Durban is named after the governor of the Cape in 1824; Benjamin D’Urban. Due to the development in the sugar cane industry, the city grew into an important port. Today it has one of the largest ports in the world.
The city got its own character by the workers who were brought from India for little money to work on the sugar plantations.

Durban is known as the place where people are laid back. It is an exciting, cosmopolitan city with wide sandy beaches, an abundance of cultural attractions, fantastic nightlife and a sunny climate all year round. Built around the busiest port in South Africa, Durban shows a fascinating blend of European, Indian and indigenous Zulu influences. In this city you can enjoy the warm Indian Ocean, the beautiful beaches and the abundant subtropical vegetation. Durban has the largest concentration of Indian immigrants and you can see, hear, taste and smell it everywhere. There is a cozy atmosphere due to this special mix of East and West.

The area around Gray Street and the Victoria Street Market evoke memories of Eastern bazaars, with shops and stalls selling spices, saris, copper ornaments and jewelry. Visit the Gray Street Mosque, the largest mosque in the southern hemisphere or the largest shopping complex in Africa: Gateway Theater of Shopping.

Historical buildings are reminders of the British colonial past, in particular the Durban City Hall. This Edwardian, neo-baroque building was built in 1910 and is a copy of Belfast’s town hall; it houses a museum, an art gallery and a library. Nearby, in the old station building on Pine Street, you will find Tourist Junction where you can get a lot of information.
30 km from Durban is the Valley of a Thousand Hills, an area with rolling hills where tourists can experience the traditional Zulu way of life in cultural villages such as the Assagay Safari Park. Pietermaritzburg is also a short distance away, the second largest city in KwaZulu-Natal, with many beautiful brick houses from the Victorian and Edwardian times. The beautiful City Hall is a national monument. The brick station was given a place in history when Mahatma Gandhi was forced to leave the train here in 1893 because of his race – an incident that started his political career. A statue honors this Indian freedom fighter

The Beach
Durban is ideal for water lovers. Surfers feel like a fish in the water because of the wild waves and in many places surf lessons are offered and surfboards are rented out. Next to the beach you will find a six kilometer long promenade also known as The Golden Mile. Here you will find amusement parks, discos, bars, restaurants and more.

Victoria Street Market
Do you feel like shopping? Victoria Street Market offers almost two hundred stalls with, among other things, beautiful woven baskets and wooden statuettes, but you will also find delicious fresh fish, exotic spices and Indian specialties.


If you are traveling with children, Durban is also a nice destination, visit the uShaka Marine World: a large park with all kinds of water attractions.

Walk through the old center

If you are in Durban, leave the beach a day for what it is and walk in the beautiful old town center. Start at the stately City Hall on Smith Street, with its 48-meter high dome. The town hall was praised as one of the most beautiful colonial town halls in the British Empire. The Natural Science Museum is a few meters away. Admission is free and you can admire an extensive collection of stuffed African animals. Continue your city walk towards the Durban Art Gallery. This museum is open seven days a week. It is one of the first museums in South Africa to exhibit native art. The work of local artists and indigenous crafts is still central.

If you have missed the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, then it is a must see. It offers a moving exhibition about life as an African during the former regime. Admire wax pictures, a photo reportage of protests and rebels and exhibitions about Indian Gray Street and the glorious Juma Musjid mosque. Finish your day with the KwaZuzulwazi Science Center, where there are exhibitions about Zulu culture.

Add to my travel plans