A Local’s Guide To Things You Must See & Do in Durban, South Africa

January 18, 2018

Don’t miss our guide on the things you to do in Durban, South Africa – as told by a local, including Durban’s top tourist spots and the hidden gems.

Durban, Kwa-Zulu Natal, is my old hometown in South Africa. It’s where I grew up and lived for the first 18 years of my life before I moved to Cape Town. After my last visit, I really want to show people more about this incredible, underrated city. Here’s a list of things us Durbanites enjoy doing in our own city — things you MUST see and do on your visit to this seaside city!

Read: Things You Must See & Do in Cape Town, South Africa

#1: Afternoon Tea at The Oyster Box

The Oyster Box, is my favourite hotel in Durban, and arguably, the best place to stay in Durban. Sadly, you’ll have to pay a pretty penny for a room here — although worth every cent. However, if you can’t afford a night’s stay, opt for a luxury experience at their afternoon tea (see this blog post) OR even a spa day!

#2: Moses Mabida

If you’re an adrenaline-junkie, I have just the thing for you. A free-fall swing of 80 metres (262.5 feet) that swings out into a massive 220-metre (721.8-foot) arc in the heart of the stadium, originally built for the 2010 World Cup. BUT if you’re not into those kinds of heart-attack-inducing-thrills, you can also go on a SkyCar ride or adventure walk up along the arch of the architectural beauty to a viewing platform — THIS is where you get the best view of the whole of Durban.

#3: Ushaka Marine World

Ushaka Marine World Water Park is a great activity to do with kids, but the park is small and can be crowded, so pick your days! In addition to the Water Park, there is also a world-class Aquarium section which includes a not-to-be-missed dolphin show! The rest of the ‘village’ is packed with local restaurants and stores to pick up a South African souvenir. If you’re wanting an out of this word dining experience with views into the shark tank, try the Cargo HoldHere’s a great blog post from a local SA blogger with loads of information on Ushaka.

#4: Markets

Like Cape Town, Durban is buzzing with markets! My favourites are: Shongweni Farmers Market on an early Saturday morning; the Morning Trade on a Sunday and the I Heart Market on certain Saturdays.

[bctt tweet=”Durban has so many GREAT weekend Markets — it’s a MUST when visiting! ” username=”theglobediary”]

#5: Have A Beach Day!

Durban is definitely a beach city! So visiting, and not spending at least one day at the beach seems kind of a waste. That said, if you don’t have that much time, why not brunch on the beachfront? Circus circus or Surfriders Cafe are great options!

#6: Midlands Day Trip

This is still one of my favourite things to do when I visit Durban — a day trip through the Midlands Meander. Their Instagram is full of pitstop ideas along the Meander, like the Piggly Wiggly; the Nelson Mandela Capture Site and Ardmore. The food spots along the Meander are also incredible and well worth the stop — the Farmer’s Daughter & Blueberry Cafe.

#7: Grab A Curry!

No visit to Durban is complete without enjoying a real Durban Curry. Seriously though, if there was one meal I could not give up, it would be one of these curries. If you want to try make one yourself, the Oyster Box Executive Chef Kevin Joseph gives you some hot tips here. And he would know! The Oyster Box hosts a daily curry buffet on their terrace. If you want to get really authentic, find yourself a bunny chow!

#8: Cocktails with a view!

Who doesn’t like cocktails with a view right? Try the Oyster Box Bar for something fancy or the Moyo Pier at Ushaka Marine World to end a day of water-fun.

Let me know if you visit and do any of these on the list! I’d love to hear what you think of my old hometown.

~ Leigh

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