Durban is one of the major cities of South Africa and is also a leading holiday resort. Being the third largest city in South Africa Durban is a haven for surfers. It has long beaches lapped by the warm Indian Ocean, great infrastructure and a mild subtropical climate which lures millions of tourists every year.
The history of Durban envisages Indian connection that includes Mahatma Gandhi. In 1860 some contract laborers came from India to work on the sugar plantations and Mahatma Gandhi was one of them. This migration becomes a part of the population of Durban as they remain there after their contracts expired. It made Durban one of the largest populated cities of South Africa with a good ratio of Indians. This is visible in the cultural heritage of this city which is a combination of Zulu and Indian markets, the flavor of exotic spices and the finely tweaked gardens.
A good starting point for a walking tour of Durban is the “Golden Mile.” This busy beachfront promenade is having entertainment complexes, restaurants, high-rise hotels, and shops. The wide, golden beaches invite water sports enthusiasts to come here to surf, swim, fish, or just bask in the sun. You can also jostle with jogger along the busy oceanfront path, which is often packed with cyclists, Segways, and skateboarders, giving a feeling of California. You can visit uShaka Marine World, Mini Town, Moses Mabhida Stadium, a pint-sized replica of Durban, airport, and harbor scene.
UMGENI RIVER BIRD PARK
Umgeni River Bird Park is also a great place to visit which is in the Riverside district, on the north bank of the Umgeni River. This park is home to more than 200 species of birds, and some are rare and only found in Africa. Here you will see the network of paths running through waterfalls and lush landscape. You can see a variety of indigenous birds like birds from Australia and Southeast Asia which includes cockatoos, aras, and lories.
Durban’s Indian Quarter is a multicultural fusion of Victoria Street Market and Juma Masjid Mosque which is known for its great cultural mix of sounds, sights, and exotic aromas. Along the narrow path, you can see Chinese, Somali Pakistani, and Indian street vendors selling everything from saris to spices to beaded sandals, intricate, incense, and handmade jewelry.
DURBAN BOTANIC GARDENS
This is the oldest botanic garden surviving in Africa. Located on the slopes of Berea Hill, northwest of the city center, these gardens have a history that goes back to 1849 when it was developed as the trial of agricultural crops. Now you can stroll among the exotic subtropical plantings, which includes majestic heritage trees, many of which are more than one hundred years old. The primary plant collections range from orchids, cycads, bromeliads, and palms.
USHAKA MARINE WORLD
This is one of the major tourist destinations on Durban’s Golden Mile. It is a water-themed wonderland with loads of fun activities and attractions. You can enjoy here Sea World, set on replicas of four shipwrecks, which features the largest aquarium in the southern hemisphere. Here you can closely watch the marine life through underground viewing galleries. Other attractions are Seal Stadium, Dolphin Stadium, and Penguin Rookery. You can also enjoy Wet ‘n’ Wild which has is an extravaganza of splash pools, slides, and super tubes, whereas uShaka Kids’ World is meant for two- to twelve-year-olds.
JAMESON AND MITCHELL PARK
Mitchell is one of the oldest parks in Durban which is stretched out in the upmarket suburb of Morningside. It’s also a popular picnics spot due to its mass plantings of colorful blooms, shady lawns, and wide wheelchair-friendly paths. The playgrounds and the mini zoo will definitely lure the children. If you are craving for quick bites you can dine at the alfresco café and can also visit Jameson Park which is nearby, featuring more than 200 species of roses.
7 MOSES MABHIDA STADIUM
This stadium is world famous and known for its event venue on Durban’s Golden Mile. Functioning from 2009, this stadium offers a great 360-degree view of Durban from the top of the stadium’s arch. The Sky Car can take you to the top, or you can also climb the 500 steps. You can also enjoy the thrilling 220-meter Big Rush Big Swing which is also the world’s highest if you are an adventure freak.
8 THE SRI SRI RADHA RADHANATH TEMPLE
This temple is the largest Hare Krishna temple located in Africa. It is surrounded by a beautiful lotus-shaped garden and it is encompassed with gilded statues, gold-tinged domes, marble tiles, chandeliers, and ceiling frescoes. The best highlight of visiting this place could ideally be relishing a meal at the pure vegetarian restaurant “Govinda’s” in addition to admiring the lavish architecture of the temple. You can choose from a vast array of inexpensive Indian vegan dishes and fresh-squeezed fruit juices.