Durban at a glance
Durban is the largest city in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal and the third largest city in the country, forming part of the eThekwini metropolitan municipality. Durban is famous as the busiest port in South Africa and is also a major centre of tourism because of the city's warm subtropical climate and extensive beaches. Voted as one of the top 10 family beach holiday cities in the world, Durban has a wide range of accommodation to suit everyone’s needs.
With more than 100 kilometers of coastline, the eThekwini (Durban) region offers beaches for everybody's taste. Whether your ideal beach is bustling with activities or quiet and secluded, we have the beach to suit your needs!
Durban was originally called Port Natal, and was founded by British settlers. Indian workers were brought in to work the sugar cane plantations, making this one of the largest population centers of Indians in South Africa. Zulu and English are the most common languages in Durban.
It is home to South Africa's only surfing museum, and is one of the most surf-friendly cities in the world. Frustrated wage slaves can look out of their office windows onto awesome breaks - and then shed the tie and jacket or the high heels and paddle out straight after work. Durban is the closest seaport to Johannesburg and is also an integral part of the city. As well as all the usual container docks it has not one, but two yacht clubs and a great little cultural spot right in the middle of the harbour - the BAT centre.
Accommodation in Durban itself is conveniently concentrated along the beachfront or Golden Mile, close to the Durban central business district. Slick, high rise Durban hotels with sea views and swimming pools proliferate along this lively strip. Another area that’s close to the beachfront and CBD with more hotels, guesthouses, bed and breakfasts and affordable self-catering apartments and villas are the leafy suburbs of Berea and Morningside, well endowed with exceptional restaurants and shopping malls. It is highly advisable to book accommodation in advance during peak season (December and January) as scores of holiday makers descend upon all the beach locations in Durban. Durban North is also an extremely popular choice with holiday makers.
On average, Durban’s 320 sunny days ensure that we get to experience the beauty of our sub-tropical climate all year round. Our golden beaches, azure skies and sea temperatures average between 24 and 19 degrees. Durban is the perfect beach destination regardless of the season. Winter however, brings with it the best surf and although you may not need a wetsuit, you should pack the sun block! Along our almost 100 km of gorgeous beaches you’ll find people chilling on the beach, soaking up the rays or playing in the waves. Oh yes, and there’s kite surfing, beach volleyball, jet skiing, paddle boat rides, to name a couple other activities to keep you busy. The beach is one of the best places to spend your free time. To prove just how fabulous Durban is, acclaimed travel publishers, The Lonely Planet, have recently voted us one of the 10 top family beach holiday cities in the world.
With our main beaches shark netted and patrolled from sunrise to sunset by trained lifeguards, Durban is a magnet for sun worshippers and surfers – even in winter. Extending from uShaka Beach in the south to Country Club Beach in the north, Durban’s famous beachfront Promenade offers visitors an uninterrupted 10km of sea views, as well as a selection of restaurants and pubs.
Just a breath away from central Durban, the expansive evergreen western inland route opens her arms for you to explore & enjoy.
More than just a destination, alive with the scent of early settlers of yesteryear, witness to colonial migration, apartheid dominance, cultural conflict, democratic birth & religious freedom, Durban West has matured to become the Business and Hospitality Capital of Greater Durban.
In the Durban West area you will find Crompton Hospitals, University of Durban Westville, the Pavillion, the Queensburgh/ Westmead and New Germany Industrial areas and Pinetown businesses.
This area includes the Durban Inner West suburbs of Sherwood, Mayville, Cato Manor, Chesterville, Bellair, Westville, Reservoir Hills, Pinetown, Cowies Hill, New Germany, Clermont, Mariannhill, Queensburgh, Westmead and Sarnia.
The Outer West area of the city of Durban extends from Kloof inland and includes the beautiful Valley of 1000 Hills, up the winding and picturesque Botha's Hill. Also out this way are many shopping centres such as the much-enjoyed Hillcrest Heritage Market with its beautiful rose gardens - a perfect place fora Sunday breakfast with the family, or after your mountain bike ride through Giba Gorge!