Durban Travel Packages

Compare quotes from upto 3 travel agents for free

Durban Travel Essentials


5.0 /5 (26 ratings) Rate This Destination


Ideal duration: 3-5 days

Best Time: June to August Read More

Planning a Trip? Ask Your Question

"South Africa's Playground"

Durban Tourism

Durban, situated on South Africa's east coast in the KwaZulu Natal province, offers a captivating mix of history and modernity. Situated at the mouth of the Umgeni River, the city overlooks the Indian Ocean and hosts one of the country's busiest ports in the country. Durban boasts beautiful beaches, botanic gardens, game reserves, bird parks, and scenic picnic spots. The city's Golden Mile is a hotspot for surfers, fishers, and swimmers.

Beyond the coastline, the nearby Valley of the Thousand Hills showcases the intriguing culture and history of the Zulu tribe, while uShaka Marine World provides family-friendly entertainment with its theme park and large aquarium. With its vibrant nightlife and welcoming blend of cultures, including a significant Indian population, Durban promises an unforgettable international experience amidst diverse landscapes of sea, valley, and mountains.

Must Know Before You Travel to Durban

  • Commuting within the City: Convenient transportation options in Durban include buses, minibus taxis, the Metrorail service, iconic rickshaws, metered taxis, and ride-hailing apps like Uber and Bolt.
  • Car Rental: Car rental services in Durban are provided by Avis, Budget, Hertz, Europcar, and First Car Rental.
  • Currency and ATM: South African Rand is the accepted currency, with Visa and MasterCard widely used. ATMs are available throughout the city.
  • Languages: Common languages in Durban are Zulu and English.
  • Street Maps and GPS: Ensure updated street maps or GPS devices for accurate navigation.
  • Safety Precautions: The Point Road area (Mahatma Gandhi Road) should be avoided for safety reasons. Also, avoid walking alone in deserted areas, especially at night.
  • Mobile Network: Purchase local prepaid SIM cards at the airport or nearby stores. There are five cell phone providers - Vodacom, MTN, Cell-C, Virgin Mobile and 8ta.
  • Shopping Hours: Shops are usually open between 09:00 AM to 05:00 PM, extending in some malls till 07:00 PM. On Sundays, shops close earlier.
  • Electricity and Plugs: South African electricity supply is 220/230 volts AC 50 HZ. Bring a European two-pin plug or an adapter for US and Canadian plugs.
  • Beach Conditions: Check beach conditions before your trip due to possible closures from past E.Coli contamination.
  • Beware of Scams: Stay vigilant against scams, especially in-store settings. The store scam involves locals posing as store employees, gaining trust, and offering a 'discount' to fool unsuspecting victims into handing over valuables.
  • Festival Season: Plan visits around popular festivals like Awesome Africa World Music Festival, Durban International Film Festival, Durban July, and International Festival of Poetry which are hosted from July to October every year.
  • Visit Umhlanga: Travelers from Durban can visit neighbouring Umhlanga, a coastal town known for the popular Umhlanga Nature Reserve.

Top Hotels In Durban

More on Durban Travel

History of Durban

The history of the region goes back more than 100,000 years when it was occupied by hunter-gatherers. However, the written history of the region appears only after Vasco da Gama was discovered in 1497. He named it Natal, or Christmas in Portuguese. The city we see today began in 1824 when a group of 25 Britishers moved to establish a settlement from the Cape Colony. Henry Francis Fynn, an adventurer, helped a Zulu King recover from a wound he suffered in battle, and received a 50-kilometre-long strip of land along the coast, stretching 160 km inland.

The name d'Urban was given to the city in 1835 after Sir Sir Benjamin d'Urban, then governor of the Cape Colony. The Voortrekkers then established the Republic of Natalia near Durban in 1938. After several conflicts between them and the Zulus, the British decided to get involved due to fear of losing their own control in the region. The British were triumphant by 1944, and the entire region was brought under colonial rule. Durban then grew under the British, mainly due to the plantation business.

Around the 1860s, many labourers were brought from British colonies, especially from India, to work on these plantations. As a result, today there are several thousand Indians in Durban today. Today, Durban is a great tourist destination. It is the busiest container port in Africa. Its famous Golden Mile has become an iconic destination for people all over South Africa for holidays.

Nightlife in Durban

Durban has a great nightlife. There are several clubs and bars where the party goes on until dawn, and you can see the sun rise over the Indian Ocean as you are on your way back. There are several great clubs on the famous Golden Mile, located right across the beach. Other popular areas are Glenwood, and the suburbs of Kloof and Hillcrest. As you go around the town, you will learn much more about the fascinating nightlife of Durban.

