked away on a 30-acre nature reserve just outside Durban’s city limits. Durban has it all, no matter what type of accommodation suits you best!
Durban offers a range of unique, comfortable, and luxurious guest houses, whether you’re looking for an apartment or a hotel-style room. Most guest houses are in modern complexes and usually offer rooms with en suite bathrooms, swimming pools, and laundry services. Some sites may also have tennis courts, gyms, and other recreational facilities.
A variety of sizes are available to suit your needs. A single room is ideal for a couple or singles traveling alone; a double room can accommodate two couples, and larger groups will benefit from multi-room accommodation. All rooms have air conditioning as standard, and many come with bonus features such as flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi access.
When deciding on your perfect spot in Durban, research the surrounding area to get an idea of the best spots to visit during your stay. Choose between:
- Beachfront getaways with gorgeous sea views
- Those tucked away in inner city suburbs close to shops, restaurants, and attractions – like one of the top golf courses South Africa has to offer!
Camping is one of the most popular accommodation choices in Durban, South Africa. With plenty of campsites to choose from and a wide range of activities and attractions close by, it’s the perfect way to explore the area. For those looking for a more rustic getaway, camping is also available in various nature reserves around Durban.
Camping sites provide good facilities such as hot showers and braai/barbeque areas, allowing you to explore and connect with nature. In addition, most locations include electrical hook-ups and access to fresh water, making staying comfortable during your stay easy.
Popular campsites around Durban include Camps Bay, North Beach Camping Site, St Lucia Wilderness Reserve, and Imfolozi Game Reserve. Before heading out on your camping trip, make sure you arrive prepared with all necessary supplies, such as:
- Food and water sources
- Cooking equipment
- Lanterns or flashlights for night navigation purposes.
Weather conditions should also be considered when planning your trip – wet weather can quickly spoil a camping experience, so bear that in mind when deciding on accommodation dates!