The Golden Mile is where Durban dips its feet into the rolling surf of the Indian Ocean. The wide expanse of sand which gives the stretch its name is one of the most popular playgrounds of South Africa, known particularly as a surfing centre but also a great place for sunbathing and year-round swimming.
There are numerous attractions nearby, including uShaka Marine World, the Surfing Museum and Mini Town, a miniature replica of Durban. Numerous nearby shops compete for your rand, though if you’re looking for souvenirs the Zulu craft market offers great value and variety.
Durban, once home to Mahatma Gandhi, has one of the highest Indian populations outside the sub-continent itself. The centrally located Indian Quarter is the center of this community, which itself is made up of diverse groups, predominantly Muslim but with significant Hindu and Buddhist minorities as well. Vibrant celebrations throughout the year mark holy days and other traditional festivals.
The Jumma Mosque is the best-known landmark of the area, while the two-storey Victoria Street Market and nearby arcades offer heady spices along with clothes, jewelry and other goods. Naturally there are excellent restaurants catering for all palates; for an authentic taste of Indian Durban, grab a “bunny chow”, a hollowed-out loaf of bread filled with steaming hot curry.
Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve, in the north of KwaZulu-Natal state, is the oldest in South Africa, drawing visitors for over a hundred years. Careful conservation ensures an amazing array of wildlife such as rhinoceroses (including the rare white rhinoceros), elephants and Cape Buffalos, as well as big cats including lions, leopards and cheetahs.
The landscape ranges from flat savannah to steep hills, criss-crossed by rivers and dotted with water holes, where you may well spot the Nyala, or South African antelope. There is also a huge range of birdlife, with many species unique to this area.