Every year I make the annual pilgrimage to my home town in South Africa. Durban is a sleepy coastal city, famed for its great beaches (The Golden Mile), its lush tropical foliage, and is known as the home of the Zulu tribe.
It’s a true melting pot of color and creed, which is represented in the vast array of savors one can find. From fresh, just-caught seafood delights (think succulent sardines drizzled in olive oil and coarse sea salt) to choice cuts of dry aged steak, even the most refined palate will be spoiled for choice.
Then there’s the unmissable bunny chow. A genius combination of spicy curry and carb overload, it consists of a hollowed out potion of bread filled with a delicious curry of choice. The middle part of the bread is never discarded, but instead forms a convenient device for mopping up any gravy that dare escape its doughy ‘container’. Typically eaten with the hands, and from the top down, it’s a feast that should not be overlooked.
Of course my trip home will encompass many, many braais. A shortened form of the Afrikaans word for barbeque – “braaivleis”, it literally means ‘grilled meat’. In South Africa, the braai is more than a typical BBQ, but rather a social event where friends and family come together. A carnivorous bunch, expect a variety of meat (steak, sausages, boerewors, chicken, ribs etc.), cooked on a braaistand and eaten leisurely outside. Typically enjoyed with servings of salad, mashed potatoes, baked beans and corn on the cob, the braai can turn into a whole-day affair.
Don’t even get me started on samoosas, koeksisters, breyani, biltong, snoek, chicken tikka… The endless assortment will certainly be a foodie’s heaven.
**During my time in SA, I plan to visit and some of the top local eateries. You’ll find these reviews right here in the coming weeks.**
The coast of Durban is lined with hotels to suit any taste and budget. From the posh and glamorous Beverly Hills Hotel overlooking the Indian Ocean in Umhlanga Rocks, to an array of bed and breakfast options, one will be spoilt for choice. My personal favorite is the Suncoast Hotel (where Mr Wolf and I tied the knot).
There is even the possibility to rent self-catering holiday apartments on the beach. Prices vary drastically by area and size of the apartment, but in my experience the best area to book a self-catering vacation is Umdloti beach.
Various activities from safaris to water sports are on offer, and many of these cater to families with children as well.
With year-round sunshine, Durban is a leisure destination of choice for both South Africans and foreigners alike.
The time has finally arrived for my annual Great Trek, and I am SO looking forward to spending some quality time with the places and faces I love. I’ll be updating with my experiences regularly, so stay tuned!