+27 31 572 4227
We Specialize In Creating Wow Memories of Southern Africa
We Specialize In Creating Wow Memories of Southern Africa
+27 31 572 4227
We Specialize In Creating Wow Memories of Southern Africa
+27 31 572 4227

Best Durban Tours Available from Southern Circle

wild coast

6-Day Wild Coast and Garden Route Tour – Durban to Cape Town (Code: SCDP)

6-Day Wild Coast Garden Route Tour On this tour we explore firstly the subtropical south coast of KwaZulu Natal situated along the eastern seaboard of South Africa, secondly the rugged Wild Coast and lastly the scenic Garden Route.  The tour ends in Cape Town, situated in the southwestern corner of South Africa!  DAY_1. Durban – South Coast – Wild Coast The drive from Durban takes us through lush subtropical vegetation and numerous holiday villages dotted along the seaboard. We visit the scenic Oribi Gorge and afterwards some beautiful little beaches. On arrival at our hotel, we have some time to walk to the beach or just relax and take in the scenic surroundings. Overnight at Estuary Hotel or similar. Dinner included today. DAY_2.  Wild Coast After a sumptuous breakfast, depart from our hotel, turning inland and enter the Eastern Cape Province, the former homeland of Transkei. Traverse over hilly grasslands dotted with Xhosa homesteads, through valleys and clear streams to Umtata, the capital of the former homeland around mid-day. After a visit to the Nelson Mandela museum we travel further south and turn towards the ocean again. Arrive at our lodge nestled in the beautiful village of Chintsa Bay on the Wild Coast, surrounded by rolling hills and lush tropical forests. Overnight Crawfords Beach Lodge or similar. DAY_3.  Wild Coast – Addo Elephant National Park – Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth) After having breakfast overlooking the shimmering Indian Ocean, we depart, and this morning’s journey takes us to East London for a visit. The city is the only true river port in South Africa and the place where a prehistoric coelacanth was caught in 1938. Afterwards, we travel further along the coast and enjoy the lush vegetation and rugged coastline. We visit Grahamstown, a small cathedral city and considered the art capital of

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Wildlife Safari and Zulu Culture (SCDI)

This convenient 1-day guided trip includes a morning and afternoon wildlife safari and Zulu culture experience. It departs from and return to Durban and surrounds. The Valley of a 1000 Hills is an exceptionally scenic hilly area west of Durban. This full day tour departs from Durban and starts off with a drive through the wealthy Kloof area to the edge of the impressive Valley of a 1000 Hills. On arrival at PheZulu Safari Park, we join a 4 x 4 safari for around an hour into the valley and enjoy the impressive views and wildlife including bush buck, wildebeest, impala, blesbok, zebra, giraffe and a variety of bird species.  Back at the PheZulu Safari Park we visit a crocodile farm and snake park. Your guide explains the ways of these strange creatures, sometimes we are lucky to see them being fed! Afterwards, we introduce you to the ancient Zulu culture. Take a tour of the traditional Zulu huts while enjoying the excellent view over the valley!  Zulu tribal dancers may entertain us for a while! We enjoy lunch at the Nguni Café. Afterwards we travel to the Tala Private Game Reserve for an afternoon open vehicle safari. On arrival you have time to enjoy a quick refreshment in the local restaurant (optional) before commencing with the 2-hour safari. We stand a chance to encounter wildlife such as rhino, buffalo, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, hippo, and a wide variety of antelope. Return to Durban after a very exciting day arriving early evening. NOTES: The wildlife safari and Zulu culture tour is designed for those who do not have much time, but would like to encounter this experience whilst in the area. For cruise liners that depart before our arrival in Durban, we have a shortened version excluding the first safari and reptile

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1 Day Sani Pass Guided Tour – Durban (Code: SCDA)

