South Africa’s third-most populous city, Durban, offers a delightful blend of pristine beaches and stunning tourist attractions. Whether you’re a lover of nature or a sports enthusiast, the largest city in KwaZulu-Natal has something for everyone. In this comprehensive guide, we will take you on a ride to discover the 10 best places to visit in Durban. So, pack your bags and get ready to explore this vibrant city!
10 Best Places to Visit in Durban
Formerly called Port Natal, Durban is one of the fastest-growing cities in the world, having been among the host cities of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. From stunning beaches to vibrant cultural attractions, Durban has it all.
Durban is really an amazing place to visit for every adventurer. Explore the 10 best places to visit in Durban and discover the beauty of this South African gem.
1. Golden Mile: A Coastal Paradise
Our journey starts on the famous Golden Mile. Nestled four miles along the Indian Ocean, Golden Mile is known for its array of pristine beaches and idyllic lagoons.
This vibrant promenade is surrounded by high-rise hotels and entertainment complexes, which makes it the perfect place to cool off for the day.
The Golden Mile provides several water sports and activities. As you take a walk through this bustling strip, you will come across a vibrant mix of rollerbladers, cyclists, joggers, and skateboarders.
2. uShaka Marine World: Underwater Adventure
Africa’s largest aquarium, uShaka Marine World, is one of the best places to visit in Durban. The 16-hectare theme park is a perfect family destination for enjoying thrilling waterways and getting up close to marine life.
uShaka Marine World is a seaside jewel that offers wild adventures and unlimited fun. As you enter the gates of this wondrous theme park, you’ll definitely be captivated by its amazing beauty.
As you wind through the village walk, a unique shopper’s paradise in an open-air environment, your senses are awakened by a world of entertainment, shopping, and family fun.
Take up an audience with the seals, penguins, and dolphins, where you’ll be charmed as they playfully demonstrate their talents and skills on uShaka’s daily shows.
Step into a mesmerizing underwater world as you explore the underground viewing galleries and come face to face with a wide array of marine life, including sharks, dolphins, and turtles.
3. Durban Botanic Gardens: A Botanical Oasis
Discover peacefulness at Africa’s oldest surviving botanic garden. Durban Botanic Garden is home to tons of indigenous and exotic plants.
If you’re a nature enthusiast, Durban Botanic Garden is a must-visit for you. Also, if you are a bird buff, it will interest you to know that the gardens are a repository for at least fifty different species of birds.
4. Moses Mabhida Stadium: Sporting Excellence
Moses Mabhida Stadium is a multipurpose stadium named after a former General Secretary of the South African Communist Party.
This stadium is a must-visit for thrill-seekers and football buffs. It is one of the football stadiums that hosted the 2010 FIFA World Cup and continues to host various sporting events and concerts.
To get a scenic view of the stadium, you can take a SkyCar ride to get to the top. If you are, however, feeling adventurous, you can challenge yourself by climbing the 500 steps. Above all, don’t forget to visit the Big Rush Swing, an adrenaline-pumping activity that will leave you ecstatic.
5. Umhlanga Rocks: Beachside Bliss
Just a short drive north of Durban lies the charming coastal town of Umhlanga Rocks. Umhlanga Rocks is known for its pristine beaches, luxury resorts, and vibrant life. This relaxing seaside resort is perfect for those seeking relaxation or adventure.
In the evening, the bustling streets of Umhlanga Rocks come alive with a buzzing atmosphere. Enjoy yourself at one of the many restaurants and sip cocktails while enjoying ocean views.
6. Durban City Hall: A Historic Landmark
Located in the heart of the city, Durban City Hall is a towering building that symbolizes Durban’s rich history and agricultural heritage. It is also one of the best places to visit in Durban.
Immerse yourself in the beauty of Edwardian architecture as you wander through the halls of the City Hall.
The frontages are beautified by allegorical statues showing the arts, music, literature, industry, and commerce. Wrap up your exploration of Durban with a visit to this historic landmark.
7. Durban Natural Science Museum: Unearth the Past
Located in Durban City Hall, the Durban Natural Science Museum houses an extension collection of exhibits that depict the rich geology, biodiversity, and anthropology of the KwaZulu-Natal region.
Explore fascinating exhibits featuring everything from dinosaurs to marine life, taking you on a captivating journey through time. This museum is a must-visit destination for those interested in natural history.
8. PheZulu Safari Park: A Wildlife Adventure
While South Africa is popular for having some of the best game reserves in the world, one of the cities that hosts its game reserves is Durban.
Located 35 kilometers from central Durban, PheZulu Safari Park is one of the neatest safari parks and best places to visit in South Africa. This wildlife sanctuary offers a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with some of Africa’s most iconic animals.
Watch in awe as you spot majestic giraffes, graceful antelopes, and powerful rhinos roaming freely in their natural habitat. A visit to PheZulu Safari Park will give you an unforgettable experience of your time in Durban.
9. Umgeni River Bird Park: A Bird Lover’s Paradise
If you’re a nature enthusiast or bird lover, I can assure you that a visit to the Umgeni River Bird Park will make you happy. This park is home to over 200 species of birds, including rare and endangered species.
Umgeni River Bird Park is adorned with waterfalls and beautiful greenery as you observe a variety of birds in their habitats.
If you intend to visit this park, ensure you get there before 3 p.m.It is open every day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.The entry price into the park varies. For adults, the price is 70 rands; children’s entry fee is 46 rands; pensioners entry fee is 39 rands; and entering as a group is 39 rands.
From vibrant parrots and majestic eagles to graceful flamingos and adorable penguins, there is an abundance of feathered friends to discover.
10. Beachwood Mangrove Nature Reserve: A Coastal Haven
Although last on our list, Beachwood Mangrove Nature Reserve is one of the best places to visit in Durban. Located on the northern shores of Durnan, the 76-hectare reserve offers a unique ecosystem of mangrove forests and wetlands.
With its fascinating natural landscapes, it is the perfect place to reconnect with nature and unwind in a peaceful setting.
When is the Best Time to Visit Durban?
The best time to visit Durban is during the dry, mild winter season from May to September, when the weather is pleasant for outdoor activities.
Is Durban Safe for Tourists?
Durban is generally safe for tourists. However, like any city, it’s essential to take basic precautions, such as safeguarding your belongings and avoiding unfamiliar areas at night.
What Should I Try from Durban’s Cuisine?
Don’t miss out on trying Bunny Chow, a delicious South African fast-food dish. It consists of a hollowed-out loaf of bread filled with curry.
How Do I Get Around Durban?
Durban has a well-developed public transport system, including buses and taxis. Renting a car is also a convenient option for exploring the city and its surroundings.
Are There Any Wildlife Safaris in Durban?
Yes, you can embark on wildlife safaris in nearby game reserves such as Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park and Tala Game Reserve.