Durban is the third largest city in South Africa and the country's leading holiday resort. A small settlement here in 1823; the Zulus, on whose tribal land Durban lies; and the Boers, all played a part in shaping Durban's character. Contract laborers arrived in 1860 to work on the sugar plantations. Visitors can experience the rich cultural heritage in the Indian and Zulu markets, parks and gardens, the long beaches lapped by the warm Indian Ocean and the excellent infrastructure luring visitors from all around the world.
TOP 10 PLACES TO VISIT
Muckleneuk designed by Sir Herbert Baker, holds the documents and artefacts collected by Dr Killie Campbell and her father Sir Marshall Campbell, and these are extremely important records of early Natal and Zulu culture. Works by black artists was collected by Killie Campbell 60 years before the Durban Gallery did. She was the first patron of Barbara Tyrrell, who recorded the traditional costumes of the indigenous peoples. Tyrrell's paintings beautifully convey clothing and decoration, and the grace of the people wearing them. These collections are well worth seeing.
2.uSHAKA MARINE WORLD
As one of the largest aquariums in the world, it is divided into sections including Sea World and Wet ‘n ‘Wild. With the biggest collection of sharks in the southern hemisphere, marine animals and exhibits, a mock-up 1940s steamer wreck featuring two classy restaurants, a shopping centre, and enough freshwater rides to make you seasick. You can 'meet' dolphins, seals and rays, but animal welfare groups suggest such interactions create stress for these creatures.
This museum features a private collection of Southern African tribal artefacts, displayed in Roberts House, a Victorian monument. Paul Mikula (owner-collector) has amassed outstanding examples of contemporary sculptures, beadwork of KwaZulu-Natal, carved statues, and artefacts from pipes to fertility dolls.
Situated in the Phoenix township, lies this gem of Durban’s historic past where Mahatma Gandhi lived and resisted oppressive apartheid regime. Visitor can see several exhibits dedicated to him, his wife Kasturba, and other leaders of the anti-apartheid movement.
5.THE SRI SRI RADHA RADHANATH TEMPLE
With its lavish architecture and the largest Hare Krishna temple in Africa it is surrounded by a beautiful lotus-shaped garden. The temple is an impressive confection of gold-tinged domes, gilded statues, chandeliers, marble tiles, and ceiling frescoes.
6.HARE KRISHNA TEMPLE OF UNDERSTANDING
As the most impressive and largest Krishna temple in the Southern Hemisphere it is richly decorated interior and exterior. The Three towering pillars with golden accents dominate an octagonal meditation room, while the ceiling frescoes depicting the life of Krishna. Other ornaments include crystal chandeliers, marble tiles, golden statuettes, and gold-tinted windows.
Suitable for the whole family, this touch of Venice in the heart of Durban provides an enjoyable alternative to sightseeing. Situated on the Durban’s Point Waterfront Canal, full of colorful fish life and flanked by photogenic bridges and great shopping opportunities. You can choose a romantic day or night ride, or go for another option, like Venetian masked ride, picnic ride, or deluxe tour with live music.
8.INANDA HERITAGE TRAIL
As part of the Freedom Route, the trail begins at the Inanda Township, home to the Ohlange Institute, where in 1994 Nelson Mandela voted in South Africa’s first democratic elections. The trail encompasses key historic sites that have been pivotal to the shaping of South Africa as it is today. Some of these sites include Gandhi’s Phoenix Settlement, where Mahatma Gandhi nurtured his passive-resistance philosophy, and the Inanda Seminary, one of South Africa’s oldest schools for girls founded by American missionaries in 1869.
It was formerly the Native Administration Department, where Durban’s colonial authorities formulated the structures of urban racial segregation, which were the blueprints of South Africa’s apartheid policy. Step through the copper-covered entrance doors to find a post-apartheid museum documenting the history experienced by all of Durban’s residents. Exhibitions on apartheid are housed in various rooms leading off a central courtyard.
The castle was built by Dering Stainbank in 1885 as a family home. The gracious old stone homestead is situated in the heart of the Kenneth Stainbank Nature Reserve, surrounded by giant Yellowwood trees. The 253 hectare nature reserve is home to many species of antelope, zebra and abundant birdlife. The castle remained in the family for 4 generations, and contains many of the original household contents including furniture from the 19th century, old family portraits and antique silverware. The castle was donated to the sate 50 year ago, but is still managed by the family. It is now open to the public for guided tours, school outings and hire of the grounds for small weddings, functions and photography.
OTHER PLACES TO VISIT
The best way to get around in Durban is by car, bus, taxi & Uber.