The Sani Pass tour is certainly an adventure day out! Travel up the mountain pass with 4 x 4 vehicles, awe at the views and on a clear day one can see up to 250km! Drive inland past Pietermaritzburg to the area of gently pastoral beauty, also called the Natal Midlands. We travel through grassy plains scattered with Zulu villages and lush farmlands where plump cattle and thoroughbred horses graze. Traverse through Underberg, a picturesque little village situated in the foothills of the majestic Drakensberg Mountains.  At Himeville you change vehicles and set off in a 4 wheel drive minibus for the drive up Sani Pass, named after the primitive people who lived in the area millennia ago. The ascend up Sani is steep at places with hair-raising bends. The driver talk about the geography and also stop frequently for photo opportunities of the breathtaking views. Afterwards, arrive at the top of Sani Pass into the kingdom of Lesotho. You visit the locals and they may  invite you into their house, which often result into tasting locally baked snacks or bread! Lunch is served at the top in the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho some 3 000 metres above sea level. Afterwards, we descend down the mountain via Sani again, change vehicles and set off to Durban. OTHER TOURS YOU MAY BE INTERESTED IN 2 Day Drakensberg Highscdblights  – SCDB 3 Day Drakensberg Adventure – SCDD  

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2 Day Drakensberg Mountains Highlights Tour – Durban (Code: SCDB)

With this tour we incorporate a visit to Pietermaritzburg where police kicked Mahatma Ghandi off the train because of his skin colour, the Howick Falls, Nelson Mandela’s capture site, a 4 x 4 drive up Sani Pas, interaction with the locals in Lesotho and lunch at the highest pub in Africa! DAY 1    Durban – Drakensberg Mountains – Sani Pass We depart at around 09h00 for your tour to the Drakensberg Mountains and Sani Pass via the Natal Midlands. Drive inland to Pietermaritzburg, the capital of KwaZulu-Natal, for a brief drive-through. Stop at the railway station where Mahatma Gandhi was thrown off the train because of the colour of his skin. Enter the waiting room where, in the silence of the night, he formulated his philosophy of passive resistance. Continue to Howick and visit the 100m high Howick Falls. Next, we stop at the monument erected on the spot where police arrested Nelson Mandela in 1961 as a result of his resistance to the former Apartheid government. Continue through an area of gentle pastoral beauty called the Natal Midlands. We pass through grassy plains scattered with villages and lush farmlands where plump cattle and thoroughbred horses graze. Then further through Underberg, a picturesque little village situated in the foothills of the majestic Drakensberg Mountains. Our hotel is in the lap of the mountain with peaks towering up to 3400m above sea level. The afternoon is at your leisure to participate in some of the organised hikes into the mountain or explore the area on your own. Overnight at the Sani Pass Premier Hotel. DAY 2  Sani Pass – Lesotho – Durban After breakfast you set off to Sani Pass, named after the primitive people who lived here millennia ago.  We use a four-wheel drive vehicle to navigate the steep inclines and

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Wildlife Safari Highlights – Durban to Durban (Code: SCDH)

This overnight wildlife safari departing from Durban is completely devoted to finding Africa’s wildlife including the Big Five inside the national and private reserves in Zululand north of Durban, perfect for those with limited time.  We operate the tour in our vehicles, but you also have the opportunity to join optional open vehicle safaris to further enhance the experience. DAY 1   Durban – Zululand – Hluhluwe Imfolozi Park (Big Five Wildlife Safari) Our Big Five wildlife safari commences at around 08h00 from Durban.  Travel northwards and turn towards the village of Eshowe (Zulu for the sound of the wind blowing through the forest). Traverse further along with scenic hilly areas with beautiful vistas. Once past Ulundi, the Capital of the previous homeland of KwaZulu, continue to the park. Enter Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park game reserve to start our game viewing and spend the day here. After an exciting day in search of Africa’s wildlife, we exit the park and travel to our nearby country hotel. Overnight at the Zulu Nyala Heritage Hotel. DAY 2   Hluhluwe Imfolozi Park – Durban We have an early breakfast and afterwards return to the reserve and spend most of the day searching for Africa’s Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, buffalo).  Moreover, you are able to join an optional early morning open vehicle safari. Enjoy lunch (not included) at the Hilltop recreational centre and afterwards continue game viewing.  We leave the park around mid-afternoon after the game drive and set off to Durban. THESE SIMILAR TOURS MAY ALSO INTEREST YOU: 1 Day Touch of Wildlife – Durban to Durban (Code: SCDU) 2 Day Wildlife Safari and Culture Tour – Durban to Durban (Code: SCDE) 3 Day South Africa Wildlife Experience – Durban to Durban (Code: SCDW)

