Durban is the South African city where I was born and raised. I’m so proud to call this friendly, permanently-sunny place my home. More laid-back that Johannesburg, and perhaps not as vibey as Cape Town, Durban has its own beach culture going on and is the perfect place to grab some rays on the golden mile.
With various attractions and must see museums on the Durban must-see list, here are the top five experiences that shouldn’t be overlooked when in the city.
1. Get a bird’s eye view at the Moses Mabhida Stadium
The gorgeous (yes, I said gorgeous when referring to a piece of architecture) Durban stadium, built for the memorable 2010 Football World Cup offers a series of activities regardless of your age, or interest in physical activity for that matter. If you’re an adrenaline junkie, you can try the Big Swing; which allows only the very, very brave to bungee jump from the centre of the stadium’s impressive arch. If you prefer something a little tamer, that will still get your heart racing, why not give the Adventure Walk a try? Tackling the zillion (it must be, right?) steps up the arch isn’t for the fainthearted.
Then, if you’re like me and breaking a sweat isn’t really your thing, why not get the same incredible panoramic views by opting for the Skycar. A two-minute journey in the Skycar takes you to the very top of the arch where you’re presented with unparalleled 360° views over the city.
For more information and pricing: http://www.mmstadium.com/
2. View an eyeful of birds at the Umgeni River Bird Park
Situated, as the name suggests, along the banks of the Umgeni River, the Bird Park is an ideal family activity that is fun as well as educational. From bird feedings, to interactions with friendly Lorikeets, there are a variety of activities arranged on a daily basis. With a collection of over 800 birds from more than 200 species, the bird park is a must do when in Durban.
For more info: http://www.umgeniriverbirdpark.co.za/
3. Get your shopping on at Gateway Theatre of Shopping
With an abundance of stores ranging from quirky boutiques to designer labels, from monstrous supermarkets to jewellery outlets, Gateway is the perfect place to shop when in Durban. But it is so much more than just a mall. Having coined the term “shoppertainment” for good reason, the centre provides fun-fill activity choices including one of the largest indoor climbing mountains, a videogame arcade, a Wavehouse and a skate park. The centre offers 18 movie theatres and a variety of restaurants and coffee shops. Prefect way to spend a Sunday (or any day, in my humble opinion).
4. Bike the Golden Mile
The golden mile (actually longer than your typical mile) is a paved stretch of promenade along the golden sandy beaches of Durban. Craft markets, fisherman, surfers and beachgoers line the coast and make for an interesting ride along this route. Numerous bike rental companies offer fantastic rates, so there is no excuse not to enjoy a leisurely ride along this track with the sun on your back and the warm Indian Ocean breeze in your face.
5. Spice things up at the Victoria Street Market
There aren’t too many places in this world where you can buy a sari, get a henna tattoo and scoff down a deliciously hot curry in a day. Not outside of Asia anyway. So with one of the largest Indian populations outside of India; Durban is by far one of the Rainbow Nation’s most multicultural cities. The Victoria Street Market is a homage to Indian culture, with almost 200 stalls bustling with oriental products. From spices to clothing, from souvenirs to fresh fish, the lively market is one stop that shouldn’t be overlooked when in Durban.