Visit Durban

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Welcome to Visit Durban, the main cool city in South Africa for your next holiday! Here we present our travel guide, information and hotels booking.

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Durban, situated on the coast of Indian Ocean, is an important tourist destination in South Africa and also an important port with over 3 milions inhabitants, in the province of KwaZulu-Natal in the Republic of South Africa. Durban is the perfect place for your holiday with his subtropical coastal climate, a warm sea and great beaches for swimming in total relax and saferty. When you Visit Durban you also can enjoy the nightlife, many restaurants and sporting facilities as Durban is an amazing city holiday for domestic but also for internationa tourists. Durban offer accommodation and Hotels for all pockets and is served by a great airport: King Shaka International Airport.

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Tourists can have a taste of Zulu culture and find Zulu and African Crafts walking on streets. The Zulu culture is very present, not also on the streets but also in theatres, markets and galleries. Durban is famous for lifeguard protected swimming beaches, one of the biggest acquarium in the world, the uShaka marine World Acquarium, for a pedestrian promenade, the Moses Mabhida stadium and for sure for surf as many champions grew up in Durban and there is a great business on surfboard. So if you are in Durban and you are a beginner on surf, just take some lessons here ! Durban is also famous for sand sculptures.

zulu culture

Durban even if is a big city, offer many green gardens and parks as Mitchell Park and Zoo, Botanic Gardens, Beechwood Mangroves and the natural reserve as Kenneth Stainbank or Shongweni. If you love beach style but not interested on surf you can relax on amazing beaches, swimming, playing beach volley, ride by rickshaw or hire a bicycle. If you wan taste a cocktail while relax your self just can go to Moyo Pier or Blue Lagoon for example. So as you can understand, Durban is a natural paradise, ideal for you holiday, with his subtropical climate, sun kissed beaches and amazing coastline and with the original Zulu culture.

Kenneth Stainbank

Kenneth Stainbank

Located in South Africa, Durban is rapidly becoming one of the most popular vacation spots in the world, and is arguably the best place in Africa to visit. Despite not having the history of an Egypt, this land is still one of the most exciting and fun places to visit on earth. Durban is the crown jewel of this beautiful land, and joins two other cities of South Africa in forming one of the most fantastic vacation areas that a person could choose.

durban by night

Geography, Climate and Demographics

Durban is a city of about 87 square miles, and has a population just a little short of 600,000. Including the surrounding metro area, the population is 3.4 million people. About half of the citizens speak English, with a third speaking the native Zulu language. There are several other African tribal languages spoken as well, but if you are visiting and can speak English you will not have many issues.

Durban is a subtropical area, so that means it is quite humid year around. Since South Africa is below the equator, they have opposite seasons to what people are accustomed to in the North. Christmas is usually a balmy 80 degrees F, and the winter does not usually get much cooler than 55 degrees F. the average temperature year around is about 63 degrees, but there is a fairly high humidity to the area.

Durban and the cities that surround it are quite hilly. This is not true in the central business district and along the harbor area. In these areas the land is quite even and level.

This is a very ethnically diverse area, where the Zulus are the largest ethnic group in the area. There are several different groups of people that trace their roots back to British descent, and there are also many Indians that have emigrated to the area as well.

Umhlanga Rocks Lighthouse. Near Durban, South Africa.

Umhlanga Rocks Lighthouse. Near Durban, South Africa.

Transportation

Durban is a bustling metropolis. It has all the common amenities that you would find in any large city, including a great transportation system, airport, harbor, and train system. Air transportation comes from all over Africa, Australia, the Middle East, and London among other places. King Shaka International Airport is a very modern airport that has flights that can assist you in reaching any destination you seek.

The Port of Durban has several natural harbor areas that do much more than provide a great area for shipping. Because of the way that the harbor is constructed, it is well protected from the effects of tropical storms and other inclement weather.

There are railways that can take you all over the country if you wish to see more of South Africa. Some of the railways head into the neighboring countries. Durban also has a high-speed railway system that can be used to get all around the city and into the surrounding areas.

The roads are quite well maintained and can provide access to virtually any place you wish to get to. The National Highway comes through Durban, meaning that access to the other portions of South Africa is quite easy to accomplish.

There is also a great bus system in the area. The People Mover is a service specially geared toward tourists, and follows three main routes around the city. These routes include the business district, the beach front area and the various attractions around the city. These buses run every 15 minutes, so it is quite easy to find one when you need.

Of course, if you are not wanting to ride on the bus, you can catch a cab to get to your local destination. Cabs are not allowed to go and solicit fares, so you have to call and have one come and get you to take you to your destination. There are also shuttles that can get you from the airport to your hotel.

If you are looking to do a little romantic ride or to simply ride in style, there is a great rickshaw company there that can show you around the city. The Zulu Rickshaw is a great way to get around. The people pulling the rickshaw are always attired in very decorative attire, and y ou will love the ride. There are 25 of these in service.