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South Africa safari tour

Zululand Wildlife Safari Guided Tour – (Code: SCDE)

This overnight Zululand wildlife safari departs from Durban and includes the Big Five in the Zululand reserves as well as a boat cruise on Lake St Lucia in the iSimangaliso world heritage site.  you’ll spot crocs, hippo amongst other marine animals and an abundance of bird-life whilst on the cruise. DAY 1. Durban – Lake St Lucia (World Heritage Site) – Wildlife Safari Reserve We depart from your hotel and travel north through sugar cane fields past KwaDukuza, the home of Shaka (the father of the Zulu nation).  Further through large eucalyptus plantations towards the subtropical coast and bushveld of Zululand. Arrive in the village of St Lucia and join a boat cruise on the estuary of the famous Lake St Lucia situated in the iSimangaliso Wetlands Park (proclaimed a World Heritage Site in 1999). The lake is a wildlife paradise with bird species such as fish eagle, Goliath heron and many more. Your skipper/guide will show you the world of the hippo and the crocodile and the other mystic inhabitants of the “deep”. Afterwards travel to a private reserve searching for wildlife on our way to the lodge. Check into your room and afterwards join an open vehicle safari searching for Africa’s amazing wildlife the Africa way! Return to the lodge for a sumptuous dinner. Overnight at Rhino River Lodge. DAY 2   Zululand Wildlife – Durban We have an early wake up call for refreshments. Then embark on an exciting open vehicle safari in search of the Big Five amongst a myriad of other wild animals. We return from this adventure for breakfast.  Then depart for cultural experience at an authentic Zulu Kraal (village). We meet the sangoma (diviner) and see how Shaka made his war strategy so successful he won almost all his battles. OTHER TOURS YOU MAY BE INTERESTED IN: 2-Day Wildlife

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Touch of Wildlife 1 Day Tour – Durban (Code: SCDU)

The 1-Day touch of wildlife tour is designed to offer just as the tour name suggests; a full day to touch on the amazing wildlife of Africa including the Big Five( lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, buffalo) for those who have limited time!  There is little to top a close encounter with a lion kill, or an elephant walking next to the vehicle or a white rhino and her calf strolling into the road in front of you!With the time limit we do not promise that you will see all of the Big Five, but still many other mammals, birds, etc. However,  we have been successful many times! ITINERARY Depart early from Durban on our 1-day touch of wildlife tour and travel north through sugar cane fields towards the sub‑tropical coast and bushveld of Zululand. We arrive at Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve, the oldest reserve in Africa where our wildlife expereince commences! The white rhino was saved from extinction here.  This reserve is home to over 90 species of mammals amongst other wildlife including the “Big Five”(lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo). There is also an excellent chance to see the shy nyala. After lunch at Hilltop Complex, you embark on another game viewing drive in the afternoon before returning to Durban. The duration of this day tour is around 10 – 12 hours. We offer you a good chance to see the Big Five amongst an abundance of other wildlife in one day! We do the game viewing in the comfort of our air-conditioned vehicle with our very informative crew. You will certainly feel that you have been out on a day safari in the wild! You also have the option to book a 2 – 3 hour open vehicle safari during the day. NOTE: We also offer a two-day and three-day

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3 Day African Wildlife and Culture Experience – Durban to Durban (Code: SCDW)

