Durban is very popular with the residents of South Africa itself and international tourists have always found their way to Durban. However, the city has become less popular with foreigners since the 1990s due to decay and crime, but with the 2010 Football World Cup in sight, many measures have been taken to make Durban a vibrant and relatively safe city for tourists again.
Information about Durban
Durban is located in the KwaZulu-Natal province and was called Port Natal until 1835, when the British who settled there from 1823 changed the name to Durban, after the ruling governor. Vasco da Gama visited the place where Durban is located in 1497 and called this place Rio de Natal, from which Port Natal was later derived. The port city of Durban is a melting pot of nationalities and you will see many different cultural influences in all possible areas. The Indian influence is particularly noticeable in Durban. Durban owes the fact that it is a popular holiday destination mainly to its location on the Indian Ocean, the presence of beautiful sandy beaches and the pleasant subtropical climate.
The weather in Durban
Due to its location, Durban has a subtropical climate, which means wonderful daytime temperatures in winter, while it can also get very hot in summer. Due to its location in the east of South Africa on the Indian Ocean, there is fortunately always a nice sea breeze, making it a great place to stay.
The wonderful sandy beaches of Durban
Durban has extensive golden sandy beaches where you can sunbathe. Here you will also find the Golden Mile, a contiguous area of hotels, restaurants and bars on the coast. Because of the nice temperature you can swim here, but you must stay within the areas marked with nets because of the possible presence of the Great White Shark! Of course there are also many swimming pools on the boulevard and the coast.
Durban and water sports facilities
In addition to swimming, the ocean is also ideal for diving and surfing. South of Durban there are perfect diving opportunities and here you will also find Aliwal Shoal, which is known as one of the best diving locations in the world. Surf culture can be found in various places in Durban and surf enthusiasts can really get their money’s worth there. Durban is also an excellent base for boat trips along the coast or to a further destination.
Meet the marine world at uShaka Marine World
Durban also has a Sea World Aquarium, where you can admire many species of fish and other sea creatures. The complex is divided into five areas, each with its own theme, including an area focused on dolphins and seals. You can also swim, dive and snorkel among the sea inhabitants and even visit a ghost ship. uShaka Marine World is located on the beach near the center of Durban.
Visit the beautiful old city center of Durban
Although Durban has so much to offer on the beach, don’t miss a visit to the old center. Here you will find very interesting and special museums, but also buildings with a long history, in which you can see many cultural and historical influences.
Wildlife in the Durban area
Almost three hundred kilometers north of Durban, also in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, lies the game reserve called Hluhluwe & Umfolozi Reserve. In the Hluhluwe section you will find the Big Five and many nice rivers and wild vegetation. The Umfolozi section is mainly known for the presence of white and black rhinos. You can take various organized tours here and there is a real chance of seeing the entire Big Five!
The 2010 FIFA World Cup in Durban
Durban is also visited by the football caravan of the 2010 World Cup and the Dutch team will play its second group match against Japan on June 19 in the Moses Mabhida stadium. If you are there, enjoy everything else besides football that Durban has to offer!