Durban is South Africa’s most popular beach side city and overlooks the warm Indian Ocean. The weather is sunny and calm all year round, so there is never a bad time to head to Durban’s beaches.
The beachfront promenade in Durban has recently undergone a massive redevelopment and is now a great place to walk or sit and watch the locals. If you are feeling energetic you can hire a bike and cycle the 5km promenade from the incredible Moses Mabida stadium to the fun filled water park at uShaka Marine World.
Ushaka is one of the main attractions in Durban and houses a truly amazing aquarium in a model of an ocean going cruise liner from the past. Sections of the ship are recreations of the interiors of famous cruise liners that sank such as the Titanic. Outside the ship you will find seals, dolphins, penguins and a number of other creatures found in the Indian Ocean. The water park section has the highest water slide in Africa, a terrifying 18 meter drop straight down, this slide is only for the very brave. The park has number of fun slides, pools and a lazy river to keep you entertained all day.
On the main beaches you will find a selection of bars and restaurants to suit every budget. There is a small market selling curios and a variety of local street food such as the famous bunny chow- a curry served in a hollowed out loaf of bread.
If you want to leave the hustle and bustle of the city, take a day trip north to the famous golden beaches of Ballito. Those in need of some retail therapy should visit Umhlanga Rocks and the Gateway theater of shopping, the largest shopping mall in the Southern Hemisphere.
A fun idea for a relaxing afternoon away from the beaches is a trip to the Durban Botanical Gardens. The gardens started off as a haven for crops back in 1849. Today, they are home to sub-tropical trees, orchids, and palms. Grab a few items from a local store and enjoy a picnic in the garden. Concerts are held in the park on a regular basis.
If you want a unique religious experience, head to nearby suburb of Chatsworth to see the Hare Krishna Temple of Understanding. It’s a great place to sit back and relax, no matter what your religious beliefs might be! While you are in the area try some of the local cuisine such as mutton curry, breyani and samosas.
Cheap car rental can be found at King Shaka Airport. The major companies such as Avis can be found there as well as some local companies. Cheaper hire places can be found in the center of the city.
There are a number of hotels along the Durban beachfront. If you want cheap Durban hotels with an ocean view there are a number of places on the southern side towards uShaka Marine World. The northern beaches have more luxurious hotels but you will still find some good deals in the area. If an ocean view is out of your budget you will find a number of cheap hotels a few blocks towards the city. The city has quite a few backpackers and many of them have great facilities and some even have en-suite rooms. They can be a great place to stay if you are on a budget and you will meet lots of people.