This tour departs daily and encompasses wildlife safaris, a Zulu cultural experience and a boat cruise on Lake St Lucia. The lake is situated inside the iSimangaliso world heritage site, and hippo, croc and abundant birdlife can be seen from the boat. DAY 1 – Zulu Cultural Village – St Lucia – Rhino River Lodge Our experience of the wildlife and culture of Zululand begins when we travel north towards the subtropical coast and bushveld of Zululand, the place of the mighty Zuku nation and abundant wildlife. Arrive at St Lucia’s village in the iSimangaliso Wetlands Park, proclaimed a world heritage site in 1999. We join a boat cruise on Lake St Lucia, a natural paradise around which five complete ecosystems exist. An abundance of birdlife, hippo and crocodiles exist here, and we have a chance to find them. After lunch (not included) we depart for our private reserve and after check-in. Later join an open vehicle safari where close encounters with the African wildlife commences. Return later for a sumptuous dinner. Overnight at the Rhino River Lodge. DAY 2 – Rhino Reserve – Wildlife and Culture This morning we join an early open vehicle safari searching for the Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, buffalo) amongst many other of Africa’s amazing wildlife such as giraffe, zebra, kudu, etc. We take a break at a scenic spot in the bush and enjoy a hot cup of coffee and rusks before we continue. On our return, we enjoy a mid-morning breakfast, and you are free to enjoy the scenery around the lodge. A light lunch is served and some free time before we embark on the afternoon safari. We stop for sundowners in the bush at sundown and continue towards the camp for a hearty dinner around a fire in the

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3 Day Battlefields Guided Tour (Code: SCDF3) – Durban

3 Day Battlefield Tour – Code: SCDF3 This 3-day Battlefield tour covers 3 very important Anglo-Boer war sites as well as 2 of the most important Anglo-Zulu Battlefields.  We also cover the Battle of Blood River fought between the Zulu’s and the Boers. This tour is perfect for those with a keen interest in the early wars and skirmishes. DAY 1  Durban – Pietermaritzburg – Spionkop – Ladysmith – Dundee We travel westwards to Pietermaritzburg, the capital of KwaZulu-Natal, for a brief city tour. Stop at the railway station where Mahatma Gandhi was thrown off the train because of the colour of his skin, and see the waiting room, wherein the silence of the night he formulated his philosophy of passive resistance. Visit the Church of the Vow that was built as a result of the Battle of Blood River between the Voortrekkers and the Zulus in 1838. Then onwards to the hills where the Battle of Spioenkop took place. Here, famous personalities like Winston Churchill, Mahatma Gandhi and General Louis Botha, were active in different capacities.  Standing on the battlefield, the terrible incident unfolds again. At Ladysmith, we visit the Siege Museum for an insight into the siege of Ladysmith and stories of suffering and heroism. Our overnight stop is outside Dundee after a quick visit to Talana Battlefield – the first battle of the Anglo-Boer War. We travel to our luxury lodge overlooking the battlefield of Isandlwana! Overnight At Isandlwana Lodge DAY 2  Rorke’s Drift – Isandlwana – Blood River This morning we cover the famous and awe-inspiring battlefields of Rorke’s Drift and Isandlwana. The next battlefield we visit is at the battle of Blood River where a life-size bronze model of the ‘Boer’ laager is an eerie reminder of what happened. It is also one of the only

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Drakensberg Mountains 3 Day Adventure (Code: SCDD)

DAY 1    Durban – Pietermaritzburg –  Drakensberg Mountains On the first day of our Drakensberg Mountains Adventure, travel inland to Pietermaritzburg, the capital of KwaZulu-Natal, for a brief city tour. Stop at the railway station where Mahatma Gandhi was thrown off the train because of the colour of his skin. Stand in the waiting room where, in the silence of the night, he formulated his philosophy of passive resistance.  Continue to Howick where we visit the 100m high Falls.  Our next stop is at the monument erected on the spot where Nelson Mandela was arrested in 1962. Continue through an area of gentle pastoral beauty called the Natal Midlands. We pass through grassy plains scattered with villages and lush farmlands where plump cattle and thoroughbred horses graze.  Then we travel to our hotel from where you can enjoy magnificent views while enjoying sundowners. Overnight at Little Switzerland Hotel. DAY 2   Northern Drakensberg Mountains – Golden Gate After breakfast we travel through QwaQwa, a former homeland, and watch the locals busy with their daily chores in this remote land. We visit the Golden Gate National Park. Enjoy amazing views of the black Basalt and golden sandstone cliffs which gave its name to the park. We round the day off with a picnic lunch and visits to some scenic viewpoints and return late afternoon to your hotel. Overnight at Little Switzerland Hotel. DAY 3    Drakensberg – Giant’s Castle – Rock Art We depart after breakfast and drive to the Giant’s Castle area for a forty minute walk to some of the country’s best preserved ancient rock paintings. We have a peek into the mystical existence of these strange little people who became extinct at the beginning of the previous century. From here we return to Durban arriving late afternoon. NOTE: We also offer the Drakensberg Highlights

