Having moved to Duban (Durbs) from London just under a year ago now, I can still say that I’m no closer to being a Durbanite than the day we touched down at King Shaka International Airport. Durban is a city with a HUGE array of cultures and their eccentricities all mixed into one bowl and stirred with a sprinkle of curry powder. It will take years for me to localize here and I can’t wait to discover it all!!
Home to the infamous Bunny Chow, Durban is a smorgasbord for those with a love of curries. Not all the cuisine is Indian though, and for food lovers there is plenty of option. A favourite of mine is eating and drinking out in Florida Road – its hustle and bustle on a Friday night is infectious and no trip to Florida Road is complete without a pizza from Spiga’s. Be sure to book though, this place fills up quickly! Being one of South Africa’s busiest ports it’s not difficult to find some fresh fish on a plate….for those who like to catch what they eat, all you need is a rod. During the Sardine run not only will you catch glimpses of whale & dolphins from the shore, but for the game fisherman this is a whole new ballgame. Scuba diving along the West Coast of South Africa during this phenomenon is world class and, coupled with some of the best weather and beaches SA has to offer, what better time to visit!?!?
The province of Kwazulu-Natal, of which Durban is the largest City to, has even more to offer. Without going into too much detail in this write-up, on the doorstep of Durban’s threshold you have, to the North, the Nature reserves of Natal’s Wetlands and border to Mozambique (spectacular for all things wildlife; land and sea). To the South, the sleepy towns of the Hibiscus Coast with Blue Flag rated beaches and the world famous golf course of the Wild Coast (take a right and visit the hometown of Nelson Mandela and the capital of the Transkei, Umtata. Inland to the West there are the Mountains of the Drakensberg for all avid hikers and mountain bikers which borders the inland country of Lesotho, famously accessible via the Sani Pass (for the super brave on Mountain/Motor bike, or like we did, in a 4x4!!).
Although Durban has some world-class hotels and accommodation, there is a massive camping and caravanning culture in South Africa (with the locals as well as with visitors). So grab a tent and hit some of the campsites that are right on the beach. There is also catering for the backpacker and one of the more popular companies to tour the Backpacker route with, is the Bazz Bus. I haven’t done this myself but read up on the details as this is a great option, not only for Kwazulu-Natal but also for South Africa, they do a very convenient route to all the best (more popular) backpackers in the country.
Durban’s international airport, King Shaka is located in La Mercy. Roughly 35km from the city centre, taxis and hire cars are available and some hotels offer a free airport shuttle service (check with the hotel you book with first).
Some advice about South Africa….not all the rumours are true about how dangerous this country is. Yes, be careful, but the same is true for ANY country you visit. Come and see for yourself! Grab a surfboard, hire a car, live, love, enjoy ;-)
Would you recommend this City: Yes
Overall rating: 4 out of 5
By: Kelly & Dave