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Appropriately enough, the Zulu name for Durban is Thekwini, meaning "The Place Where the Earth and the Ocean Meet". But apart from an effervescent ocean lined with golden beaches, Durban offers a subtropical carnival atmosphere and summer sunshine all year round.
Probably the first European to have sight of the bay around which Durban was to develop was Vasco De Gama on his pioneering sea voyage to India in 1497. 
Durban takes it's name from Sir Benjamin D'Urban, governor of the Cape Colony at the time of the first successful colonial settlement in 1835. 
Since then, Durban has been colonised by firstly Dutch and then English traders.  A large number of Indian labourers were brought to Durban during the 19th century to farm the emerging sugar industry.  With them came traders and their ancestors form a large percentage of Durban's current population.

Durban is a major gateway to Africa and is also the largest and busiest port city on the continent. Due to this, there is an extensive road network leading to and from any destination in South Africa. Durban International Airport, is only a 10 minute drive from the City and is serviced daily by domestic flights, as well as international flights. The International Convention Centre, centrally located, is an innovative, world class convention centre which can cater for conferences of up to 5000 people.


  • Dick King Statue Situated at the corner of Gardiner Street and Victoria Embankment, this statue depicts Natal's gallant hero, who on his horse Somerset, rode a gruelling 960 kilometres to Grahamstown, over a 10 day period to obtain military assistance for the besieged British troops at Durban's Old Fort.

  • City Hall An imposing, architecturally magnificent building, dominating a whole block in the centre of the city.

  • Da Gama Clock The clock was first installed in Point Road in 1887 to commemorate Vasco Da Gama’s first sighting of Durban on Christmas eve 1497, four hundred years before. The stone plaque that stands nearby was unveiled in 1969 by the Ambassador of Portugal, on the 500th anniversary of Da Gama’s birth. Situated at the corner of Aliwal Street and Victoria Embankment, Durban.

  • The history of apartheid is found in the Kwa Muhle museum

  • Seafaring memorabilia can be found in the Maritime museum

  • History of Indian indentured labour is shown in photographic and document form in the Durban Cultural and Document Centre.

  • The province of KwaZulu Natal has some magnificent game reserves containing the "Big Five". The city of Durban itself hosts a surprising number of conservation areas - ranging from coastal mangroves to indigenous bush reserves housing some of Africa's larger game.


  • Walking is a pleasure in Durban's sunny and lush environment.

  • Browse the many markets

  • Game spotting at one of Durban's local reserves

  • Durban is packed with sporting facilities, and cover all forms of athletics, ball sports, general sports and (Durban's favourite) water sports
  • The main beaches are shark netted and patrolled  from sunrise to sunset by trained lifeguards, making it safe for swimming and other water sports. The main beaches also have change and shower facilities as well as an array of restaurants and bars. 
  • Choose from a wide variety of  theatres, clubs, restaurants and shops. 
  • There are amusement parks for the kids