Durban RECOMMENDATIONS See all

Durban Suggested Itineraries

By Viator, August 2010

5 45 Reviews | Add your review

Rising to glittering heights along six sweet kilometers (four fine miles) of soft, golden sand, the picturesque port city of Durban has long been a festive holiday escape. While visitors from Johannesburg and elsewhere around South Africa come for the sun, surf and family-friendly attractions, international travelers will also find the resort town a very comfortable beachfront base for exploring the region's fantastic cultural and natural destinations.

For more than 100,000 years, people have been visiting what is now known as Durban (called "eThekwini" in Zulu, for its deep, natural harbor), and it's easy to see why. The mild subtropical climate, 299 days of sunshine annually, and fantastic beaches have a universal appeal. To that splendid swath of sand, the centuries have added all the modern amenities, from a rollicking nightlife and enormous theme parks, to fine colonial buildings such as Emanuel Cathedral that are well worth visiting. If you need a break from tanning, there are several popular day trips from Durban, into the Zulu heartland, sweeping safari parks, and the "Kingdom in the Sky," stunning Lesotho.

Day 1: Relax along the Golden Mile

While the city's cultural milieu offers all sorts of enriching destinations, such as the famed Indian market selling pungent "Durban curry," you're probably here for fun in the sun. Welcome to the Golden Mile, actually six kilometers (four miles) of wide beaches, touristy piers, overpriced restaurants and attractions that range from the Suncoast Casino, with shopping, gambling, and a private beach; to one of the world's largest marine parks, uShaka Marine World, with dolphin shows, 32 tanks, and Africa's highest waterslide. There's no end to the smaller attractions in between, not the least of which is world-class surfing. Grab a "Zulu rickshaw" and enjoy.

Day 2: Enjoy Local Culture

Of course, Durban has plenty of urban offerings, including a surfing museum at North Beach, and first-rate football (soccer) at striking Moses Mabhida Stadium. But the real cultural attractions lie outside the city's sprawl. Just up the KwaZulu-Natal coast is the birthplace of Shaka Zulu, where a huge kraal (rural village) still honors the legendary Zulu king. Book an eight-hour tour into Zululand that visits a traditional kraal, where you'll sample the local cuisine, including homemade beer. Or, climb to the mountaintop Kingdom of Lesotho, on a 13-hour tour through independent villages and past sweeping vistas over peaks and waterfalls.

Day 3: Get out into the Wild

Durban itself is home to its own wildlife attractions, including the vast aquariums at aforementioned uShaka Marine World, and fabulous Umgeni River Bird Park, overlooking the river. Set into beautiful, shady gardens, this enormous aviary is home to some 300 bird species, and offers low-key shows and other family fun. But this is Africa. If you want to see white rhinos, giraffes, leopards, elephants, cheetahs, wildebeests, and other creatures of the wild African savannah, book a 12-hour trip to fantastic Hluhluwe Game Reserve.

Tours & Tickets

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Mountain Splendor -The Kingdom of Lesotho

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 13 Reviews

Leave Durban and travel through the Natal Midlands to Himeville. Hop into a four wheel drive vehicle and enter Lesotho via the Sani Pass, where you will visit ...  Read more

Location: Durban, South Africa
Duration: 12 hours (approx.)

From USD $170.42

Durban City Sightseeing Tour with Ushaka Marine World

4.5 star rating: Recommended 5 Reviews

Discover the highlights of the city of Durban, with the morning dedicated to showing you the cultural and historical contrasts of this city.

Location: Durban, South Africa
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $80.37

Durban City Sightseeing Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 7 Reviews

Experience Durban, a city of contrasts on the Durban City Sightseeing Tour. Shaped by the early Colonial settlers, see the city has developed from the ...  Read more

Location: Durban, South Africa
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $38.25

Shakaland - Zulu Cultural Center

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 7 Reviews

Visit an authentic Zulu kraal, Shakaland, and watch the day to day activities of the people of this village. Learn the A to Z of Zulu life from the people ...  Read more

Location: Durban, South Africa
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $122.97

Hluhluwe Game Reserve Safari

4.5 star rating: Recommended 13 Reviews

Spend a day on safari in the magical Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve on the north coast of KwaZulu-Natal. Located in the heart of Zululand, this huge, well ...  Read more

Location: Durban, South Africa
Duration: 12 hours (approx.)

From USD $170.42

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