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Durban - South Africa's Playground

View of Durban

Surfing in Durban

uShaka Marine World

Durban Beach front

Durban is known as South Africa's playground and is the jewel of Kwazulu-Natal. Durban was found by Vasco da Gama when he sailed past the bay on Christmas Day in 1497 and named the region Terra de Natal, or land of the Nativity. In the early 19th century the British at the Cape looked for a suitable port to trade with the Zulu nation.

That was when they discovered, what they called Port Natal. After a few hard years of battles, the fifteen settlers decided to lay out a town in 1835 that they called D'Urban in honour of the governor of the Cape Colony at the time. After many battles Durban eventually laid their first streets in 1839. Durban was granted city status in 1935.

In this city that never sleeps you will wish to never leave for there are tons of things that will keep you entertained around the year. Durban is famous for its beautiful long beaches that are also known as the Golden Mile, offer consistent waves that are every surfer's dream. Best surf spots are New Pier at Dairy Beach or Bay of Plenty. If you're more of a kitesurfer, Country Club beach is the spot.

For those who feel safer lying down, North Beach is great for body boarding. Surfboards can also be hired. Bathing is all year round with lifeguards always keeping a eye on you. Best beaches to try are North and South beaches, Addington and Brighton beach on The Bluff.

If you're not really into the surf-thing you can simply enjoy long romantic walks down the beach and watch the sun go down behind the Indian Ocean. The Golden Mile includes 6km of beach, playgrounds, shops, restaurants, nightspots, entertainment centres, hotels and uShaka Marine World.

uShaka Marine World is the largest marine park in Africa. The park has an aquarium, a dolphinarium and many entertainment including shops and water slides. Durban has many amusement parks, to name but a few: indoor mini-golf, Minitown, snake park and the ice rink at Ice World.

Night life:
After sunset Durban really comes alive. Jazz lovers will love the many live venues where you can lose yourself in the music. If you're more into a
fast beat, there are many night clubs you can party at till sunrise. Other entertainment you can enjoy are the casinos that have gaming, cinemas, restaurants and kids' facilities.

Rickshaw rides:
For a entertaining and fun way to get around town try the Rickshaw Rides where pullers in brightly coloured outfits and massive horns take tourists on joyrides.

History and Culture:
Besides all the entertainment Durban is also famous for its history and culture. In this cosmopolitan city you will experience strong culture influences of India, England and continental Europe. The Inanda Trail provides a unique insight into Durban's history, while culture lovers can feast their eyes at the NSA Gallery with its excellent selection of local and international artworks.

At the Phoenix Settlement, visitors can see where Mahatma Gandhi devised his philosophy of passive resistance, while fanatics of classical music should not miss out on an opportunity to see the KZN Philharmonic. Museums that you must visit in Durban are the Natural Science Museum, Old Court House Museum, Port Natal Maritime Museum, KwaMuhle Museum and the Old House Museum.

Like all the cities in South Africa, Durban is sport crazy. The city hosts international sports events which include the Comrades Marathon and Dusi Canoe Marathon and indulges in a wide variety of sports. Durban has world class facilities which includes the cricket stadium at Kingsmead and the rugby stadium at ABSA Stadium. Golfers can try out the Durban Country Club course or the Royal Durban course.

Other sports you might try out are angling, boating, scuba-diving, ice skating and ten-pin bowling in Brickhill Road. Horse racing is also very popular in Durban at the Greyville Race Tracks of which the premier posh Durban July is the high light every year.





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