Durban Things to Do

  • Rockpools at Umhlanga
    Rockpools at Umhlanga
    by CatherineReichardt
  • Beach at Umhlanga
    Beach at Umhlanga
    by CatherineReichardt
  • Things to Do
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Best Rated Things to Do in Durban

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    The Sugar Terminal

    by MikeAtSea Written Feb 11, 2005

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    The KwaZulu Natal province is one of the largest producers of sugar cane in the world. The crop that was brought into the country in the middle of the 19th century is mainly for export and a specific Sugar Terminal that can store millions of tons of sugar is in the Port of Durban.

    The Sugar Terminal
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    Phe Zulu

    by MikeAtSea Written Feb 11, 2005

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    If one would like to get a little introduction of the life of the Zulus this Zulu Village on the Western outskirts of Durban is the right place to go. Here tourists get a feel of what the Zulu tradition including the iSangoma the herbalist of the Zulus. Only remark this show is made for tourists it may not be of everyone’s taste.

    Zulus at Phe Zulu
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    The delightfully kitsch da Gama clock

    by CatherineReichardt Updated Jul 7, 2013

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    The da Gama clock is an endearing - if somewhat dilapidated - piece of whimsy located in the ribbon of parkland along the Victoria Embankment (or 'The Esplanade', as Durbanites more commonly refer to it).

    The clock was funded by public subscription to mark the 400th anniversary of Vasco da Gama landing in Durban: Victorian era Durbanites seem to have been a pretty public spirited lot, as so were several other monuments around Durban, including the Dick King statue and the statue to commemorate Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee.

    da Gama was one of that incredibly intrepid band of Portuguese explorers who ventured forth in the late 15th century to annex as much of the New World as possible for Portugal. He was a nobleman whose voyages were sponsored by King John II, and he took up where his countryman Bartolomeo Dias left off, becoming the first European to visit a number of bays that were later to become important ports along the east coast of Africa - including Durban, Maputo, Mombasa and Malindi - before sailing east across the Indian Ocean to snaffle yet more colonies for the Portuguese crown.

    It was da Gama who was responsible for the name 'Natal' ('Christmas' in Portuguese), as he landed in Durban on Christmas Day in 1498. This intricate wrought iron confection of a clock - a fine example of 'no holds barred' Victorian kitsch - was erected in 1898 to mark the fourth centenary of his landing, but is sadly in need of a little TLC.

    Vistors to South Africa might not realise how strong an influence Portuguese culture still has on South African society. There have been several waves of Portuguese immigration - starting with an influx of Madierans in the 1920s, and latter supplemented by Portuguese who fled Mozambique and Angola during the civil wars that broke out on independence. It is estimated that there are currently about 300,000 people of Portuguese descent, making them one of the most numerous white communities in the country.

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    The Town Hall

    by MikeAtSea Written Feb 11, 2005

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    Durban’s Town Hall is an exact replica of the town hall in Belfast. This building that replaced the old town hall opposite that is the Post Office today was built in the beginning of the 20th century and houses today the library and the mayors offices.

    The Town Hall
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    uShaka Marine World

    by dejavu2gb Written Apr 27, 2005

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    If you want to see how are things are under water, but dont want to get wet... pay a visit to the largest Marine Theme Park in Afrika, Ushaka Marine World.
    Here you can see many different types of fresh, and sea water fish all in the lovely setting right by one of Durban's many lovely beaches.

    There is also the option of swimming next to great white sharks, but before you start panicking, there is a thick piece of glass that will separate the two of you, so you will not be shark lunch.
    If that does not take your fancy you can also visit Wet 'n Wild, for some fun in the sun one one of the many water slides.
    Then if all this activity tires you out, ther is a range of restaurants where you can have some food to give you the boots to explore it even more.

    uShaka Marine World
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    • Aquarium

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    Dick King Statue

    by MikeAtSea Written Feb 11, 2005

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    In 1842 the Afrikaaners tried to conquer Durban and placed the city under siege. Dick King escaped and rode almost 1000 km within 8 days to Grahamstown to inform British troops about the attack. They immediately arrived breaking the siege and ensuring that Durban stayed British

    Dick King Statue
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    Call My Bluff (and excuse the feeble pun!)

    by CatherineReichardt Updated May 17, 2012

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    The nature of the ocean currents along the east coast of Southern Africa mean that it is largely depositional - rather than erosional - in nature, and so it tends to be relatively flat. As a result, the Kwa Zulu Natal coastline is blessed with literally hundreds of kilometres of sandy beaches, but it does mean that the coastal scenery tends towards the monotonous rather than the dramatic.

    Durban's coastline is no exception, but boasts one notable landform: the Bluff, which stands sentinel over the southern approach to Durban harbour. It is a relic of a historical dune system that was established about 5 million years ago, and its elevation has been a godsend for navigational purposes.