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self-drive zululand for wildlife

5-Day South Africa Wildlife Safari Tour (Code: SCDG) – Durban to Johannesburg

The wildlife and scenery tour / safari explores some of South Africa’s best wildlife areas including the famous Kruger National Park! The itinerary also includes lake St Lucia with an abundance of birdlife, hippo and croc in their natural habitat – all within the iSimangaliso world heritage site, also eSwatini (formerly Swaziland) and the scenic Panoramic Route. So, why not book your safari today, pay a small deposit and hold the price for travelling from now until the end of October next year! Click here to find out how! DAY_1. St Lucia – Wildlife (Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park) – Private Reserve (wildlife and scenery) This morning sees the start of our encounter with the wildlife and scenery of South Africa! Drive north towards the subtropical coast and bushveld of Zululand – home of the mighty Zulu nation.  The first stop is the village of St Lucia.  Embark on a boat safari on the famous lake St Lucia (proclaimed a World Heritage Site in December 1999). Crocodiles, hippos and birds such as the fish eagle, herons and egrets are in abundance. Then travel to Hluhluwe-Imfolozi where the rhino was saved from extinction and home to the shy nyala, as well as the Big Five. We exit the park early evening and drive to our lodge for dinner and overnight. Overnight Zulu Nyala Heritage Safari Lodge. DAY 2.   eSwatini (Swaziland) An early morning wake up call for an exciting open vehicle wildlife safari after and early breakfast, we do a last open vehicle wildlife safari.  Then we head northwards and continue to eSwatini. From Onverwacht border post follow a scenic route via Nhlangano to Manzini, where crossing every mountain leads to a new vista. We stop at the well-known local craft market in the Malkerns Valley. Here we visit  Swazi Candles where the artists

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Southern Circle Tours: A Brief History of the Kruger National Park

6 Day Great South African Wildlife Expedition (Code: SCMJ) – Durban to Johannesburg

 GREAT WILDLIFE EXPEDITION – CODE: SCMJ There is nothing quite like being on safari in South Africa! You feel the crisp, fresh morning air in your face – alert, excited – taking in the smells! You hear the birds – some closer, others in the distance – otherwise silence! Surrounded by the African bush, the early morning sun streaking through branches, you watch a majestic elephant bull standing just metres away looking straight at the safari vehicle with ears moving slightly – inspecting… Sounds like something you are yearning to do? Then why not book your African adventure today, pay a deposit and hold the price for travelling from now until the end of October next year! We can also arrange your entire trip to our region. Contact us now to assist with your plans, or click here to book this tour! It departs from Durban (click here for a departure from Johannesburg) and includes some of the most scenic areas in the country including the famous Kruger National Park. Still, the main focus is on the almost 5 days of safari, both in two private reserves and the Kruger National Park. It also includes a boat safari on Lake St Lucia, situated in the iSimangaliso world heritage site! The scenic areas include the Panorama Route, Eswatini (formerly known as Swaziland) mountains and the Zululand forests and lakes. The tour ends in Johannesburg in the afternoon of the sixth day. DAY 1. St Lucia – Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park – Private Reserve (Great Wildlife Expedition incorporating safari’s and scenery) Our first morning on safari in South Africa takes us northwards towards the subtropical coast and bushveld of Zululand – home of the mighty Zulu nation and visit the village of St Lucia for a boat cruise on the estuary of the famous

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Have you ever considered what it would be like to visit Durban? This city is a popular tourist destination, and when looking at the itinerary of Durban tours, it is clear why.