Some route information

An hour’s drive to the north will reach the provincial capital, the charming city of Pietermaritzburg. To get there, follow a road from which you can admire the hilly landscape with the Zulu villages.

Durban is a place compelled to reach the beaches and coastal towns. To the northeast of the city the N2 coastal highway to reach Umhlanga Rock, one of the most elegant seaside resorts in the country, Stanger, the town where he is buried the King Shaka and, after crossing the bridge over the Tugela River, the interior of the province KwaZulu-Natal. Eshowe Shakaland and, (where were reconstructed village Zulu), representing tourist destinations reachable from Durban.

A 27 km south of Durban, on the Indian Ocean coast, you reach the seaside town of Amanzimtoti. The coast, heading south, is characterized by lagoons, nature parks and Zulu villages and through Port Shepstone and the protected region of the Oribi Gorge, to reach the coast of Hibiscus Coast, famous for its beach resorts and its impressive waterfalls , until you reach Port Edward, city at the border with the province of Eastern Cape (170 km).

History

durban history

The first Westerners to settle in Duban came in 1824. That was when Lietuenant F. G. Farewell of the British Army came with 25 men to establish a colony there. He was accompanied by explorer Henry Francis Fynn, who built a friendship with the Zulu King Shaka, the person that who the airport is named after. The two became close friends when Fynn was able to save the king after he had been stabbed in battle. Fynn was given a 30-mile stretch of land along the coast line as a reward, and the colony thrived as a result.

Fynn’s land was not part of the original settlement, but over time cooperation between the two groups became necessary and seemed logical. Eventually it was decided that a capital city should be built, which later became known as d’Urban, named after the first Governor of Cape Colony, Sir Benjamin d’Urban. Eventually that was shortened to just Urban, the name it has today.

In 1838, a group known as the “Voortrekkers,” a Dutch and Africans group, made a deal with the Zulu king to build a settlement near the new colony. The king later reneged on the deal and massacred the colony, killing all 500. That led to a battle between the Voortrekkers and the Zulu tribe at a place that became known as the Battle of Blood River.

To gain control of the situation, the governor of the Cape Colony dispatched a force to end the conflict. Captain Charlton Smith led the group and captured the port which later became part of Durban.

To ensure the protection of their colony, the British government began sending colonists to the region to provide a much bigger presence. This also led to a large sugar can industry with began to thrive in the 1860s.

The city has remained a thriving area ever since. There is a large amount of industry, and the port is one of the largest on the continent. The large population is a testament to how the city has grown. It is quite astounding to think that in less than 200 years the area has gone from 25 British settlers to nearly 3.5 million people.

Tourism

Durban has taken on many roles over its history; industrial center, emigrant land, business and entrepreneurs, and much more. The city is the largest container port on the continent of Africa, and it has become as metropolitan as London, New York, Sydney or Rome.

Now it finds itself as one of the burgeoning tourist locations. In the 1970s, the city took on a whole new role. The great beaches, historic areas, fantastic attractions and easy access made it a great destination for tourists. It also helped that those in the Northern Hemisphere could enjoy a beautiful summer day if they left their wintery homes in the north and headed to the subtropical area. This made the land ideal because it was a true summer getaway in the winter.

Two things made the city a big hit with tourists right away. The first was that, despite the large number of people who lived in the area, there was not the kind of common issues that you would find at the more established tourist attractions. Places like Rome, Beijing, Paris, and even New York have been around for a much longer time. In places like Rome, those cities have existed for over 2000 years.

While there is obviously a lot to do and see there, one must also consider that there is also 2000 years of debris, pollution, litter, and much more to contend with. If you consider that 2000 years ago sanitation is not what it is today, you can understand that the cities can be quite trashy in some areas.

You also have to contend with massive congestion. Many of the roads of these areas were made when the primary method to get around was by foot. In fact, by food or by horse was the standard for over 2000 years in these cities. That is why congestion can be a real issue.

This is simply not the case in Durban. Yes, you will have some pollution and congestion, but the transportation has grown as the city and its population have grown. There are well constructed roads that can handle the traffic, even during peak times of the day. This is a welcome site for tourists, who aren’t bogged down trying to get to their destination.

Those visiting Durban also don’t have to worry about the massive pollution that you would find in a place like Beijing. You can enjoy going outside and be able to breathe in air without wondering what pollutant is filling your lungs. You can go to the beaches, walk around the city, or take in an event and feel confident you are not endangering your health.

You can also feel good about your safety. While Durban does have crime like any other major city, you do not see the kinds of offenses and rate of offenses like you see in other tourist locations. While there are criminals and criminal activities that occur in Durban, the criminals also understand that they need to leave tourists alone. The punishments for robbing or injuring a tourist are quite severe in the city, and so tourists are left alone out of fear of retribution by the government.

