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City Durban

Durban is named after the Governor of the Cape in 1824; Benjamin D'Urban. With the development in the sugarcane industry, the city grew into a major port. Today it has one of the largest ports in the world. The city got its own character by the workers, where the sugarcane planters left for India on ships for money.

Durban is famous as the place "where it's always, long live the fun," an exciting, cosmopolitan city with wide sandy beaches, a wealth of cultural attractions, fantastic nightlife and a sunny climate all year round. Durban is built around the busiest port in South Africa and shows a fascinating fusion of European, Indian and indigenous Zulu influences.

The area around Grey Street and Victoria Street Market evoke memories of oriental bazaars, shops and stalls selling spices, saris, brass ornaments and jewelry. Visit the Grey Street Mosque, the largest mosque in the Southern Hemisphere and the largest shopping complex in Africa: the Gateway Theatre of Shopping.

Historic buildings are reminders of the British colonial past, particularly the Durban City Hall. This Edwardian neo-baroque building was built in 1910 and is a copy of Belfast City Hall; it houses a museum, an art gallery and a library. Close by, in the old station building in Pine Street, is Tourist Junction. Here you can get lots of information.

The hustle and bustle of a typical African market can be seen in Warwick Junction, where you can discover the secrets of traditional herbal medicines with a 'sangoma' (Zulu soothsayer). Exhibitions of art and crafts can be found in the Bat Centre, the NSA Gallery and the African Art Centre. The history of the indigenous Zulu population and the struggle for freedom can be seen in the Kwa Muhle museum. The Local History Museum tells the story of the early white settlers, while seeing nautical souvenirs at the Maritime Museum. The attention of the Natural History Museum focuses on the life of animals and birds.

The Durban Botanical Gardens are known for their bird life and their beautiful collection of native trees and tropical plants. Also worth a visit is the Umgeni Bird Park on the banks of the Umgeni River, where many species, brightly colored, indigenous and exotic birds can be seen in free-bird houses.

In the evening you can see various productions at The Playhouse, from opera and ballet to avant-garde events. Durban is also a lively place after sunset. For dinner you have a choice of specialty restaurants, with cuisines ranging from Italian to Japanese, from Portuguese to steaks and seafood. A meal at an Indian restaurant is a "must".

30 km from Durban lays the Valley of a Thousand Hills, an area of ​​rolling hills where tourists can experience the traditional Zulu way of life in cultural villages like Assagay Safari Park. Also at a short distance is Pietermaritzburg, the second largest city in KwaZulu-Natal, with many beautiful brick houses from the Victorian and Edwardian period. The beautiful City Hall is a National monument. The brick station has been in place in history when Mahatma Gandhi was forced here from the train to move in 1893 because of his race - an incident that launched his political career. A statue honors the Indian freedom fighter.

More on Durban
In this city you can enjoy the warm Indian Ocean, the beautiful beaches and exuberant subtropical vegetation. Durban is the third largest city in South Africa and has over three million inhabitants. It is the capital of the province of KwaZulu-Natal. Durban has the largest concentration of Indian immigrants which you see, hear, taste and smell everywhere. There is a cozy atmosphere with this special blend of East and West.

The beaches
Durban is perfect for water lovers. Surfers feel like a fish in the water by the wild waves. Surf courses are also offered, giving you, even if you have no experience, the opportunity to learn to surf. Next to the beach is also a six-kilometer-long promenade known as the Golden Mile. Here you will find amusement parks, nightclubs, pubs and markets.

Victoria Street Market
Do you want to go shopping? Victoria Street Market offers nearly two hundred stalls with beautiful woven baskets and wooden figurines, but you can also find delicious fresh fish, exotic spices and Indian specialties.

Valley of 1000 Hills
If you want to be active in your holidays, take a nice walk in the beautiful Valley of 1000 Hills. This is a beautiful area just off Durban with kilometer long hills.

If you are traveling with children, Durban is a nice destination. Sea World, Wet 'n Wild, uShaka Beach and Durban Dolphinarium came together in 2004 as uShaka Marine World. In the park there is an underwater world. There are many shops, restaurants and even hairdressers and massage parlors!

Walk through the old town
If you are in Durban, leave the beach for one day, and walk in the beautiful old city center. Start at the Town Hall in Smith Street, with its 48 meter high dome. The town hall was hailed as one of the most beautiful colonial town houses of the British Empire. The Natural Science Museum is a few meters away. Entrance is free and you can admire an extensive collection of stuffed African animals. Put your walking tour towards the Durban Art Gallery. The museum is open seven days a week. It is one of the first museums in South Africa, who exhibited indigenous art. It is still the work of local artists and native handicrafts center.

If you missed the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, it is a must see. It offers a moving exhibition about life as an African during the former regime. Admire waxworks, a photo shoot of protests and rebels and exhibitions on Indian Grey Street and the glorious Musjid Juma mosque. Round off your day with the KwaZuzulwazi Science Centre, where exhibits are about the Zulu culture.

Your holiday begins at South Africa Specialist!