No matter your age, cultural background, or interests, you will be delighted by all that Durban has to offer. Holidays provide tourists with time to relax, learn more about historic sites and see interesting things.

Mild sub-tropical weather transforms Durban into a year-round holiday destination with ‘golden’ beaches lapped by the warm Indian Ocean and endless sunny days!

If you want to experience the diversity of South Africa, consider a trip to Durban.  We offer tours to the highest mountain range in southern Africa, sub-tropical coastline, and safaris, all within easy reach from Durban. There are various wildlife reserves within a three-hour drive from Durban, including the iSimangaliso Wetlands Park. You will see various animals, such as the famous Big five (rhino, elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo). This is your chance to see the largest hippo population in South Africa. Various bird species reside in the iSimangaliso Wetlands Park and might be spotted during the cruise.

A Hluhluwe Imfolozi safari is another one of these reserves on our best tours in Durban. Here the Big 5 and can be seen in their natural habitat.  Hluhluwe Imfolozi Park is the oldest game reserve on the continent of Africa. The reserve covers 960 km² of land.

There are many interesting places to visit in and around Durban. Southern Circle Tour & Safaris offers affordable Battlefield Tours and cultural tours in the Valley of a Thousand Hills. Our safari guides will make the most of your Durban sightseeing trip. If you are looking for holiday packages in Durban, you have come to the best tour operator in South Africa.

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The Ultimate Guide to Durban

Durban, the city by the sea in the KwaZulu Natal province in South Africa is synonymous with balmy weather (even in Winter) and beautiful beaches. This is all true, but there is so much more to Durban than just the beaches, although they are spectacular. Durban is home to a cultural melting pot of Africa, Indian and Colonial heritage. It is a destination full of family fun,  street markets, Big Five safari opportunities nearby, scenery and tropical beauty. It’s not just the city and surrounds that are worth visiting; just a stone’s throw away is the massive and majestic Drakensberg Mountain range with, amongst a host of other activities; hiking trails and the quaint and lovely ‘Midlands Meander route. North of Durban you will find the unspoilt wildlife areas of  Zululand and the Elephant Coast, up to the border of Mozambique.

Durban is the perfect destination for families, with plenty for the young ones to enjoy. It’s an affordable holiday destination for South Africans and international travellers alike. Let’s take a look at some of the most exciting attractions so you are well-equipped to plan your trip to Durban.

Ushaka Marine World

Make sure you give yourself a day to explore and enjoy the sights and sounds of Ushaka Marine World, situated on Durban’s famous ‘golden mile’ of sandy, sun-warmed beaches. You could start at ‘Sea World’, one of the most comprehensive and wonder-filled aqua marine worlds in the world.  The aquarium houses 6 different galleries of different ecosystems and habitats, as well as a restored skeleton of a Southern Right whale.

Ushaka dolphin shows.

Watch these friendly, playful and intelligent mammals frolic and show off in a superbly coordinated display of their physical prowess.

Your marine adventure at Ushaka must include a stop at the thriving colony of endangered African penguins. Watch these cuties waddle on land and then turn into graceful swimmers as they hit the water.

Next up, it’s the Dangerous Creature exhibit – time to turn your fears into fascination at the display of spiders, intricately patterned snakes, tree frogs, giant bullfrogs, scorpions and other incredible animals. Special effects and a few mild ‘startles’ on the journey will keep you on your toes!

On the ‘must-visit list at Ushaka is the colony of Cape fur seals, and the turtle lagoon to round off your incredible marine experience at Ushaka.

Bring your swimming costumes and towels to Ushaka if you intend to partake in the adventures that are available.  A vast array of slides, tubes, pools and fun at the Wet n Wild water area awaits you!  It caters for the extreme adrenaline junkie, the milder water adventurer, small children and families alike – loads of fun.

When you are hungry, thirsty or in need of some retail therapy, there are plenty of great restaurants, eateries and shops. Choose from a shipwreck restaurant to a restaurant where you can watch sharks swimming next to you, an African-themed restaurant or a quick take away.