Shopping in Durban

From high-end boutiques to street shopping for famous curries, spices, and local goods, Durban has it all.
  • The prime destination for shopping in Durban is the Gateway Theatre of Shopping in Umhlanga. It has a great collection of top-end boutique stores and many great restaurants, along with cinema complexes and an iMax theatre.
  • Other really good malls include the La Lucia and the Pavillion Shopping Centre. Street markets like the crafts speciality market, the Essenwood Market, or the farmers' market in Shongwemi are also popular.
  • And also, do check out the Stables Lifestyle Market, set up on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays in actual stables that were built a century ago!
  • Since Durban has a major population of Indians, shops and stores of Indian spices and curries are something you should check out as well, in Downtown Durban.

Best Time to Visit Durban

How to Reach Durban

How to Reach Overview

Travellers can get to Durban using various commute options include air travel through King Shaka International Airport, road travel via major highways like N3 and N2, and rail travel with the Shosholoza Meyl train service.

How to reach Durban by flight

Durban is served by King Shaka International Airport (DUR), located approximately 35 kilometres (22 miles) north of the city centre. From there, a taxi will cost around R400, while the airport shuttle costs R80. The airport offers both domestic and international flights, connecting Durban to major cities in South Africa and various destinations around the world.

From major cities like Johannesburg, the flight costs around $120 for a round trip per person and takes around one hour to reach.

Some of the prime airlines that fly over this route include Airlink, Qatar Airways, and British Airways.

How to reach Durban by road

Durban is well-connected through major highways like the N3 and N2 link Durban to cities like Johannesburg, and Bloemfontein. The travel time from Johannesburg to Durban by car is approximately 5 to 6 hours (560 kilometres) whereas, from Bloemfontein, it takes around 7 hours (645 kilometres).

How to reach Durban by train

Durban is connected to Johannesburg and other cities by the Shosholoza Meyl train service. The journey from Johannesburg to Durban by train takes about 12 to 14 hours, depending on the type of train and schedule. The cost of a one-way train ticket ranges from 400 to 600 ZAR, depending on the class of service. A Metrorail link connects Durban with its suburbs.

How to reach Durban by bus

Several bus companies like Intercape, Greyhound and BazBus make Durban accessible from nearly anwyhere in South Africa.

How to reach Durban by waterways

Durban's bustling dock area hosts several cruise ships, and one of the prominent liners is MSC Sinfonia. This cruise ship regularly docks at Durban's port from November to April.

Local transport in Durban

Durban has evolved a decent system public transport, partly due to the FIFA World Cup of 2010 and subsequent developments. People Mover buses connect various points in the CBD to the beachfront and other popular locations, and rickshaws too can be found for leisurely rides along the beachfront. Taxis in the city need to be called to specific locations, and minibus taxis are the most used mode of public transport by the working class of Durban. The minibus taxis however, are very crowded. Renting a car in Durban however is considered to be the best way to get around. An updated GPS system and a car will get you around the city in no time at all. Try to avoid business hours for travelling, though.

Browse Package Collections

Durban Photos

Durban, South-Africa
A picture of the Nelson Mandela Bridge

+ 48

FAQs on Durban

What are the places near Durban?

The top places near to Durban are Johannesburg which is 500 km from Durban, Pretoria which is located 533 km from Durban, Cape town which is located 1271 km from Durban, Knysna which is located 884 km from Durban, London which is located 9549 km from Durban

What is the best time to visit Durban?

These months are easily the best time to visit Durban. This is because the weather is dry and sunny and the temperatures are pleasant. Durban is bustling with life and activities during this period, with the International Film Festival in July and the Good Food and Wine Show.
Read More

What is the local food in Durban?

Durban is a an international city and as such you have a plethora of options of where to eat. There are several high end restaurants where you can find the best of some international cuisines, as well as fast food joints for a delicious quick fix. A great feature of Durban food is the influx of the Indian cuisine, since Durban is home to the biggest Indian population outside India. Some dishes you have to try though include the 'bunny chow', a famous street food; 'shisa nyama', a zulu delicacy of tender meat; 'Bombay crush', which is literally the falooda from India, a favourite syrupy dessert; and of course don't forget to try the sardines, caught fresh and served on a toast.
Read More

What are the top hotels in Durban?

There are 744 in Durban which can be booked through Holidify. The most popular hotels in Durban are Red Tudor B&B, Lavender Moon Guest House, Unit 801, 801 Oyster Schelles, Executives Cove B&B, Charltonland. You can see all the hotels in Durban here

What are the things to do in Durban?

The top things to do in Durban are uShaka Marine World, Moses Mabhida Stadium, Golden Mile, Durban Botanical Gardens, SunCoast Casino, Umgeni River Bird Park. You can see all the places to visit in Durban here

Have a Question on Durban?

Ask a question from the travellers who have

Durban Reviews

Your rating
View 5 Packages