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Durban Holidays & Travel Guide

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Durban Holidays Overview

Located on South Africa's east coast, Durban is Africa's busiest port and one of the largest cities. The extensive beaches and warm climate of the city attracts a lot of tourists. Durban was founded as Port Natal by British settlers that brought a lot of Indian workers for their plantations. Today the city has one of the largest concentrations of Indians outside of India.

The Golden Mile in Durban is the city's highly popular beachfront and its main attraction. The stretch is an excellent place for surfing and swimming with its snack bars and hotels. The city centre is known for its beautiful Art Deco and colonial buildings.

A popular attraction in Durban is the Suncoast Casino and Entertainment World located at the north of the Golden Mile. Other than the casino itself, the centre has several restaurants, a semi-private beach, cinemas and beach bar. The picturesque beach is listed in South Africa's top three beaches.

UShaka Marine World is a fairly new theme park spread over an area of 16 hectares. It is home to the uShaka Sea World, the fifth largest in the world. The aquarium has five underground shipwrecks and several restaurants.

Crocodile Creek is another popular attraction. The creek has a large number of Nile Crocodiles, reptiles, snakes and alligators along with tree top walkways, hill trails and a waterfall.

A number of festivals and annual events including many Hindu festivals are celebrated in Durban throughout the year. Some of the most important festivals are Durban July, Durban International Film Festival and Awesome Africa.

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Durban holidays - Top Places To Go

1. Francis Farewell Square

What is it? This historic square in the middle of Durban is the spot where the city originated as a tiny settlement of itinerant traders and hunters in the early 19th century. It is named for Henry Francis Flynn, one of the prominent inhabitants of the time. Around the square are some interesting sights, particularly the 1910 City Hall on the south side, which is an exact replica of the City Hall of Belfast, Ireland. On the first floor of the City Hall is the Natural Science Museum with an interesting insect section; on the first floor is the renowned Durban Art Gallery. Various musical, song and dance performances are held on the City Hall steps every Wednesday at 1pm. Alongside the City Hall is Durban's local history museum housed in the Old Court House, which was the first public building ever erected in Durban, in 1866. Hours of Operation: Phone:



2. uShaka Marine World
1 Bell Street
What is it? In January 2004 Sea World closed its doors to the public and reopened as uShaka Marine World, which has become the largest marine theme park in Africa. The park is tastefully themed with African imagery and has five zones offering entertainment, dining, a retail village, water slides and access to uShaka Beach. The Sea World zone incorporates an aquarium, dolphinarium, a seal pool and penguin rookery, as well as interactive activities in the dive tank, snorkel reef and touch pool, while Wet 'n Wild offers heart-stopping, adrenalin-pumping rides as well as water-based activities for the less adventurous. Hours of Operation: Sea World: Daily 9am to 6pm, closing at 5pm in winter (Island activities closed Mondays). Wet 'n Wild: Wednesday to Sunday 9am to 6pm, until 5pm in winter; open daily on public holidays and during government school holidays Phone:031 328 8000



3. KwaMuhle Museum
130 Ordinance Road
What is it? The notorious building that was once the 'Department of Native Affairs' where every black South African in Natal was required to register in the days of Apartheid, now houses a museum dedicated to tracing the history of racial laws in Durban, including memorable video and photographic exhibits. Despite this the building is known to all as KwaMuhle, meaning 'place of the good one', the name honouring a white man who ran the department but did his best to fight the system within its constraints. Hours of Operation: Monday to Saturday 8.30am to 4pm; Sundays and public holidays 11am to 4pm Phone:031 311 2237



Durban holidays - Top Events


1. Music in the Mountains

From 2007-04-01

To 2007-04-30

What is it? The annual Music in the Mountains festival draws lovers of music and nature to the Drakensberg Boys' Choir School where the exceptional voices of the world famous Drakensberg Boys' Choir are showcased. Besides the choir there are also performances by selected South African popular artists, and stalls selling unique handmade products. Where is it? Drakensberg Boys' Choir School, Champagne Valley, Central Drakensberg



2. The Sardine Run

From 2007-05-01

To 2007-07-31

What is it? Every year along the shores stretching from the Cape to Kwazulu Natal, millions of sardines migrate from the cold waters heading to the subtropical temperatures in an awesome underwater spectacle. Comparable only to its land equivalent, the Wildebeest migration in the Serengeti, this amazing occurrence is one of the most unforgettable experiences for those brave enough to get in the water with the predators, including dolphins, seals, sharks and whales, that come out to feed on them. The best way to view the Sardine Run is to get in touch with the many scuba diving companies along the South African coast. Where is it?



3. Comrades Marathon

From 2007-06-17

To 2007-06-17

What is it? The world's greatest ultra-marathon, the Comrades is a gruelling test over 56 miles (90km) between Durban and Pietermaritzburg every year. The race alternates between the uphill run from Durban and the downhill from Pietermaritzburg, and is a real test of physical endurance. The winners usually take about five and a half hours to complete the course. In 2007 the race will start in Pietermaritzburg and finish in Durban. Where is it?



4. Vodacom Durban July

From 2007-07-07

To 2007-07-07

What is it? Usually held on the first Saturday of every July, the annual Durban July is South Africa's equivalent of the Royal Ascot in the UK, with superb thoroughbreds, but also high fashion, fine cuisine and elegance. It is the premier horseracing event in the country where the rich and famous go to be seen and is the most talked about social gathering among racing enthusiasts. Where is it? Greyville Race Course




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About This Page

Information on Durban Holidays, Durban Hotels, Holiday Packages in Durban (city breaks, short stays, all inclusive and luxury deals). Also provides links and resources to Air Travel, Flights and Durban Car Hire Options

Holidays Travel Guide content part sourced rom, copyright Globe Media Ltd. By its very nature much of the information contained in the travel guide is subject to change at short notice. Travellers are urged to verify information on which they're relying with the relevent authorities. We cannot accept any responsibility for any loss or inconvenience to a person as result of information contained above.