Durban, South Africa is a great place to vacation and is becoming one of the most popular destinations on earth for travelers. This is especially true of those who are looking for a trip south of the equator. There are great attractions, beaches, nightlife, and amusement activities to enjoy, plus the accommodations are first rate and the food is beyond words.
One of the attractions that commonly attracts visitors is the sports that Durban has to offer. There are amazing facilities all over the city that attract visitors from all over. You will likely find a sport or two that you truly enjoy. These sports include:
Soccer/Football – Depending upon where you come from, the world’s most popular sport is referred by either one of these names. In South Africa it is called football, and it is the nation’s second most popular sport. The city of Durban has a brand new state of the art football pitch that was built for the 2010 World Cup. Moses Mabhida Stadium is an absolute gem that does not have a bad seat in the house.
The stadium is home to the AmaZulu of the Premier Soccer League. This is South Africa’s highest level of football, and the competition is quite fierce. The AmaZulu are one of the top teams in the league, and usually have a very competitive team.
The Golden Arrows also called Durban their home, but they play at King Zwelithini Stadium. Also in the Premier Soccer League, the Golden Arrows find that they are often the ugly step-sister in how they are treated, but they are an incredibly competitive team most seasons as well. These two teams play each other each season, and either plays at Moses Mabhida Stadium or at neutral Chatsworth Stadium. The competition between the two is quite fierce.
The KwaZulu-Natal Cricket Team also calls Durban their home. When competing in the Sunfoil Series they compete as the Dolphins, and they are one of the best in the country. Several of the best cricket players the country has ever produced have played for the team, including such national legends as Kevin Pietersen, HashimAmla, Barry Richards, and David Miller. The club is so good that they even attract cricketers from all over the world to play for the team.
In 2003 the ICC Cricket World Cup was played in Durban. Four years later the city was host to nine matches in the new ICC World Twenty20. This included the semi-final contests. In 2009, the IPL season was played in the nation of South Africa, and Durban was one of the primary venues where the matches were held. In the 2010 Champions League Twenty20, Durban hosted six of the contests, including one of the semi-finals. It is truly recognized as one of the best cricket communities in the world.
If you are a racing fan you will love Durban. It begins with some of the best motor race competitions you will find anywhere. Durban is a host city to the A1 Grand Prix motor racing competition, which draws competitors from all over the world. Driven on a track built on the streets of Durban, the competition is amazing, and spectators can enjoy views of the race from many different places along the course. It is truly racing at its best.
If you are into more traditional forms of racing, Durban is home to the Greyville Race Course. This is a major venue for thoroughbred Horse Racing. Every year there are several of the most prestigious races held in Durban, and South Africa’s biggest horse racing event, the July Handicap is held in Durban. The Gold Cup is also held in Durban, another extremely prestigious event that draws competitors from all over the world.
Just south of the city is another great horse racing track, the Clairwood Race Course. This was sold in 2012, but still hosts many great events.
Of course, Durban would not be a big time sports town in South Africa if they were not home to the country’s top sport – rugby. The Natal Sharks compete in the Currie Cup competition, and are a real powerhouse in the league. They not only play for this cup, but are competitors for the Super Rugby competition as well. The Sharks play at Kings Park Stadium, an arena that can hold over 56,000 spectators. This stadium is commonly referred to as the Shark Tank, and is a great place to watch a ruby match. The stadium is fun, and the fans really get into the sport.
There are several other sports that are played in the area as well. One sports that many find is so popular in South Africa is baseball. America’s pastime has actually been a part of the South African landscape for over 80 years, and players from the country are starting to find their way onto minor league teams in the United States.
At the Kings Park Sporting Precinct is the Olympic sized swimming pool that is home to the Chad le Clos. He trained at this pool for much of his life, and that training led to a gold medal in the 2013 Olympics in the 200-meter butterfly. There are great competitions here that draw large crowds and are fun events to watch.
Along the beach you will find four great competitions that are free to watch. The first is surfing. The Gunston 500 is hosted by Durban and draws the best competitors from all over the world to compete. It is amazing to see how well these guys can surf, and you will love the competition.
Beach volleyball has one of its world competitions in Durban each year, for both men and women. You will also find beach volleyball competitions played at many of the beaches year around, and you can even join in one if you would like. They rank from all levels of experience, and so you can get a little beach volleyball in while you visit.
There are powerboat races that occur in the harbor. This is an international competition, as is the rowing races.
In 2022 Durban will host the Commonwealth Games.