Holiday on your mind? Escape to Durban for a quick weekend breakaway. Here are a few things to keep you busy on you mini-vacation:
What to do on day 1:
See Durban from the top of Moses Mabhida Stadium
Built for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the Moses Mabhida Stadium has become one of Durban’s best-known and most beloved modern landmarks. Used as venue for multiple major events, the stadium’s biggest drawcard is actually the activities it offers on a daily basis.
If you’re feeling adventurous, do the Adventure Walk across the arc, or even try the Big Rush Big Swing, a plunging jump onto the stadium fields below. If heights aren’t quite your cup of tea, there are also stadium or Segway tours to explore the venue and surrounding area.
Take a walk through nine inner-city markets
Warwick Junction is Durban’s primary public transport hub with a daily average of 460 000 commuters passing through. Over the years, the junction has grown to support nine distinct markets encompassing 5 000 to 8 000 vendors, making it the only unstructured market of its size in South Africa.
Between the nine markets, you can find anything from fresh produce, beadwork, clothing, music, accessories and traditional medicine. To make exploring a little less intimidating, take a guided tour with Markets of Warwick and learn more about the history of the markets and the area, as well as notable landmarks.
Enjoy the ocean breeze at the Golden Mile
No visit to Durban would be complete without dipping your toes in the warm Indian Ocean. The Golden Mile refers to a stretch of pristine Durban coastline. In reality much longer than a mile, it is a lovely area for a long seaside walk, or to rent a bicycle to cruise up and down the 6km promenade.
End the day with a sunset catamaran trip
Take in the sights of Durban from afar on a sunset cruise. Hakuna Matata Charters offers one-hour cruises from 10am on weekends and holidays that will see you off to the deep sea. Time your cruise to sunset so that you can see the sun turn the Durban skyline golden as it dips behind the city.
Bring a picnic and a bottle of bubbly to celebrate your first fabulous day in Durban.
What to do on day 2:
Do you have green fingers? See the world’s rarest plant at the Durban Botanic Gardens
The Durban Botanic Gardens was established in 1849 and is Africa’s oldest surviving botanic garden. The garden is recognised for its botanical conservation efforts, and for its special collections of more than 6 000 orchids, palms and cycads, including the protected Encephalartos woodii, or Wood’s cycad, which is extinct in the wild.
The butterfly habitat garden was specially designed, featuring plants that provide nectar to attract many different types of local butterflies.
Leave the city behind to see the Valley of a Thousand Hills
The Valley of a Thousand Hills is a scenic feast for the eye. Only half an hour’s drive from Durban, it’s perfect for a quick adventure. Whether you are taking a quick drive or looking for a fun activity, stop off at PheZulu Safari Park.
Hop of at Boma Restaurant for a quick bite while admiring the views of the valley below, or extend your experience with a drive through the game park. PheZulu also offers a live crocodile show where you can meet Ramesis, the 90-year-old Nile crocodile, and a snake park where you can see South Africa’s most dangerous (and friendly) snakes up close.
Enjoy dinner with a view at a revolving restaurant
End your trip at Roma Revolving Restaurant. Sitting high on the 32nd floor and 105 metres in the air, you’ll be able to enjoy a delicious Italian meal with the best views of Durban and surrounds, plus the harbour and ocean. Buon appetito!