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Ideal duration: 3-5 days

Best Time: June - August (winters) Read More

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"South Africa's Playground"

Durban Tourism

Located on the east coast of South Africa, Durban is one of the largest cities in KwaZulu Natal province. It is situated at the mouth of the Umgeni River and overlooks the Indian Ocean. It also has a natural harbour which is one of the busiest ports in South Africa. A city with a rich blend of history and modernity, Durban makes for an exciting stay!

Durban has sea, valley and mountains. The laidback seaside town has some of the best beaches in South Africa. Most beaches are spread across the Golden Mile, popular amongst surfers, fishers and swimmers. It is one of the top tourist attractions in Durban, with popular restaurants and nightclubs interspersed with the beaches. The nearby Valley of the Thousand Hills will get you well acquainted with the history of the famous Zulu tribe, along with their fascinating culture and way of life. Visit the superbly built uShaka Marine World for an absolute ball of a day, with their fun theme park and the enormous aquarium.

Durban is one of South Africa's true international destinations, with a vibrant mix of different cultures and languages. It is home to a massive Indian population. Indian culture has seeped into Durban as if they were its own, which is seen clearly in the street foods and festivals in the city. It also has a thriving nightlife and a fantastic shopping scene. Visit Durban for the great South African experience!

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Currency in Durban

The rand is the only currency accepted. That being said, major cards are widely accepted, especially Visa and MasterCard. ATMs are located throughout the city.

Shopping in Durban

There are many shopping avenues in Durban. From the high end boutiques to street shopping for the famous curries, spices, and local goods, Durban has it all. The prime destination for shopping in Durban is the Gateway Theatre of Shopping in Uhmlanga. 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 Wednsesdays, 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.

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.

History of Durban

History of the region goes back more than 100,000 years, when it was occubied by hunter-gatherers. However, written history of the region appears only after Vasco da Gama 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 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 d'Urban 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. It's famous Golden Mile has become an iconic destination for people all over South Africa for holidays.

Language of Durban

English is spoken widely in Durban and you should not have many troubles on your travels.

Durban Customs

General customs in Durban coincide a lot with those of the west and in particular Britain. There are no real rules of clothing, but it's always preferable to dress smartly and neatly. Tipping is customary in South Africa. In restaurants and bars with service, 10% of the bill is enough, and a few rands at petrol stations, parking lots and to security guards is sufficient. Tipping guides and drivers in the region of ZAR 10 - 20 per day per person is also enough.

Religion of Durban

Christianity, with a blend of African and Protestant Christian beliefs.

Daily Budget for Durban

Durban isn't an overly expensive city, mostly because the exchange rate for the rand is favourable. Depending on how you get around, where you eat and the attractions you visit, your daily budget should be in the region of : Budget trip : ZAR 400 - 800 Comfortable trip : ZAR 1000 - 1500 Luxury trip : ZAR 1800 - 2300

Exchanging Money in Durban

There are several money exchange options in Durban. A whole lot of banks in the city exchange foreign currencies, and many exchange offices like Travelex and American Express provide services as well. ATMs can be used to withdraw currency too, but it's best to inform your bank about international travels and enquire about international transaction costs.

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Durban Photos

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

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FAQs on Durban

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 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 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

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.
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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.
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