One of South Africa’s most popular summer holiday destinations, Durban lies at the heart of the east coast and is the ideal springboard from which to access the many attractions of KwaZulu Natal Province. Originally built as a colonial port, Durban has since grown into a flourishing multi-cultural city, most noted for its large Indian and Zulu populations.
As you might expect from a city lying on the warm Indian Ocean coast, a Durban holiday usually revolves around beaches. And you don't even have to go far: the famous 'Golden Mile' runs along Durban's coastline, a bustling six kilometre stretch of beaches, high-rise hotels, bars and restaurants. The beaches here are suitable for swimming and are well-policed but avoid them at Christmas when visitor numbers reach a peak.
Durban city centre doesn't hold much in the way of attractions but it is of course the huge range of fabulous destinations that lie close to the city that make a Durban holiday worth considering. Stay at one of our recommended Durban lodges or guest houses before you head up the coast to bustling Ballito or remote coastal reserves; further inland you'll find the leafy Natal Midlands or KwaZulu Natal's excellent wildlife reserves, providing the perfect Durban safari add-on.
A Durban holiday can be enjoyed at any time of year. It is hottest and busiest over the December and January holiday season but its sub-tropical climate means that Durban is a year-round destination, none more so than during winter: while Cape Town and Johannesburg shiver from June to August, Durban has people swimming and surfing on its city beaches.
At a Glance
Set on South Africa's sub-tropical east coast, Durban is the gateway to KwaZulu-Natal's suite of game reserves, coastal resorts and historical battlefields.