Welcome to Durban, a sublime and enchanting oceanside city on the Eastern coast of South Africa, which rests comfortably within the province of KwaZulu-Natal. The third most populated city in South Africa, Durban is becoming a rapidly growing travel destination known for its blend of city and seaside culture nestled among a large number of some of the region’s most stunning inland nature preserves.
Check out our ever-growing list of superb sightseeing spots great for both locals and long-distance travelers.
- Valley of One Thousand Hills
Densely forested and dotted with gorges, streams, and small local villages, this valley makes for a stunningly scenic drive. The valley is also the home to the Dusi Canoe Marathon which is held annually and runs a total of 75 miles from Durban to Pietermaritzburg.
- uShaka Marine World
This nearly 4-acre aquatic-themed park is celebrating it’s 15th year in operation this year, and it’s easy to see why the park is one of the most popular family-friendly attractions in Durban. Resting along the coast, guests can enjoy stunning views of the surrounding ocean as they enjoy various water-themed activities and visit with the parks various sea creatures. Ask your travel specialist about their “Swim With Dolphins” package!
- Moses Mabhida Stadium
This multi-use stadium is the largest sports complex in Durban and is the proud prior location for both the FIFA 2010 World Cup and the 2013 African Cup of Nations, as well as the home for the upcoming 2022 Commonwealth Games. The stadium is the current home team ground for the AmaZulu PSL Team and has hosted sizable concerts featuring artists such as Lionel Richie, Nicki Minaj, and John Legend. Aside from its large arrangement of entertainment and sports events, the stadium also hosts the world’s tallest rope swing “The Big Rush”, where visitors can swing from the stadium rooftop while attached to rope and harness- this one is for the true adrenaline junkie!
- Mitchell Park Zoo
This sprawling lush garden property is the only zoo in Durban. Originally built like an ostrich farm over 100 years ago, the owners soon realized their potential for attracting local visitors and transformed their farm into a zoo habitat for a variety of species of animals. Over the past 100 years, this small yet beautiful exhibit has been transformed many times, yet maintains the original characteristics of its early days. This lush outdoor space is now home to smaller animals such as monkeys, various birds, and giant tortoises, making it an excellent place to take smaller children with a budding sense of interest in nature.
- Victoria Street Market
Stepping into the Victoria Street Market is like stepping into another world- with street food vendors from a dozen different countries, merchants selling African artwork, Indian spices, bags, brassware, and traditional clothing, amongst other items. Enjoy an afternoon browsing through the market as you chat with the local salespeople and collect souvenirs to bring home to those unlucky friends who weren’t able to join you (though we hope you’ll bring the whole family!).
- Durban Botanic Gardens
Situated in the center of the city of Durban, the botanic gardens are Durban’s oldest public visit institution and the longest surviving botanical garden in the entire continent of Africa. Covering almost 40 acres of land in mostly subtropical climates, the gardens are part of a network that focuses on core areas of biodiversity, education, heritage research, and green innovation. Open from 7:30 am to 5:15 pm, the gardens are the perfect destination for both your morning meditation walk and your late afternoon coffee break.
7.Umgeni River Bird Park
The ultimate destination for the avid bird watcher, the Umgeni River Bird Park is home to over 800 birds from more than 200 species. The park sits on 9 acres of lush tropical landscaping designed and built by Dr. Alan Abrey on an old quarry he recalled visiting fondly as a kid. One of the park’s main focuses is education, which is why their guides play hosts to thousands of school children across the country each year. The zoo provides a range of group day packages that can include guided tours, educational worksheets, and even meal options.
- Mini Town
Opened in 1969, this small non-profit museum landmark offers visitors the opportunity to see famous landmarks from around the world built at 1:24 the scale of their original size. A great opportunity for hilarious family photos that the kids will love exploring.
- Juma Mosque
Also known as the Grey Street Mosque, Juma represents a spiritual center for the large Muslim community within the city. Opened in 1930, the building still retains much of its original architecture and is considered a historical part of the cultural area of Durban.
- Royal Durban Golf Club
Opened in 1892, the Royal Durban Golf Club is the highest-rated and oldest course in the city of Durban. Over the last 100 years, the course has evolved to become an emblem of luxury for both locals and traveling enthusiasts of the sport. Royal Durban Golf Club is home to the South African Open tournament as well as the Commonwealth Tournament.