If you have any time or energy left, the Ushaka beach is a lovely, safe swimming beach where you can bask in the warm sunshine year-round and listen to waves gently crashing to shore.

Moses Mabhida Stadium

When flying into Durban or driving around Durban, you cannot fail to notice the dazzling white curves, arches and architectural splendour of the Moses Mabhida Stadium, one of the host stadiums of the FIFA 2010 World Cup. It can be adjusted to house up to 80 000 spectators. However, it’s worth a visit for other reasons than a mere stadium. If you take a Sky Car ride up the stadium arch, you step out onto a platform that affords fantastic 360-degree views of Durban from 106m high in the air.

Another stadium activity is the Big Rush Big Swing – the world’s tallest swing (it’s in the Guinness book of records.) Be brave and free fall 80m into the stadium bowl and swing a massive 220m arch into the centre of the stadium! This is a must tick box item for the adrenaline junkies!

Just outside the stadium is ‘The People’s Park’, where you can choose from the cafes, lounge on the rolling lawns, kids can play on jungle gyms and the physical can run, cycle and rollerblade along wide, safe walkways. And it’s a hop and a skip across the road to the Durban Country Club, a throwback to the grandeur of days gone by, and the perfect spot for a delicious lunch.

The Durban Botanic Gardens

Visit the peaceful oasis of Africa’s oldest surviving Botanic Garden. Close to the city centre is an incredible haven of botany. These gardens play host to some rare collections of plants. The Orchid collection will delight with the delicate beauty, vibrant colours and heady perfume of over 6000 orchids. Marvel at the Palm Collection – the oldest surviving palm in the gardens was planted in 1873, and the tallest ones have seen quite a bit, having been there since 1889. The Cycad collection a little further houses the world’s oldest plants, some dating to over 160 million years ago. The Botanic Gardens also house many walking pathways, a tranquil lake full of birdlife, a sunken garden and a sensory garden.  Afterwards, visit the tea garden for a spot of tea and some delicious scones.

The Victoria Street Market

Get ready for an explosion of fusion culture and sensory stimulation at Durban’s oldest and most unique market. Over 200 vendors will ply you with their traditional African artwork, Indian spices, traditional clothing and more. Get yourself a jewel-coloured silk sari, a henna tattoo, and a mind-blowing curry dish. Step into the African-Indian melting pot of the ‘real’ Durban. Experience powerful wafts of spices and incense and the authentic sounds of Indian music competing with the calls of the stallholders and the chatter of the patrons. It’s the perfect place to find authentic curios, jewellery and gifts, hand-crafted from wood, brass, stone and animal skins.

For fresh seafood and slightly less ‘run of the mill’ meats such as sheep’s heads and brains and goat’s meat, take a stroll into the seafood and meat market.

The Oyster Box Hotel

You must visit this majestically grand and luxurious hotel in Umhlanga, overlooking the Indian Ocean and the iconic red and white lighthouse. The sparkling pool and exquisitely detailed and beautiful interior of this national treasure is a must-see. Stay there if you can for an experience of pure luxury. You’ll find yourself in good company as you browse the ‘wall of fame’ full of royalty photos and local and international celebrities that have all stayed at the Oyster Box. However, you don’t have to stay over to enjoy a famous buffet, curry feast or high tea, or visit the world-famous spa. Voted the No. 1 Top Hotel in South Africa in the Tripadvisor Traveller’s Choice Awards 2017, 2018 and 2019. You’ll have to check it out for yourself!

The Umhlanga Village

The ‘Village’ is a strip of exciting restaurants and bars, loved by locals and tourists alike. It’s just two blocks up from the beach in Umhlanga, and just one block away from the afore-mentioned Oyster Box Hotel and close to the many hotels in Umhlanga Rocks, a haven for beach tourists. Roadside seating allows you to people-watch while enjoying your favourite cuisine and cocktails. It’s not just people you can watch. The air is often rent with the sound of souped-up sports cars slowly prowling the street and showing off their shiny finery. Choose from tender free-range steaks, fresh seafood, fine cuisine, trendy gastropub meals, gourmet burgers, Greek meze, tapas and divine bakery breakfasts.

