Durban’s Top 10 Attractions

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Discover the Indian District

Take a guided walk in the district around Dr Yusuf Dadoo (Grey) and Bertha Mkhize (Victoria) Streets experience the city’s Indian heritage and history. Tourism KwaZulu-Natal’s “Oriental Walk-About” includes stops at the Zulu Muti (traditional medicine) Market and the Victoria Street Market (the Vic), where vendors in traditional kurtas and saris hawk incense, ornately embroidered fabrics, and aromatic spices.

Explore the Bottom of uShaka Sea World

One of the world’s largest aquariums, uShaka Sea World, is the main attraction of the 40-acre uShaka Marine World, encompassing the Wet and Wild Water Park and the Village Walk Shopping Center. The aquarium’s animal encounters promote sustainable use of the marine environment. Attempt the Ocean Walker experience to don a tethered breathing helmet and walk slowly across the bottom of the Open Ocean Exhibit, home to rays and assorted pelagic fish that include tuna, dorado and sardines. Or step into a clear, enclosed cylinder and drop into the large shark tank as part of the Shark Dive Experience.

Stroll or Bike the Golden Mile

Named for the golden sandy beaches lining the coastal edge of the city’s CBD, the popular “Golden Mile” actually extends for about four miles from Blue Lagoon to Addington Beach and Durban Harbor. A wide, brick-paved promenade makes it easy to walk, jog, or bike the route, detouring out on the piers to watch surfers, kite boarders, and sand castle architects, or soak in the warm Indian Ocean breeze.

Learn About the “Durban System” at KwaMuhle Museum

Housed in the former headquarters of the city’s Native Affairs Department, the KwaMuhle Museum shares the story of Durban’s past and present. The topics that are covered range from African migration and apartheid to ongoing “green street” efforts in historic Cato Manor township. Photographs, government documents, videos, and personal testimonials illustrate how the Durban System provided the framework for the national apartheid policy.

Walk Among “Living Fossils” at the Botanical Gardens

Founded in 1849, Africa’s oldest surviving botanical gardens houses one of the world’s top collections of “living fossil” plants. These pre-dinosaur cycads face possible extinction in the wild. The Wood’s Cycad species is named for founding Durban Botanic Gardens curator and botanist John Medley Wood, who, in 1895, discovered a single, surviving cycad plant in a Zululand forest.

Take a Kwazulu-Natal Sharks Board Boat Tour

Beaches along the Kwazulu-Natal coastline are the only ones in South Africa protected by shark safety gear making shark attacks here quite rare. While the top priority of the KZN Sharks Board is protecting swimmers and surfers, the institute also works to educate the public about shark behavior and biology, as well as to reduce the environmental impact of safety measures.

Bushwalk at Tala Game Reserve

Tala Game Reserve brings the African bush within an hour’s drive of Durban. Home to 380 species of birds and big game—including rhinos, wildebeests, bok, warthogs, hippos, and giraffes—the sanctuary is spread over 7,400 acres of African bushveld. Take a two-hour guided bushwalk, ride with a ranger on a two-hour game drive, or explore the park at your own pace on a self-drive safari.

Catch a Sharks Rugby Match

Professional rugby is a bruising blend of football, soccer, and small-scale sumo wrestling, and the KwaZulu-Natal Rugby Union team, The Sharks, consistently rank as one of South Africa’s best. The action on the field at Durban’s Mr Price Kings Park is fast and furious, and the spirited fun continues at celebratory after-parties on the outerfields.

Hit the Beach

Comfortable sea temperatures averaging 21°C year-round, a subtropical climate, and 300-plus days of sunshine make any day in Durban a potential beach day. Each stretch of golden sand has its own identity: South Coast for world-class surfing, Addington Beach for families, Bay of Plenty for beach volleyball tournaments. The Golden Mile beaches closest to Durban’s city center are the most convenient. For more blanket room, head north to the Umhlanga Coast to swim and kite board at Umhlanga Rocks, or to hike the coastal forest boardwalk trail through Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Reserve, home to vervet monkeys.

Explore Moses mabhida Stadium

Durban’s new icon, Moses Mabhida Stadium, offers a variety of experiences and attractions for all. Take a trip on the SkyCar or attempt the 550 step adventure walk to the top of the arch and enjoy panoramic views of the Indian Ocean and Durban. For the adrenaline junkies, try plunging off the 106m arch on the BigSwing.

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