Durban hosts a number of major international events and is a centre for world class sport. It provides shoppers with an endless supply of malls, precincts, craft markets and street bazaars. On offer for entertainment and accommodation is a wealth of beach-front hotels, themed lodges, guest houses, self catering accommodation and welcoming B&Bs. The city is built around one of Africa's busiest ports and is home to a bustling commercial and manufacturing centre.
The native population are very friendly and welcoming as well as being very laid back and reflect a rich cultural diversity with influences from Africa, Asia and Europe.
Travel a little way out of the city and you can find an abundance of beautiful scenery. To the south is the Sapphire Coast, a stretch of sub-tropical paradise with a selection of holiday towns. To the north you can visit Umhlanga and stay at one of the many hotels, eat at a restaurant or soak up the sun on a beautiful beach. The Valley of 1000 Hills lies to the west with its nature reserves and cultural villages. If you're happy to travel a little further afield you can enjoy the Big 5 game reserves or the might Ukhahlamba Drakensbery Park.
Must visit attractions in Durban
- uShaka Marine World: This is a unique marine theme park that provides visitors with an unforgettable experience. The park is made up of uShaka Sea World, uShaka Wet 'n Wild, uShaka Kids World, uShaka Village Walk, Dangerous Creatures, Chimp & Zee Rope Adventure Park, Sea Animal Encounters Island and uShaka Beach.
- uShaka Sea World Aquarium: This is the fifth largest aquarium in the world and is made up of 32 tanks containing more than 17,500 cubic metres of water. The aquarium is built around five shipwrecks and is entered above ground through the "Phantom Ship". There are several restaurants, one of which has a wall sized shark aquarium that can be seen from most of the dining areas.
- Durban Botanical Gardens: This is Durban's oldest public institution and the oldest surviving botanical garden in Africa. It covers 15 hectares in a subtropical climate. The collection of plants includes some very rare species, exquisite orchids and ferns. Charity tea parties are also held in the gardens as well as various musical events.
- Moses Mabhida Stadium: Named after Moses Mabhida, a former General Secretary of the South African Communist Party, this stadium offers a variety of things to do. It was one of the host stadiums for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and also hosts a number of other events such as bungee jumping, cricket, football, concerts, golf practice, motor sports and rugby union. It offers adventure activities such as the SkyCar ride to the top of the arch or walk 500 steps to the sky platform.
- Golden Mile: This popular beach front is the lace to be seen for joggers, surfers, bikers, sunbathers, water-sports enthusiasts and for those who just want a stroll. It's a bit of a misnomer as this stretch of beach is actually four miles long. It extends from Blue Lagoon South to Addington Beach and Durban Harbour.