Durban is blessed with balmy weather all year round, making it a perfect holiday paradise. The beachfront is bordered by five star hotels and luxury apartments, all of which have an idyllic view of the Indian Ocean.
The Central Business District, a hive of activity, is within easy reach of all hotels and convention venues. If however, you wish to travel further afield, there is a very competent public transport system running throughout Durban, as well as an abundance of taxis.
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.
KwaZulu-Natal is a world in one province : to the North of Durban can be found the best of African game reserves and pristine beaches; to the West lie the majestic Drakensberg Mountains and temperate Midlands; while to the South there await superb golf courses, fishing spots and miles of subtropical coastline.
Durban is famed for its mild, sunny winter climate and year-round "fun-in-the-water" weather. Durban is blessed with an abundance of vegetation and a subtropical climate with sunshine for at least 320 days a year. Temperatures range from 16°C and 25°C during the winter months of June, July and August. Summer temperatures can reach 32°C with relatively high humidity during the hot season.
Durban's beaches are characterised by soft, golden sand, palm trees and the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. The main beaches are shark netted and patrolled from sunrise to sunset by trained lifeguards who have an impressive track record in beach safety. The main beaches also have change and shower facilities as well as an array of restaurants and bars. Those who crave seclusion can find many remote beaches along the coast which are not patrolled.
Durban has more than 50 reserves, developed parks and specialised gardens. They are maintained by the City's Parks Department which has 4 500 hectares of parkland and undeveloped open space under its control. The most renowned garden in the city is the Botanic Gardens, a rich 20 ha botancial and park haven at the foot of the Berea, and minutes from the city centre.
Durban and its surrounding areas boast a number of small to medium-sized nature reserves. At first these appear to be simply green islands in the urban landscape, but some of the larger reserves (such as Silverglen and Stainbank) offer surprising accessibility to African wildlife within the city limits. Large fauna include vervet monkeys, several buck species and even zebra. Additional attractions include tours, walks and community projects such as the Sangoma (witch doctor) training facility at Silverglen.
Durban is richly endowed with tropical flora which attract a large variety of wildlife.
Visitors can enjoy the best in birdwatching at such spots as the Amanzimtoti and Umgeni River Bird Parks. The province of KwaZulu Natal has some magnificent game reserves containing the "Big Five" but you don't even have to go that far! 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
Shop till you drop in one of Durban's many shopping malls or browse the weekend markets for original and second hand clothing, crafts and gifts. Street side vendors offer flowers, fresh fruit and leather goods at knock down prices.
If cultural diversity were the criterion for choosing the capital of the new South Africa, then Durban would be the only city in the running. In a country dubbed the Rainbow Nation, this port city is blessed with the most vibrant mix of the ethnic and cultural paint brush. The metropolis is home to three major social groupings, each with its own rich history and traditions.
KwaZulu Natal's rich history is documented in a number of fascinating museums in and around the city. The development of Durban into the city we know today can be viewed from a number of important perspectives. The history of apartheid is found in the Kwa Muhle museum, seafaring memorabilia can be found in the Maritime museum and the history of Indian indentured labour is shown in photographic and document form in the Durban Cultural and Document Centre.
Durban's theatre scene has something to offer for everyone. Whether you enjoy mainstream classics or fringe productions, Durban is a goldmine of talent.
African arts and crafts have existed for centuries in traditional societies. Parents were responsible for transmitting the folklore, poetry and craft traditions to their children. In urban areas the lack of suitable raw materials for craftwork has resulted in the use of alternative materials, such as plastic bags to weave floormats or telephone wires to weave baskets, which has led to some innovative and creative work. Durban has some very special Art Centres working on ambitious educational projects to futher the talents of local people.