The enchanting coastal city of Durban is a popular tourist destination in South Africa, where people can enjoy all sorts of fun activities for the entire family. Whether you chose to go swimming or visit a museum, there is never a dull moment in the KwaZulu-Natal coast. Here is a list of 10 exciting activities and sights in Durban. It’s also a haven for surfers. Long beaches lapped by the warm Indian Ocean, a mild subtropical climate, and excellent infrastructure lure tourists by the millions.
A good starting point for a walking tour of Durban is the “Golden Mile.” This bustling beachfront promenade is lined with high-rise hotels, entertainment complexes, shops, and restaurants. The broad, golden beaches are a magnet for water sports enthusiasts who come here to surf, swim, fish, or just bask in the sunshine. Lifeguards and shark nets protect most of the beaches year-round. Along the busy oceanfront path, pedestrians jostle with joggers, cyclists, Segways, and skateboarders, making the area feel a little like California.
Moses Mabhida Stadium
Built for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the enormous stadium has many adrenaline-inducing activities on offer. The Sky Car, a single cabin that runs up steel tracks on the northern arch of the stadium and is designed to roll down the arch under its own gravity (in case of load shedding), has a 106m vantage point. Tickets cost R60 per adult and R30 for kids under the age of 12. There’s also the Big Swing ride, the tallest swing in the world since 2011 (at R695 per person it exceeds our budget but is cheaper than skydiving and looks just as nerve-wracking).
Ushaka Marine World
Ushaka Marine World, one of the main attractions on Durban’s Golden Mile, is a water-themed wonderland packed with attractions. Sea World, set on replicas of four shipwrecks, features the largest aquarium in the southern hemisphere, where visitors can get up close to marine life through underground viewing galleries. Other attractions here include a Dolphin Stadium, Seal Stadium, and Penguin Rookery. Wet ‘n’ Wild is an extravaganza of splash pools, slides, and super tubes, while uShaka Kids’ World is a paradise for two- to 12-year-olds.
Inanda Heritage Trail
The Inanda Heritage Trail forms part of the Freedom Route, which recognizes important historical areas in the KwaZulu Natal province. The trail begins at the Inanda Township, home to the Ohlange Institute, where in 1994 Nelson Mandela voted in South Africa’s first democratic elections. The Inanda Heritage Trail encompasses key historic sites that have been pivotal to the shaping of South Africa as it is today. Some of these sites include Gandhi’s Phoenix Settlement, where Mahatma Gandhi nurtured his passive-resistance philosophy, and the Inanda Seminary, one of South Africa’s oldest schools for girls founded by American missionaries in 1869.
Umgeni River Bird Park
In the Riverside district, on the north bank of the Umgeni River, Umgeni River Bird Park features more than 200 species of birds, and some are the only representatives of their kind in Africa. On a network of paths running through lush landscaping and waterfalls, visitors can observe a variety of indigenous species, as well as birds from Southeast Asia and Australia, including lories, cockatoos, and aras. One of the highlights of the park is the bird show, where visitors can learn more about the exotic species as they perform.