Discover the Tropical Treasure of Durban

Cape Town might be the crown jewel of South Africa, but Durban is a glamorous sun-drenched paradise famous for its Indian Ocean cruises, Instagram-ready sunrises, sporting events and valleys of lush mountain ranges.

Clear blue waters lined with palm trees

A common mistake that people make when visiting Durban is only soaking up the sun on the city’s Beachfront known as “Golden Mile.” Explore further in Durban and experience its natural beauty and Zulu heritage.

Large sign with a shark

Local Attractions
uShaka Marine World, located on the beachfront next to the Durban Harbour is a theme park with the fifth largest aquarium in the world. The park is the most visited attraction in Durban Hyperlink was active and it is easily accessible from the beach. It boasts attractions like the Moyo restaurant on the uShaka pier, gondola rides, a waterpark, a seal and dolphin show as well as an abundance of water slides and rides for the whole family. Some of the adrenaline-packed activities include shark cage diving as well as snorkeling in the lagoon. You have the option to purchase tickets for specific attractions within the theme park.

Large soccer stadium with a ladder like entrance

The innovative Moses Mabhida Stadium transformed the city’s architectural landscape with its high-span arch. It First opened for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the stadium is also known for allowing visitors to bungee jump from the roof.

The Rickshaw Rides are a fun and unique tourist attraction found on the beachfront. The rickshaw pullers are well known for their spectacular head-dresses decorated with beads and feathers. The rickshaw carts are brightly decorated and you can experience a relaxing ride along the Durban beachfront.

Durban’s Sun Coast Casino, has direct access from the beachfront, drawing thousands of visitors per week. If you’re thinking of playing to win a few million Rand, this is for you. The casino also has a cinema and a variety of restaurants serving everything from Italian to Portuguese and Greek dishes.

The region has certainly been graced with countless white-sandy beaches, palm trees, and lush vegetation that rivals some of the best coastal cities in the world.

Beyond Durban
If you’re looking for a beach getaway with more to do than lounging on the shores and splashing in tropical waters, check out the Shongweni Farmers Market, open every Saturday from 6:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. It is located in the hills just outside Durban, and only a short distance from the famous Valley of a Thousand Hills.

Rolling green hills

South Africa is known for a lot of amazing things including its 12 official languages, three capital cities and of course, Table Mountain. But did you know that the “other” Table Mountain is located just outside Durban? This mountain, called Emkhambathini (Table Mountain) is a massive, flat-topped, 959m mountain with panoramic views of the Valley of a Thousand Hills and the Midlands of KwaZulu-Natal.

Marvel at the views of The Valley of a Thousand Hills located just a 25-minute drive from Durban. Its name originated from the rolling hills flowing from the Drakensberg Mountains. Once you reach the top, you will be rewarded with a spectacular view of the stunning landscape and colorful traditional houses scattered along the slopes below.

a pier that looks like shale bones

Find your perfect escape from reality in Umhlanga. In the center of this small town, you’ll find hotels and a long strip of lively restaurants. A five-minute walk will lead you to Umhlanga beach lined with towering hotels as well as the lighthouse and Whalebone Pier, which is recognized as the most beautiful pier in the world.

For Foodies
One of the most popular dishes in Durban is called, Bunny Chow. It’s a fast food dish consisting of a hollowed-out half loaf of fresh, crusty white bread filled with your choice of lamb, vegetables or chicken curry. The bunny chow has become synonymous with Durban and can be found in most fast food restaurants in the city. This budget meal has since evolved and is now also served in upscale restaurants. You can’t say you’ve visited Durban if you haven’t tasted bunny chow.

Steak and Fries on a speckled platter

The Big Easy restaurant at Hilton Durban was founded by golf legend Ernie Els and serves the best steak in the city and offers some of South Africa’s best wines. The relaxed and lively ambiance is perfect for couples, friends, and groups to dine in a modern upmarket restaurant.

Hilton’s other restaurant, Vasco’s, located on the restaurant level, serves dishes prepared from their tandoori oven. They also serve up an impressive curry buffet every Saturday night.

Zulu locals playing drums and dancing in a circle

Did you know?
Durban is the largest city in the province of KwaZulu-Natal which has a monarchy, specially provided for by the constitution. However, South Africa also has a ruling king within its democratic republic. King Goodwill Zwelithini is the King of the Zulu nation and has been ruling for over 40 years.

Durban is a very welcoming destination. Although there are a lot of tourists who visit year-round, the city’s pristine beaches are magical, warm, and incredibly clean which add the perfect touch to a dream holiday.

This post was written by Hilton Suggests Team Member, Driaan J. Are you interested in traveling to Durban? Let us know if we can help you with any other recommendations. Tweet us for more great local travel tips!

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