Why Durban

Durban lies on the Indian Ocean coast of South Africa and is a one hour flight away from Johannesburg or a two-hour trip from Cape Town. It is in the KwaZulu-Natal province and fast becoming a not to be missed stop for anyone visiting South Africa. It was formerly known as Port Natal and is the chief seaport of South Africa.

The biggest attraction for visitors is the subtropical climate and the laid-back beachy ambiance of the city. The whole of KwaZulu-Natal has some glorious beaches but Durban's Golden Mile is particularly pleasant. The city has a thriving craft food, beer and spirits scene, hosts an internationally respected annual film festival and is currently enjoying a new homegrown musical movement. There is a lot of regeneration taking place that is adding to its appeal. Perhaps we should mention the Moses Mabhida Stadium, which was built when South Africa hosted the World Cup. The stadium is part of the larger King's Park Sporting Precinct, a district that is devoted to commercial, retail and leisure pursuits.

History

Prior to 1497, there is no written evidence to suggest what was happening in the area that's now known as Durban. But of course, there were humans inhabiting the area. The earliest remnants of humanity have been found in nearby Drakensberg. And it has been established that the earliest inhabitants were the original people of Southern Africa, known collectively as the Khoi/San.

As far as written records go, everything starts on Christmas Eve in 1497. This is when a Portuguese seafarer named Vasco da Gama arrived at the bay which is now known as Durban. The Portuguese weren't all that interested in this location as it was surrounded by mangrove swamps and dense coastal forests.

It wasn't until much later, in 1824, that a proper settlement was created and initially it was named Port Natal. Under the leadership of Henry Francis Flynn the merchants came from the Cape Colony and had been able to make an agreement with the Zulu King Shaka that allowed them to create a trading station.

Climate & Demography

Weather

Durban has a humid subtropical climate which brings hot and humid summers , followed by pleasantly warm and dry winters. The winters are snow and frost-free. Rainfall is a little over 1 meter per year and the average temperatures range from 24°C in the summer to 17°C in the winter.

Diversity

Durban is a very ethnically diverse city with a rich mix of beliefs and traditions. The largest single ethnic group is Zulus, and there are a large number of people of British decent. It also has the most Indians of any city outside of India. This section of society has had a big impact in Durban, bringing a variety of cuisine, culture and religion. Following the end of Apartheid, the population of Durban increased as Africans were allowed to move into the city. Between the years of 1996 and 2001, the population increased by almost 2.5%.

What To Do In Durban

People have been visiting the city of Durban for many years and there are a number of reasons for its popularity. There are, of course, the city's famous beaches, including the Golden Mile. And the all year-round sunshine is another reason. Tourists may be attracted by the golden sands and sunny blue sky, but it doesn't take long for them to realise there's more to Durban than first catches the eye.

Cuisine

Anyone spending time on South African soil would be mad to leave without trying some of its traditional food. Durban, in particular, has a tantalising array of restaurants for tickling the taste buds. We'll introduce some of the best places to visit, but first let's look at our top 10 favourite dishes.

Scenery

Durban is located in KwaZulu-Natal, a South African Province that lies below the Great Escarpment. This area is part of the South African "Coastal Belt" which is more than 220km wide. There is an area that consists of an undulating hilly, 1000 metre high plateau known as central Natal Midlands. And then there is a mountainous region in the north known as The Great Escarpment.

Entertainment & Nightlife

Durban's premier destination if you want to enjoy a spot of gambling. But there's plenty of other forms of entertainment for those who don't want to hit the tables. Enjoy sun, sand, great food, ice-cold cocktails or watch one of the latest movies. Or have some fun with more than 1,450 slot machines to choose from on the casino floor. There are also 67 gaming tables as well as an exclusive Salon Prive called 77 Ocean Drive. This is where there are higher limit slots and tables.