By | Category: Travel destinations

That there is a Zulu name for Durban in South Africa – eThekwini, gives a strong hint as to what the visitor might see in this region. For Durban is the gateway to the Kwale-Zulu area of South Africa and every school child knows of the skills and awe in which the Zulu people were held.
Don’t think of Durban as just another modern city. It is ideal for the weekend or city break visitor as well as for those who come for longer. “Thekwini” means “bay” and there is another clue as to Durban’s identity. This is also a beach destination and there aren’t many cities in the world where you can combine all of the amenities of a big city with a beach on your doostep. In fact most of the hotels front a road that is just opposite the long beachfront. If it takes you five minutes to walk from your hotel room to the beach it can only be because you waited too long to cross the road!
But back to the city itself. This is the city that Ghandi stayed in and his house still survives. Take a tour but if you wander there yourself it will cost you nothing to enter. In fact many attractions are free , a great advantage for the visitor. Now Durban has a strong Indian cultural past and today, about 45% of the inhabitants are of Indian background. This is also where the first head of the African National Congress, J L Dube, lived, a hero to another famous icon, Nelson Mandela, and it was in Durban that he returned to politics. With 55% of the population being of Zulu descent, you can find the cultures intermingling wherever you go. For that reason, walking tours are popular with visitors. If you fancy a less tiring way of getting around, try a ricksha ride. Or visit the Gateway, reputedly the largest shopping centre in the southern hemisphere. Or the craft stalls laden down with bead products. And when you need to rest stroll to the beach, all 90 kilometres of it – and relax with a long, tall glass.
So you’ve visited the centre, you’ve lounged on the beach, dived a bit (Expedia ranks the diving here as one of the ten best places in the world) what else can you do? Take a safari. If you think that going on a safari means days under canvas or early hour starts think again. from Durban you can take one hour, three or day safaris for just outside the city and an hour away is Pezulu Safari Park. Alright, you won’t get to see the big five but you will see more than you will staying in any other city.
So Durban offers a great deal to see and do. Given that there is no time zone difference between it and the UK and Ireland, there is little jet lag after the flight. At the moment the flights are either via Dubai on Emirates or a change in Capetown or Johannesburg from a BA or South African Airways flight. And that will improve if there are direct flights and then there is every chance that Durban will become a short break destination. If Dubai is now a weekend destination , why not Durban?

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