Travel to Durban – Playground of the Zulu Kingdom
Africa’s bewitching seaside playground in the sun, Durban has from its earliest days possessed a special charm. Today, Durban offers the broadest spectrum of unforgettable experiences – from long and tranquil beaches to the historic and culturally rich city centre, all set against the background of a magnificent tropical environment.
Durban is also the gateway to two World Heritage Sites, majestic Drakensberg peaks and vast Game Reserves of the Zululand Bush, plus history-drenched Battlefields, fascination-filled Midlands and a beautiful coastline that stretches seemingly forever in both directions. Indeed, Durban is Africa’s ultimate coastal playground in the sun!
Initially called ‘Port Natal’, Durban was founded in 1824 by merchants from the Cape Colony who had reached a contractual agreement with the mighty Zulu King Shaka authorising them to establish a trading station. In 1835 the town was named Durban after the Cape Governor of the time, Sir Benjamin D’Urban. After the Voortrekkers founded the republic Natalia, the British defeated them in 1842, thus securing their dominance in Natal.
Now Durban was set to become one of the most important seaports of the British Empire. Particularly significant was the boom of the sugarcane industry in Natal towards the end of the 19th century. Durban’s seaport became the largest sugar terminal in the world. Today, more than 4 million people live in the metropolitan area of Durban. The city is, after Johannesburg, the second-largest in South Africa.
Durban’s not all just beaches, relaxation and sunshine – far from it! It does have a great range of attractions for those with time to spare or who want to dig deeper into the heartbeat of the city. Durban’s compact historical centre can be explored on foot. Juma Mosque is the largest mosque in the southern hemisphere. Golden Mile beach, however, is the main draw of the city. The Indian market certainly gets the senses going – smell those spices and curry!
Everything that Durban has to offer is aimed at relaxing, so take your pick! Find a quiet area of the beach, a favourite café and watch the world go by in near guaranteed sunshine the year-round.
Air travellers arrive at Durban International Airport, located 16 km from the city centre. Shuttle and taxi providers offer service to and from the Airport. Rail service companies include Gypsy Rail and KZN Train Tours. A number of chartered bus services provide transportation to destinations around South Africa.
Durban is also easily accessible by car via the N2, N3, M4, M7, M13, and M19 Motorways. Once in Durban if without your own transport, then local transportation is provided by The Baz Bus and Intercape Mainlines. The Mynah Bus is another reliable local transportation service. Taxis are widely available.
- Take a stroll through the historic heart of the city
- Enjoy a swim in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean – Durban’s beaches are also particularly popular with surfers…so watch out!
- Visit Durban’s newest big attraction – the uShaka Marine World – to see an impressive display of undersea life