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Durban is one of South Africa’s most popular destinations and Qatar Airways are offering flights to Durban, entering through the brand new King Shaka International Airport which opened in 2010 offering state of the art facilities. Durban and the province of Kwa Zulu Natal is now within reach of travellers looking to explore a modern metropolis housing an ancient and diverse cultural heritage.
Within the city you’ll find plenty of cultural exhibits and astonishing examples of architecture. With plenty of shopping on offer and a bounty of places to eat and with an average of 2343 hours of sunshine per annum this diverse and surprising City offers the perfect break for you and your family.
Beyond city of Durban and into the “Zulu Kingdom” you will find, spellbinding scenery, world heritage wetland parks and dive sites, historical sites such as the battlefields of Rorkes Drift and top class game reserves featuring the big 5. You can book a flight to Durban with Qatar Airways through most international airports.
If you’re travelling to Durban with children, then it’s a good idea to set aside some time for treats. A visit to uShaka Marine World is a superb way to spend a day, combining the thrills and spills of a water-park with the chance to meet and greet some of the world’s most beautiful marine life in the underground aquarium. Nearby, is the Durban Beachfront known as ‘the Golden Mile’ which plays host to great beaches.
If there are surfers in your party then the beaches of Durban and the Kwa Zulu Natal Coast are ideal. You will find plenty of surfing beaches along this glorious section of coastline. You’ll also find plenty of opportunity for water-based activities such as dolphin spotting, fishing and even shark dives at Aliwal Shoal approx 45 minutes South of Durban.
The Upmarket beach resort of Umhlanga Rocks is just 15 kilometres North of Durban which offers top class resort hotels, beaches and the world renowned Kwazulu Natal Sharks Board.
The KZN Sharks Board maintains shark safety gear at 38 localities and is the only institute of its kind in the world, offering safe bathing to tourists while also conducting research into shark life history and offering a public education programme.
If you really want to investigate the Zulu heritage, then head for the Valley of a Thousand Hills. This is where you’ll find a number of Zulu villages and witness ancient practices, tribal dancing and cultural shows.
Although its name suggests it’s miles from anywhere, the valley is only about half an hour from Durban city. Just over two hours drive to the west, you’ll find the dramatic beauty of the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park – named as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Amongst the basalt buttresses, cool caves and rock pools you’ll find some of the world’s rarest plants and animals.
For a more experimental experience, take yourself down to the BAT Centre. With art galleries, dance studios and an outdoor performance area, you can see tomorrow’s stars before anyone else does.
If you’re travelling to Durban with food in mind, then you’ve made an excellent choice. The city’s status as South Africa’s busiest port is reflected in its eclectic dishes, described as ‘Rainbow Cuisine’ thanks to the various cultures that have added their own unique input.
While there are restaurants serving sumptuous cuisine from virtually every corner of the globe, the predominant influences are Indian and Zulu. Look out for the local Durban delicacy the “Bunny Chow” which shows the Indian influence at its best, a hollowed out half bread loaf filled with delicious Durban Curry.
A shopping trip to Durban is a trip to paradise for those who enjoy a spot of retail therapy. You’ll find everything from high-end stores and designer malls to street markets, which are peppered across the city and suburbs.
The markets are the places to go if you want unique gifts and curios; you’ll find spices, clothing and hand-crafted goods on sale, giving you an idea of the heady mix of African and Eastern cultures that makes a shopping trip here so unique.
Flights to Durban land at King Shaka International Airport, about 40 Kilometers from the city.
Visa restrictions for entry into the country will depend on your country of origin, length of stay and whether your trip is for business or pleasure. So before you fly to Durban please check the visa and passport requirements.
Currency: South African Rand (ZAR)
Voltage: 220 / 230 V 50 Hz
Plugs: Type M
Language: English / Zulu / Xhosa / Afrikaans
International dialing code: +27