Phezulu Safari Park

A 35-minute drive from central Durban will take you to the scenic and aptly named ‘Valley of 1000 Hills’ area.  Here you can visit Phezulu  that is nestled in amongst these many hills. Take a scenic game drive, accompanied by an experienced guide in a covered 4 x 4 vehicle. On the way, you will learn about the flora and fauna, and spot giraffe, wildebeest, zebra, impala, blesbok and many bird species. Afterwards, you can meet  Rameses at the crocodile and snake park,  the 90-year-old Nile crocodile with his friends. You can also have a hands-on meeting with Cleo, the 42kg Burmese python! Add in Zulu dancing and cultural experiences and even shield making classes for a fabulous safari experience in Durban.

The Shongweni Farmer’s Market

From humble beginnings, as a market to give small farmers a place to retail their lovingly grown produce, the Farmer’s Market has grown into a wonderful weekend (Saturday mornings only) destination, bringing in people from far and wide every weekend. Staying true to their produce roots, it is hard to find a place with more free-range, hormone-free meats, farm-fresh fruit, vegetables, cheeses, milk, butter and home-made wares. You can find all sorts of exciting foods, such as fresh duck eggs, forest picked porcini or whiskey marmalade. You can catch a delicious breakfast and afterwards listen to live music, and kids have ample safe space to play. Original and authentic crafts also feature at the market, with local artists selling their handcrafted jewellery, furniture, clothes, bags, paintings and metal and stone sculpture.

Children’s Activities in Durban

Mini Town

Situated on Durban’s beachfront is the cutest, mini replica of special buildings in Durban city, built to scale at 1:24. Kids love browsing the city at knee height to an adult. There are miniature ships, trains and planes and even a little harbour. The detail is delightful, and it’s wonderful to experience the Mini-city within the city.

Bounce Cornubia

If it happens to be raining and you can’t go to the beach and the kids are ‘bouncing off the walls, it’s time to visit Bounce Cornubia, a huge indoor trampoline park. There is a free-jump arena, trampoline slam dunk, an adventure challenge park and the ‘Supertramp’ (a giant trampoline.) The perfect way to let out all excess energy!

Flag Animal Farm

An animal wonderland awaits in the Ballito area of Durban at the Flag Animal Farm. Home to over 1000 animals, birds, wolves and alpacas. The farm offers lots of chances to cuddle and enjoy the animals, along with:

  • Pony, horse, train and tractor rides
  • Reptile shows and handling
  • Outdoor playgrounds and jumping castle
  • Indoor play centres
  • Bike track
  • Daily shows involving colourful characters and animal education
  • Braai facilities and a coffee shop

Just a little outside of Durban you will find…

The Midlands Meander

Take a scenic hour-long drive out of Durban into the gently rolling, verdant hills of the Midlands Meander. There are several routes to take, offering exquisite surroundings, homely hospitality and cosy Midlands accommodation. The routes are designed to offer breathtaking scenery, excellent cuisine and restaurants, spas, outdoor activities and adventure sports, wildlife conservation areas, historic landmarks and hundreds of unique arts and crafts along the route known as an artist’s mecca.

The Drakensberg Mountains and World Heritage Site

The dramatic Drakensberg Mountain Range is just over 2 hours’ drive from Durban. The Zulu name of the mountain range is uKhahlamba – Barrier of Spears in iSiZulu. It’s the perfect description for the semi-circular border between KwaZulu Natal and Lesotho. Take further into the hills to hike, bike, horse ride, abseil or rock climb. Soak up the history and visit battlefields a little further on, museums and ancient bushmen paintings. You can listen to the echoes of angels as the world-famous Drakensberg Boys Choir boys sing into the mountains.

Durban has it all

Durban has so much to offer, for every budget, age group and taste. Get away from the Winter woes elsewhere and stay in Durban for as long as you can to get the full experience of this exciting city of beautiful beaches, wonderful culture, rich history, charming scenery and bustling commerce.