Durban is so often passed up by tourists in favour of the more well-known city of Cape Town when visiting South Africa. But while Cape Town does have Table Mountain, vibey city life and breathtakingly beautiful surrounding wine lands, Durban has just as much to offer.
With stunning beaches, loads of activities and the coolest, most laid back vibes, Durban offers an amazing holiday and great welcoming into the South African culture.
If you’re an easy-going type of traveller, fancy a chilled morning surf or stroll on the beach and love exploring different cultures and food, then Durbs is the place for you.
Here’s 10 reasons to love Durban (and why you should visit):
1. Amazing Weather
The weather in Durban is more often than not amazing. Especially during the winter months in SA. When it’s cold and rainy in Cape Town and dry and freezing in Joburg, Durbs is rocking cool sunny days. The summer months can get quite hot and humid, but nothing that a quick dip in the ocean can’t sort out.
2. Beautiful Beaches
Durban’s beaches are known locally as the Golden Mile, because of its long stretches of golden sand. Offering the perfect beach to set up your umbrella and chill out. The warm Indian Ocean is also perfect for swimming (much nicer than the icy Atlantic Ocean in Cape Town). If you head north of Durban, you’ll find Umhlanga Rocks and Ballito, with beaches lined with luxury hotels. Along the south coast are more pristine beaches, including Margate, Ramsgate and Hibberdene.
3. Delicious Food
Because of the large Indian population residing in Durban, it’s probably one of the best places in South Africa for tasting a variety of different Indian cuisine. From delicious curries to spicy bunny chows, you’ll find the most amazing flavours all over Durban. Whether it’s a high class restaurant, relaxed beach café, sidewalk take-away or market stall, you’ll likely have an amazing meal.
4. Wild Parties
There's always a party happening in Durbs. Especially in December when all of the Joburgers flock to Durban making it party central. From clubs, bars, cocktail lounges to more laid back beach party vibes, if you’re looking to have a good night you’ll definitely find somewhere to party the night away.
5. Variety of Accommodation
There are so many cool places to stay in Durban. You’ll be able to find some amazing hotels, boutiques, guest houses and self-catering apartments all over Durban. If you’re looking to be in the middle of the action, then within the Durban city is perfect. Otherwise, for more beach town vibes there’s Umhlanga Rocks and Ballito, which is about 15 minutes north of Durban.
6. The People
While you will find friendly people all over South Africa, you’ll find a special kind of person in Durban. The people of Durban are laid back, friendly, fun and generally just nice people. I haven’t met a Durbanite (local slang for people living in Durban) that I didn’t like – they’re all just so cool and easy to get along with.
7. Adrenaline Activities
Looking to get your heart rate pumping? Shark cage diving, skydiving, bring swinging, bungee jumping, Microlighting, abseiling, river rafting, 4X4 trails, zip lining and paragliding – it’s all happening in Durban. You’ll definitely find something to satisfy your adventurous side. And if you’re looking for something slightly less edgy, then perhaps swimming with Eels at Usharka Marine World will be more your thing?
While I wouldn’t say Durban is the best place for shopping in South Africa, they do have their fair share of cool shops. From the huge Gateway Shopping Centre with all of the major chain stores to really cool crafty shops and markets. They also have awesome surfing shops if you’re looking for bathing suits (which you’ll definitely need).
9. The Surroundings
Located on the eastern coast of South Africa, within the Kwa-Zulu Natal province, Durban is surrounded be amazing places. Just a couple of hours drive inland will take you into the Midlands, and amazing Drakensburg Mountains – here you can get up to all sorts of adventurous activities, or get some rest and relaxation in a mountain retreat. Then, on both the northern and southern coastlines of Durban are more awesome towns with stunning beaches.
10. The Laid Back Lifestyle
I’m sure you’ve picked up by now that Durban is a pretty laid back city. Which really is the biggest reason why I love the city so much. There’s something about entering the 031 (local dialling code, and commonly referred to by locals) that makes you take a deep breath in and ease a sigh of relief. You instantly feel like you’re on holiday, even if you’re not!
The lifestyle is just so easy there. Early morning surfing, jogs and beach strolls to get your day started, followed by late breakfasts and leisurely afternoons.
What’s not to love, right?
Travel tip shared by Bridget for Travel Dudes