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Durban Attractions and Things to See

Durban is the biggest city in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal, and the third biggest in the nation, part of the eThekwini metro area and famous for being the busiest port in the nation. It has become one of the main centers of tourism, since it has beautiful beaches and warm subtropical weather. It is an ancient region, seen from the carbon dating of the rock art discovered in caves at the Drakensberg that suggest the first inhabitants of the area came here from the north about 100,000 BC, living in the central plains of KwaZulu-Natal until the Bantu people from the north arrived here after expanding, in the middle of the last millennium or 1000 BC. There isn't any written history, about these first peoples, until the region was seen by the Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama that sailed to the coast of the country in 1497, when he was searching for a route to Asia from Europe; and named the region "natal" or Christmas in Portuguese. The first arrival of Europeans would be in the early 19th century, when a group of 25 men would arrive here under the leadership of British Lt. F. G. Farewell from Cape Colony. It has an excellent and interesting history, and quite enjoyable if you have the time and inclination.

It is today, the busiest container port in Africa, as well as a popular tourist destination, with the fabulous Golden Mile that had been constructed for the enjoyment of tourists in the 1970s, with the city becoming a popular destination of the citizens of Johannesburg to enjoy its beaches, scenery and relaxing lifestyle. It is still the gateway to the historic sites and national parks of the Drakensberg and Zululand. Besides the Golden Mile, the city has the Umgeni River Bird Park, the Suncoast Casino and Entertainment World, the Greyville Racecourse, the Durban Country Club and golf course, the Victoria Embankment that is also called the Esplanade, which is home to many tourist attractions, the Gateway theater of shopping, the International Convention Center, Kings Park Stadium, uShaka Marine World that is one of the biggest aquariums in the world, Sahara Stadium Kingsmead that is a main test match and one-day cricket venue, and many sports venues.

The city has an excellent dining and shopping venue, with expansive shopping malls, local shops and markets with beachfront stalls selling everything from soup to nuts, as well as traditional arts and crafts, with outstanding theater and club options that will fulfill your day with a long night of dancing, drinking and enjoyment. Quite often, the KZN's Philharmonic orchestra plays their well known and popular "Music by the Lake" evenings that are enjoyed by both visitors and the city's local citizenry.

South African food is spectacular, with barbeque being one of the most favorite way of cooking, although there are many other traditional foods and flavors available that have to include the famous biltong, which is strips of dried meat that comes in different flavors and varieties. Potjiekos is delectable slowly cooked meat and vegetable stew that is traditionally cooked over an open fire pit, while mielie pap is a stiff corn meal mix and a staple of their diet. Boerwors is a spicy sausage that is usually cooked on a braai, grill/barbeque, and for those that enjoy sweets, melktert or milktart and koeksisters are sweet delicious doughy treats, or skop, which is the head of a cow, sheep or goat. And prepared a particular way that is something that you will have to investigate yourself if you are interested. The city has its share of Chinese restaurants, as well as Indian cuisine, fish and chip joints, with numerous mainstream eating establishments, along with crocodile and kudu dishes. The hanepoort and pinotage is made with a specially cultivated grape, and beer is also a favorite.