The second the #Gr8SA team stepped off the plane in Durban, the capital of the KwaZulu-Natal province, we knew we’d arrived in a true beach city. The Indian Ocean brought warm breezes and that fabulous scent of the sea. Our team of eight employees from South African Airways Vacations has been traveling in South Africa for a week now. We were excited about continuing our journey farther up the east coast.
When we arrived we rented a van from Europcar so we could self-drive in KwaZulu-Natal – we’d be covering a lot of ground and gorgeous scenery from the coast to the Drakensberg Mountains. Our first stop was a visit to the Beverly Hills Hotel in the smaller city of Umhlanga. We seriously had the most amazing lunch there. Between the beautiful setting and service, the view of the Indian Ocean and its nice breeze, it was lovely. Plus, Durban has a strong Indian influence, so we were happy to partake in some amazing curry.
We drove to our hotels – the team split into the Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani and the SunCoast Hotel & Towers. They are both in a great location – right on the beach and promenade. Every room in the Elangeni has an ocean view, which we enjoyed very much.
After checking in we quickly popped into the Spice Emporium on the advice of a local that it’s a better place to shop than the Spice Market, which is more of a tourist destination. That evening we hit the SunCoast casino complex before heading to a local pub on Florida Street. Durban is a fun town! A couple members of the team tried their hands at gambling and came out a few hundred rand ahead, so they were happy.
The next morning we were up early to try out surfing and boogey boarding in the Indian Ocean. We drove to South Beach and were kitted by Xpression On the Beach. They also had bicycles, which would have been cool to ride on the promenade if we’d had more time. As it was, we had a lot of fun in a short period before heading inland to visit two charities DSA Pays it Forward supports.