Durban, South Africa is quickly becoming one of the most popular tourist places to visit in the world. Not only does it have incredible beaches and an amazing nightlife, but there are beautiful sites and attractions to see in the country. This includes the arts and cultural aspects of Durban.
This area was not colonized by Westerners until the 1820s, so much of the original tribal customs, areas, and language has been kept intact. This has made this a great place to visit so you can see the great history of the native tribes, as well as the incredible art. If you are looking for great places in Durban to visit, here are some great ideas for you:
Artisan Gallery – this is one of the more interesting museums you will visit, as it is a converted house turned into a gallery. The gallery in over 90 years old, and is in the center of the Durban’s trendiest area. Artisan stands for “Arts in South Africa Now,” and features some of the most amazing art you will find. You will find some exquisite paintings, handcrafted art pieces, jewelry, fabrics, prints, sculptures, glassware, and wood art. These are both modern art pieces as well as historical relics that date back many centuries. Three of the continent’s most celebrated ceramicists, Ann Marais, Sandy Godwin, and Cath Price, are regularly showcased at the gallery. You will definitely see some amazing art work here.
Kznsa Gallery – This gallery has been in business for over 100 years and has been the center for local artists and art enthusiasts ever since. You will find incredible pieces for local talent here, but there are also a wide array of work from other South African, African, European, North American, and Asian artists. The variety of art that is available is incredible, as you will find a type of piece that will satisfy virtually any art palette. The main portion of the gallery has nearly 200 square yards of exhibits, while the upstairs areas are devoted to showcased artists.
artSPACE Durban – this gallery is contained within the warehouse district in the city center of Durban. Here you will not only find incredible artists pieces that are brought in, but local artists are encouraged to come and showcase their own pieces as well. You will see some of the most interesting and diverse kinds of artwork simply because this is a free for all of artistic talent. Everyone is welcome to bring their work here, and that means you can often find pieces that you simply would not find anywhere else. You also have the great opportunity of discovering young art students first work, as many students bring their pieces here to show.
African Art Center – if you are looking for a place where you can see historical art from both contemporary and historical artists you will love it here. This museum only features black artists from South Africa, and many of the pieces are created by artists who are still in elementary or secondary school. You will be astounded by the creativity and skill of these young boys and girls, and will have a great opportunity to be one of the first people to see their work. You can say you knew them when. Many pieces you can even buy and take home with you.
The Battlefields Route – if you are looking to get a look at the history of Durban, here is a great place to start. You can visit this amazing looking site where some of the most historic and bloodiest battles in South African history were fought. Tour guides can show you around and explain to you the happenings that occurred in 1879, bringing the battles to life for you.
Royal Village – if you want to dig back into South Africa’s past, then you will want to visit the Royal Village at Ondini. Here you will find the KwaZulu Cultural Museum, which is built on the site of King Cetshwayo’s home. In this museum you will get a real feel what the culture was like at the time, and you will get to see artwork that dates back centuries. Tours can provide you with a lot of information on the Zulu tribes, and you will know a lot of about how the area came to be as it is. There is also one of the largest beadwork collections you will find anywhere in the world.
uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park – if you want to see just a beautiful art piece of mother nature, then here is the place for you. The main part of the park is in the Drakensberg Mountains and is part of the World Heritage Site. The buttresses are made of basalt, and are absolutely massive. The cliffs are a golden sandstone that goes as high as 3500 yards and stretches for 100 miles You will simply be in awe of how spectacular this looks. It is well worth a look and you will not be disappointed that you spent a little time here.
Nelson Mandela Capture Site – If you are visiting South Africa then you simply have to visit this historic place. No one is more famous in the history of the country than Nelson Mandela, and this is one of the most important places in that history. This as the location where Mandela was arrested by the apartheid government, a capture that led to his 27-year incarceration. He had been running from the government for 17 months before he was finally captured here at this site when he was captured at a roadblock. Now erected there is a huge set of statues that depict the incident and pay homage to one of the most important figures in the country’s history. You will find this a place well worth your time.
There are many other great sites you will find in the area in and around Durban. This should give you a great place to start, but you can easily find great places for quality theatre, parks, and other historical sites.