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DURBAN URBAN VIBES

 ‘Durbs by the Sea’ (as it is affectionately known) is a veritable playground for those with fun and sun on their minds. The coastal city offers year-round sunshine, and virtually no winter - this makes it the perfect venue to kick back and celebrate tropical urban life. 

Night Moves

This friendly city has lots to offer the night proverbial night owl….

Sundowner Spot:
Durban boasts a number of bars and pubs for those who enjoy a festive sundowner at the end of the day: Bean Bag Bohemia (BBB) in the suburb of Greyville is a real favourite amongst locals and visitors. An abundant cocktail menu is always up for grabs any day of the week. Of course on the weekends BBB bursts at the seams with those seeking a laid-back good time.

Wharf Living:
 Wilson’s Wharf, overlooking the Durban Harbour and the Natal Royal Yack club is host to a few choice pubs and restaurants. Sit on the wooden decks with your daiquiri or feast on a smorgasbord of the freshest seafood while watching the twinkling lights of the harbour by night.

Bar Stop:
The city boasts a number of chic cosmopolitan bars and pubs, try out Havana Grill & Wine Bar for a chilled chardonnay or magical merlot accompanied by a Cuban cigar (the real deal); Saint Verde in Berea is another hot option with the in-crowd and Florida Road’s Zeta Bar is an absolute must. Of course having a gin and tonic on the verandah of the Beverly Hills Hotel in Umhlanga Rocks is simply compulsory for any well-heeled traveler.

Nightclubs:
Durban has a few very decent nightclubs on offer including Tilt and 330 for those who don’t require any beauty sleep at all. Consult the local newspaper regarding up-to-date diaries of events.

Durban Dining

This tropical city is no slouch when it comes to eating out, Durban offers up the finest fare from seafood platters, to hotter than hot curries to unfussy urban offerings.Some favourite restaurants include: 

  • 9th Avenue Bistro in Morningside for the cosmopolitan palate.

  • Café 1999 (Berea) for Meditterranean delicacies and more. 

  • For island fare visit Umhlanga’s Ille Maurice restaurant (just like visiting your favourite Indian Ocean Island, without having to pay the airfare).

  • Or pop into the Jaipur Palace for a glorious vindaloo (what would a visit to Durbs be with an original Indian speciality).

Ushaka

A family AffairDurban’s Ushaka Marine World, celebrates marine life in a fun and fabulous way…great for kids and adults alike. Ushaka offers a wealth of exciting experiences for everyone. The Sea World aquarium (touted as one of the top five in the world) has a 1200-seater dolphin stadium, a touch pool, a snorkel reef and a seal stadium. Ushaka follows a creative shipwreck theme throughout, with the main centerpiece being a life-size 1920’s steamer.

Don’t forget UShaka’s Wet ‘n Wild Fun Park (offering a number of terrifying rides including the ‘Stuka’ freefall slide and the notorious ‘Kamikaze’, a five-lane downhill racer for those with a competitive spirit).

If you prefer your feet on solid ground, the Ushaka beach is simply superb and the nearby African-themed village is offers up a wealth of shopping and dining experiences.

Major Attractions

So you’re a city slicker with limited time to spend in Durban? Well here is a quick run-down of some of the major attractions that you can do in a day:

  • Don’t miss the cultural heartbeat of Durban, to be found at the BAT centre. A haven for artists and creative-types that features anything from live poetry readings to impromptu jam sessions. Great arts and crafts on sale too.
     

  • Tropical and exotic, Durban’s Botanical Gardens has one of the most impressive cycad collections in the world. The area is a very popular picnic spot for Durban families, and there are also an outdoor concert events calendar to look out for.
     

  • Visit the Durban Waterfront and take a stroll on one of the longest promenades around. Take in some of the best beaches on the KZN coastline and if you’re a surfer … what are you waiting for, take to the waves
     

  • Shopping in Durban is nothing short of spectacular, visit The Workshop, the Gateway Centre in Umhlanga, the African Art Centre and the Victoria Street Market just for starters.
     

  • When it comes to museums, you could be busy for days, try out the Durban Natural Science Museum (great for the kids) and get to know Zulu history a little better at the Local History Museum.

Day Trips

Durban is a great base for day-trips. One can go to the North and South coasts, or take a drive to St Lucia Greater Wetlands Park (a World Heritage Site) or make waves inland and head out to the Natal Midlands for high tea and bit of polo perhaps?

If you are looking for beach, beach and more beach – the North and South coasts of KZN have much to offer. On the North Coast the beaches of Umdloti, Umhlanga and Ballito are extremely popular. The South Coast has a wide variety of beaches to choose from – from the more popular venues of Margate and Ramsgate to the more relaxed venues of Southbroom and Port St John’s.

Spiritual Delights

If you’re in the need of some spiritual upliftment, why not visit the spectacular Hare Krishna Temple just outside Durban. This colourful temple is one of the finest in the country and all visitors are always welcome. Enormous pictures of the Krishna deities will great you at the door and there is always the most delicious (vegetarian) food on offer. The Krishna community are only too happy to share their world with you.

EXPLORE BEACH AND BUSH SAFARIS

KWAZULU NATAL

The beaches of KZN are a veritable wonderland for any outdoor-lover. The Natal coastline is blessed with fantastic weather all year round and the beaches along both North and South Coasts are absolutely sublime.

  • Cape Vidal, Greater St Lucia Wetlands Park
    The beach at Cape Vidal has to be one of the finest in the country. Here, long stretches of snow-white sand go on forever and ever…. This is a wonderful spot for a long, languid stroll followed by a dip in the ocean to cool off. It is a real adventure to explore the many rock pools along this beach, and the area is also known as an excellent spot to sight humpback whales during October.

  • Umhlanga Rocks, KZN
    Not too far away from the bustling city centre of Durban lies Umhlanga Rocks. The beaches of Umhlanga come alive during the South African school holidays, and offer a veritable feast of fun for the whole family. Wonderful rock pools, excellent swimming areas, warm tidal pools and a bona fide working lighthouse all make a visit to Umhlanga a worthwhile experience. Of course the fact that the beachfront restaurants and ice-cream parlors are just a stone's throw from the ocean are also a major plus factor.

  • South Beach, Durban
    South Beach is known to some as the Miami of Durban. This fantastic beach has achieved Blue Flag status because of its pristine condition, and locals as well as our international visitors absolutely adore the place. There is so much to do at this beachfront - why not visit the Sea World aquarium and enjoy the antics of performing dolphins and penguins, or visit the shark tank and test your nerves. Alongside the beachfront there are local hawkers selling authentic goods - Zulu beadwork and baskets, beautiful woodwork and handicrafts - and you may even get to catch a ride with the local rickshaw….!

  • Margate, South Coast
    Margate Beach lies along what is known as the Hibiscus Coast, and is the fun capital of the Kwa Zulu Natal South Coast. A fantastic stretch of beach draws the crowds during holiday season. This is hot chocolate sundae and hamburger heaven…and that's just for starters. There is lots to see and do in an around Margate's Main Beach, so don't forget to visit the local restaurants, shop up a storm at the village shops or lose your heart to the local artists and their beautiful wares. Margate's Main beach has also been awarded Blue Flag status for the quality experience it offers to visitors and for the fact that the area is environmentally sound.

     

JOURNEYS OF DISTINCTION

   
JOURNEYS OF DISTINCTION