This bustling beachfront promenade is lined with high-rise hotels, entertainment complexes, shops, and restaurants and referred to as the “Golden Mile.” Vast expanses of golden beaches draw water sports enthusiasts who come here to surf, swim, fish, or just bask in the sunshine. Lifeguards and shark nets protect most of the warm Indian Ocean beaches all year-round.
The oldest surviving botanic garden in Africa are set on the slopes of Berea Hill, northwest of the city centre. Founded in 1849, they were established for the trial of agricultural crops. Today, visitors can wander among the indigenous and exotic subtropical plantings, including splendid heritage trees, some of which are more than 100 years old.
Encompassing the Victoria Street Market and Juma Masjid Mosque, the largest in the southern hemisphere, Durban’s Indian Quarter is now a multicultural mix of sounds, sights and aromas. Chinese, Pakistani, Indian and Somali street vendors bargain along the pavements, peddling everything from spices and saris to beaded sandals, incense and delicately handmade jewellery. Bargain hunters flock to this area and surrounding restaurants boast some of the most authentic Indian cuisine available in the city.
USHAKA MARINE WORLD
One of the main attractions on Durban’s Golden Mile, is a water-themed paradise crammed with attractions. Set on replicas of four shipwrecks, Sea World features the largest aquarium in the southern hemisphere, where visitors can experience marine life at close range through underground viewing walkways.
Other attractions here include a Dolphin Stadium, Seal Stadium, and Penguin Rookery. After a fun day enjoying all the sea-themed attractions, visitors can stroll among the outdoor shops and restaurants at Village Walk.
MOSES MABHIDA STADIUM
Moses Mabhida Stadium is a world-class sporting and event venue which hosted eight of the FIFA World Cup Games in 2010. The top of the stadium’s arch provides a breath-taking 360-degree view of Durban. Visitors can either climb the 500 steps or catch the Sky Car to reach the pinnacle.
Adventure-seekers will enjoy the 220-meter Big Rush Big Swing, the world’s highest. A few restaurants are available as well as sports shops.
Umhlanga Rocks (pronounced Umshlanga), 16 kilometres north of Durban, is a popular, upscale resort town. Long golden beaches, interrupted by rocky coast, stretch for 200 kilometers north of Durban to the beautiful Isimangaliso Wetland Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, containing eight interlinking ecosystems; three major lake systems; and Africa’s largest estuarine system, Lake St. Lucia.
A few kilometres north of Durban lies the popular, upscale resort town of Umhlanga Rocks (pronounced Umshlanga). Long superb beaches, disconnected by rocky coast, stretch for 200 km north of Durban to the beautiful Isimangaliso Wetland Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, containing eight interlinking ecosystems; three major lake systems; and Africa’s largest estuarine system, Lake St. Lucia.
VALLEY OF 1000 HILLS & PHE-ZULU
Inland from Umhlanga Rocks lies the Valley of 1000 Hills, a stunning region of softly rounded hills peppered with scenic viewpoints, Zulu homesteads, and gorges. Rising up along the banks of the Umgeni River, it flows into the Indian Ocean from the distant Drakensberg mountains. Experience magnificent views on the old road between Durban and Pietermaritzburg running along the southern edge of the valley.
After passing Hillcrest and Botha’s Hill, it comes to Phe-Zulu, a typical Zulu village where visitors can see traditional dance performances and witness the rituals of a witch doctor.