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Durban’s sweeping skyline, which rises up from the golden sandy beaches along its shore, greets you as you pull into port in this beautiful South African city. Founded in 1835 by the British, the city has grown in size and stature to the vibrant cosmopolitan conurbation that it is today. It has some of the best all year-round weather, making it the ideal South African beach resort, and it draws in the crowds due to its stunning coastline and friendly atmosphere. Travelling further inland, you can experience diverse cultures and habitats which will give you a true sense of Africa.
Durban is a vibrant mix of the traditional and the contemporary. Within easy reach of some of the best game reserves and playing host to tourist attractions like Sea World and Wet’n’Wild, the city offers tourists the opportunity to experience very different sides of the African culture, with sights and activities catering for all tastes. There is a wide variety of activities to enjoy in and around the city.
uShaka Marine Park
If you are in the mood for some aquatic fun and fancy combining it with the thrills and spills of theme park rides then uShaka Marine Park is a great place to head. The complex is split into different zones which are home to well-known names like Sea World and Wet’n’Wild. It has one of the world’s largest aquariums, hosting a giant collection of sharks, dolphins and marine animals, as well as its own beach where you can go kayaking or surfing.
Durban was the founding city for apartheid and the KwaMuhle Museum is housed in the building where the first structures of racial segregation were formulated. The museum has a collection including displays to show the history of the segregation as well as more positive information on how Durban is moving forward and its plans for renewal.
Tala Game Reserve
If you have a bit of time on your hands, then a visit to the Tala Game reserve is a must. It is only situated an hour and 15 minutes from Durban but is like a different world. From the hustle and bustle of the city you are transported to 7,000 acres of wild African plains which calls itself home to kudu, Sable Antelope, giraffes, rhinos and hippos. You can enjoy a tour of the reserve in an open vehicle with a well-trained guide on hand to talk to you about all of the animals that you may encounter.
Shakaland If you are interested in the traditional Zulu tribes and their culture you will appreciate the recreated Zulu village, Shakaland. This was originally built for the film Shaka Zulu and continues to enthral visitors by recreating the rituals and customs of Zulu life. Here you can witness everyday living with the women weaving and sculpting as well as baking and making beer. The men are busy at work building huts or making spears and shields.
With such a diverse mix of people, Durban’s shopping is equally as eclectic. Retail experiences range from Flea markets rich in unique trinkets to the impressive Gateway Mall. If you are looking for something traditional and unique to take home as a souvenir, then the African Art Centre is a good place to stop, selling high quality pieces made by traditional rural craftsmen in a non-profit environment. If you are in the market for something old and rare, then Ike’s Books and Collectables may have just what you are looking for. It is stuffed full of curios and trinkets as well as first edition books and antiques – a real find.
It would be a shame not to enjoy a meal looking out over Durban's golden sandy beaches and the Beach Café is the obvious choice of venue for lunch or dinner. Serving up local and international dishes, it has a very laid back vibe, with patrons able to relax and enjoy their food from a deckchair or the interior of the restaurant, both of which offer views out over the beach. At Cargo Hold in the uShaka Marina, it is you who are being watched – by the sharks in the aquarium through a large glass wall. The restaurant serves up some excellent sea food dishes, that is if you don’t find your dinner companions too disconcerting.
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