    The Bluff is home to both the 21m high lighthouse was established in 1954 and the distinctive illuminated structure of the 67m high Millenium Tower. The mesh top of the Millenium Tower functions as a giant weather vane, and the sequence of flashing lights emitted from the tower apparently indicates whether the tide is incoming or outgoing (although I haven't the first idea how one would interpret this).

    The Bluff is on the other side of the harbour from Durban's famous Golden Mile, and is thus not visited by many international tourists. Nonethless, it is very popular with Durbanites and other South African tourists for its splendid beaches, excellent fishing and outstanding surfing off Anstey's Beach.

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    It would be hard to find a nicer conference centre

    by CatherineReichardt Updated May 14, 2012

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    The title says it all: it would indeed be hard to find a nicer conference centre than that in Durban International Conference Centre.

    This elegant and functional venue is located between the CBD and Durban's Golden Mile. It is a hugely popular venue, with conference organisers being attracted by South Africa's internationally competitive rates, and delegates - and their spouses - being attracted by Durban's sub tropical climate (which has the added attraction of being counter season to the Northern Hemisphere).

    In November 2011, the conference centre hosted the COP 17 conference on climate change. This talkfest was attended by thousands of concerned global citizens whose collective carbon footprint in terms of travelling to the conference was exacerbated by the fact that this damp squib of an event failed to achieve any sort of progress in terms of a binding resolution to replace the expired Kyoto. protocol.

    Cynical??? Moi??? Actually, I do believe that climate change is a reality and a clear and present danger, but I greatly resent the self perpetuating cottage industry that has grown up around it [end of rant].

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    A short but very exciting and fun Ricksha ride.

    by Waalewiener Updated Dec 22, 2002

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    How do I describe a ride like this , I wish I could show you the video,a couple of local fellows all nicely dressed in traditional clothes with a big hat with animal horns on them, very impressive looking.You get in ready for a nice calm ride , but the fellow pulling the Ricksha has a lot of energy, and he was one heck of a jumper.It still was a ride you should go for , it looks good in the pictures.

    Ricksha with us.

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    The Grey Street Mosque

    by MikeAtSea Written Feb 11, 2005

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    Durban is undoubtedly the most cosmopolitan city in South Africa. With the migration of many Indians and other nationalities to South Africa also Islam has become an important part of Durban’s day to day life. The Grey Street Mosque is the largest Mosque in the Southern Hemisphere, and showing how cosmopolitan the city is, right next door to Roman Catholic Church.

    The Grey Street Mosque
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    Umhlanga Rocks

    by MikeAtSea Written Feb 11, 2005

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    This is the playground of most Durbanites – the great beaches of Umhlanga Rocks. The place of the reeds as it is translated from the Zulu name has got a magnificent beach promenade with protected beaches.

    Umhlanga Rocks
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    • Surfing
    • Water Sports
    • Diving and Snorkeling

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    Durban Botanical Gardens

    by nxlink Updated Apr 8, 2004

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    The botanical gardens in Durban go back a long way to 1849. It is not surprising then that such a well established garden offers a vast collection of plants, some of which are among the rarest in the world. The Southern Africa cycad collection is considered the finest cycad collection in the world. The size of the cycads is truly amazing. Many are the size of medium trees, with trucks of 5 feet or more in circumference. There is also an excellent orchid house and restaurant and gift shop.

    Canna beds
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    Oribi Gorge Nature...

    by dutch_anna Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Oribi Gorge Nature Reserve.

    Nearby St.Michaels-on-sea lie two very beautytiful Nature Reserves, Oribi Gorge NR and Umtamvuna NR.
    The first is about 20 km west of Port Shepstone. You get a map at the entrance with several walks described. When we were there the weather was, after last days storm, sunny and warm.
    It is a beautiful park for a hike, you can also drive through the park, there is one paved road for cars. Birds, trees, flowers. And a picnic near a stream with big stones.

    .

    oribi gorge n.r.
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    Umtamvuna Nature...

    by dutch_anna Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Umtamvuna Nature Reserve.

    Umtamvuna NR. is the southernmost nature reserve in Kwazulu-Natal, near the Transkei border. A forest and steep rocky cliffs border the Umtamvuna River.
    Again we get a map at the entrance and we can do several trails. It is so quiet, only the sounds of birds. Many different trees and flowers. It is a warm day again, but we walk under the leaves of the trees in a marvellous green paradise.
    When you visit southern Kwazulu-Natal please don't miss it.

    umtamvuna n.r.
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    The Port of Durban

    by MikeAtSea Written Feb 11, 2005

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    The largest port on the African continent and the ninth largest in the world the Port of Durban is the hub for a lot of the imports and exports of the country. If it is sugar, containers, cars, fruits one gets overseas from South Africa and more all is shipped through here.

    The Port of Durban Entrance The Port of Durban The Port of Durban The Port of Durban - Esplanade
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Comments (1)

  • Nov 8, 2014 at 12:14 AM

    "Here in the colonies"? South Africa has been independent for 53 years and a democracy for 20. Please refrain from calling us a colony.

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