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An update from Evaneos

Durban (South Africa)

Practical information on Durban

  • Relaxation
  • Beach / Seaside Resort
  • Extreme Sports
  • Port
  • Water Sports
  • Place or Religious Monument
  • Museums
2 / 5 - 3 reviews
How to get there
700 km from Johannesburg by car
When to go
All year round
Minimum stay
One day

Reviews of Durban

David Debrincat Seasoned Traveller
459 written opinions

Durban, the capital of the province of Kwazulu-Natal, is a resort on the Sunshine Coast lying 700 km from Johannesburg.

My suggestion:
To enjoy the best views over Durban, you have to go to the Berea Hill area.
My review

With the kind of buildings it has, its perfectly straight avenues, its beautiful beach and its long promenade by the side of the ocean, Durban feels more like an American or Australian city.

I spent some time here before heading on to the Drakensberg when I was in South Africa. The only thing I really have to say is that I never felt like I was really in Africa when I was in Durban. I don't see any reason to come here except to go surfing. If you do end up having to spend a day in this city anyway, then it does have a large and marvellous aquarium. As for the rest, you'd be better staying at one of the little seaside resorts along the Sunshine Coast instead.

A typical restaurant/canteen meal in Durban
Nina Montagné Seasoned Traveller
153 written opinions

It's the biggest port in South Africa.

My suggestion:
Go to see the dolphins on Salt Rock beach.
My review

I really liked Durban because I love port cities. What is now the biggest port in the country and third biggest port of southern Africa has, in my opinion, an incredible charm, incomparably dreamlike. 

Container ships, immense cranes, cargoes and pirate faces, Durban is a bigtransitcity, as well as a city of business, where the bars are restaurants are often filled up. Now, it's also the third city of South Africa and is experiencing endless growth.

Don't miss the opportunity to go to the amazing Howick Falls, located in a luscious natural environment half an hour by road from Durban. Perfect for spending a day with your family, and an unforgettable part of a trip in South Africa.

Around Durban
Seasoned Traveller
13 written opinions

A city with a contrasting richness.

My suggestion:
Make the most of the redone seafront from the football world cup and of the town centre, but avoid walking on foot after 5 pm.
My review

Durban is a city which has left me with mixed feelings. Some of the inhabitants found in the town centre can be very friendly and smiling, open to conversation, whilst other areas like the one near to the port or a little towards the sea front, are more "difficult". It's a little bit like the American "down-town". Not that they will be aggressive towards you, no (I have never felt threatened in this way, nor have I seen anything of the sort coming my way, even if I know that it happens), but you do feel a tension in the air. Nevertheless, if you pass by, but don't have jewelry on display and you say hello to the people you come across, there's no need to worry.

What is truly lovely on the other hand, is all you can buy in the street like the diverse fruit and vegetables on different stands. Take a few minutes to watch the taxi procession which will make you smile: this spectacle that the surrounding "beaters" who look at you with their large bulging eyes and that make big gestures to you to persuade you to go into "their" taxi and not the neighbouring one.

On the other hand, the locals advise all the same (and pay them heed) to circle around the town starting at twilight (arrive a bit before) only possible in taxi (duly advertised as such)'s better to be aware.

During your stay, you can make the most of the botanical gardens, visit the large and beautiful Moses Mabhida stadium, which has the form of a swallows nest that is easily recognisable, or simply stroll along the large promenade of the sea front, which was redone a few years ago. You can even register for surfing lessons, go into the "uShaka" water park, which also contains an aquarium, or even buy souvenirs in the "true-false" handmade village at the side, (all the same, it's quite a "tourist trap"). Finally, if you like trips which are more about "sport and adventure" it seems that there are also very beautiful places to go diving in the surrounding area, even if I didn't have time to try them out.

Durban, view of the heights of the city