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Things to Do & Must-See Attractions in Durban

Located on South Africa's eastern shore, Durban is the country’s third largest city, boasts its busiest port, and is the capital of the KwaZulu-Natal province. And while it hosted the World Cup in 2010, Durban—just a short one-hour plane ride from Johannesburg—often lacks the global name recognition of Cape Town to the southwest, making it an off-the-beaten-path choice for its bustling urban center, revamped waterfront, rich cultural history, proximity to wildlife preserves, and laidback atmosphere. Guided city tours and advanced reservations ensure you don't miss top urban experiences, such as enjoying the scent of fragrant spices at the Victoria Street Market, bungee swinging at Moses Mabhida Stadium, or gliding through the the Durban Point Waterfront Canal on a gondola ride. You can also spend some time in nature: Learn about local marine life and play in the water park at uShaka Marine World; stroll the long stretch of sandy beaches—the so-called “Golden Mile”—along the warm Indian Ocean; venture out of town in search of Africa's “Big Five” on safari tours, including the Hluhluwe Game Reserve; or head into the marshes near St. Lucia to see hippos up close. For a culture fix, immerse yourself in historic Zulu heritage at Shakaland with a guide who can speak to the group's storied past; or take a full-day tour into the Drakensberg mountains to visit the independent country of Lesotho, where the delicious, unique mix of cuisines incorporates Indian and Malaysian influences.
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Durban Golden Mile
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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.

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More Things to Do in Durban

Durban Indian Quarter

Durban Indian Quarter

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.

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Sani Pass

Sani Pass

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Shakaland

Shakaland

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Howick Falls

Howick Falls

10 Tours and Activities
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Isandlwana Battlefield

Isandlwana Battlefield

5 Tours and Activities
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Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park

Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park

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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.

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Himeville

Himeville

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Lesotho

Lesotho

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