Accommodations and Amenities

durban resorts

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Durban has been a tourist site now for over 40 years, meaning they have had ample time to build up one of the best infrastructures for tourism that you will find. There are great hotels and other accommodations near the beaches, the port, in the business district, or in other areas around the city. These range in price depending upon the kind of accommodations you want, but you will find that they are significantly cheaper than what you would find in most other tourist cities. This is especially true along the beaches, where prices are a small fraction of what they would be if you were staying along the beach in France, Italy, the United States or Australia.

Once again, the strict crackdown on persons who steal from or who injure tourists makes this a great place to stay. You can be sure your valuables are secure, and that your person is safe. You need to be smart like you would be in any city, but there is no need to take extreme precautions to ensure you are safe.

Most of the hotels offer a shuttle service from the airport or port to the hotel and back to the airport or port after your stay is over. There are tour buses that will take you around to the various attractions in the city, and some of the hotels offer passes to these attractions as part of your stay.

South Africa is known for amazing food, and Durban upholds that standard. You will be able find a wide variety of dishes from different parts of the world, allowing visitors to be able to get hamburgers, pizza, spaghetti, Chinese food, and other dishes they may be accustomed to. However, you can find many restaurants and other eating establishments where you can sample authentic South African cuisine. This will not only include dishes that were eaten by the first colonists in the land, but you can also try many of the tribal dishes. They are incredible, as Zulu natives have kept alive the incredible culinary cuisine. You will love it.

Of course, this close to the ocean, actually two different oceans, means that there is a wide variety of seafood that you will love. The fish, crab, lobster, and other seafood comes as fresh as it comes, and you will love the incredible job that the chefs do in preparing it for you. You can try authentic spices from the continent and you will love the overall presentation. There is a lot to love about the food in this incredible city.

What to See in Durban…Water

fishing in durban

Once you arrive in Durban there is a lot of incredible things to do to pass the time and to enjoy during your stay. Starting with the most obvious, you will love the large beach areas that are available. The waters are the most amazing blue, and they are clean and pure, making them the ideal place to enjoy a swim or to find a nice piece of sand to just layout under the sun and enjoy a peaceful day of sun tanning.

For those who are a little more adventurous, there are many great things to do in the waters surrounding the area. You can find great places to fish near the shore, or you can rent a boat and go out for the day and catch whatever you are able to haul in. You can also join a fishing tour boat that will take you out with others to some of the best fishing places you will ever find. It is a great way to pass the time, and really enjoy a great day.

If you like to scuba dive or snorkel you will love the waters around Durban. There is incredible sea life to view, including sharks! You can join a tour that will take you out so you can dive in one of the secure metal cages so you can see the waters most ferocious creature up close and personal.

If you want to Hang 10, you will not find much better surfing than in South Africa. The waves are awesome and you can find some great areas to grab your board and take them head on. If you would like to learn how to surf there are places where you can learn.

What to See in Durban…Land

uShaka Marine World

uShaka Marine World

There are incredible galleries and museums in Durban. The Natal Sharks Board is dedicated to studying sharks, and their exhibits are incredible to see. They provide audiovisual presentations of shark dissections Tuesday through Thursday, giving you a close up look at what a shark looks like.

Durban's Natural Science Museum

Durban’s Natural Science Museum

The uShaka Marine World is run by SeaWorld, and not only has great displays and shows where you can see our underwater friends and learn more about them, but there is a great waterpark there as well that the whole family will love. It is a must see if you are coming to South Africa.

If you love sports, then you will love Durban. The Moses Mabhida Stadium was built for the World Cup and it is a state-of-the-art arena that has incredible architectural design and accommodations. You can catch a soccer match there.

Moses Mabhida Stadium

You can also see baseball, cricket, and other sporting matches in the area. South Africa has rapidly been becoming a great baseball country and you will love the competition.

Famous people from Durban

Howard Carpendale nimmt mit seinem letzten Konzert am Samstag (13.12.2003) in der KölnArena Abschied von der Bühne. Seit über dreißig Jahren war Carpendale eine feste Größe in der deutschen Musiklandschaft. 1970 belegte er den 1. Platz beim Deutschen Schlagerfestival mi dem Lied "Das Mädchen von Seite 1". Danach ging es zunächst einmal bergab. Im Jahr 1974 komponierte er dann "...da nahm er seine Gitarre" und wurde auf Anhieb ein Erfolg. In den folgenden rund zwei Dutzend Jahren landete er Hit auf Hit - rund 30 seiner Lieder kamen in die vorderen Ränge der Charts.

– Howard Carpendale, singer and actor

– Bruce Grobbelaar, footballer

– Siyanda Xulu, footballer

– Cyril Cusack, actor

– Siemon Allen, artist

– Clive William Barker, football coach

– Penelope Anne Coelen – model

– Chad le Clos, swimmer

– Kumi Naidoo, Greenpeace activist and director of Africa

Conclusion

Durban is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and you will enjoy every moment of your vacation there. The more you learn the more you will see that this is the ideal place for you to spend your vacation.

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