Durban In South Africa

Durban is the third most populous city in South Africa, following Johannesburg and Cape Town. It is a part of the eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality and was one of the cities that hosted the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Previously called Port Natal, Durban is among the most popular holiday destinations in the country, attracting thousands of domestic and international visitors throughout the year. What makes the city special is its incredible natural beauty and renowned tourist attractions. From mesmerising views of the seaside, mountains and valleys to serene beaches, beautiful temples and grand stadiums, there’s a lot to see while you visit South Africa. The history of Durban dates back thousands of years to when it was first inhabited by groups of hunter-gatherers. However, the city that we see now dates back to around 1824, when a group of a few Britishers established their settlement in the region.

Now, Durban City has become a major spot in South Africa, with various fun things to do. Tourists can go sightseeing and witness the world-renowned places in and near Durban, like the Golden Mile, The Valley of a 1000 Hills, Umgeni River Bird Park, North Beach Durban, Botanic Gardens, etc. Shopping for local crafts, enjoying the vibrant nightlife, dining at luxurious restaurants, etc., are some other popular things tourists prefer during their visit to the city. Durban is also a great spot for fun activities, like spending a day at the uShaka Marine World, riding the Big Swing at Moses Mabhida Stadium, going shark cage diving, taking casual strolls on beaches, and more. 

Places to visit in Durban

Places to vist in Durban

Operating hours

Ticket Prices

North Beach

Open 24 hours


Umgeni River Bird Park

9 AM to 4 PM

R40 for adults and R20 for children (age 4-12)

Durban Botanic Gardens

7 AM to 5:45 PM

No entry fee

Sri Sri Radha Radhanath Temple

4:30 AM to 7:30 PM

Free admission

Mitchell Park Zoo and Jameson Park

9 AM to 4 PM (Mitchell Park Zoo) & 24 hours (Jameson Park)

R12 for adults and R10 for children (age 2-13) to visit Mitchell Park Zoo
No entry fee is required for visiting Jameson Park


KwaMuhle Museum

8:30 AM to 4:00 PM

No entry fee

uShaka Marine World

9 AM to 5 PM

Prices depend on which tour you choose

Durban Natural Science Museum

8:30 AM to 4:00 PM

Free entry

Durban Location

Durban is located in the eastern coastal region of South Africa. It lies at the Umgeni River’s mouth, which flows through the city, overlooking the Indian Ocean. It is KwaZulu-Natal province’s largest city and the chief seaport in the country. It is about 568 kilometres southeast of Johannesburg and just 77 kilometres from Pietermaritzburg.

The language spoken in Durban

The city’s history has massively influenced its culture and traditions, offering a blend of Indian, European and African backgrounds. A similar influence is seen in the regional language, making it one of the most diverse holiday destinations in the world. In Durban, the majority of the people are fluent in English. Hence, most tourists will not face any issues conversing with the locals during their trip. Other major languages spoken in Durban include Zulu (isiZulu), Xhosa, Afrikaans, Fanagalo, etc. Durban is also home to one of the largest Indian communities outside of India, so you can expect to occasionally come across individuals conversing in Indian languages. 

Currency used in Durban

The currency that is primarily used and accepted in Durban is called South African Rand (ZAR). It has been the currency of legal tender in South Africa since it replaced the South African Pound in 1961. The South African Rand is denoted by the symbol “R” and its value has largely fluctuated through the years. As of 9th April 2023, 09:52 AM (UTC), the value of 1 ZAR is equal to 4.53 INR and 0.055 USD.

Durban Famous for?

Durban City is among the most diverse and visited holiday destinations in South Africa. The renowned vacation spot is mainly known for things like: 

  1. Port of Durban- The Durban Port, also known as Durban Harbour, is the busiest shipping terminal in South Africa and one of the largest in the Southern Hemisphere.
  2. Bunny Chow- It is a speciality food item that adds to the popularity of Durban. It is a type of snack made with a hollowed loaf of bread containing curry-based veg or non-veg filling. 
  3. Grand stadiums- Sports fans from all over the world fly out to Durban to witness live events like cricket, football, rugby, motorsports, etc., at the various stadiums in the city. For example, the Moses Mabhida Stadium is a multi-use stadium and was one of the venues for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. 
  4. Cultural diversity- Durban is one of the most culturally diverse cities in South Africa. Tourists can not only learn about the local culture and traditions during their visit but also be a part of it.
  5. Scenic beauty- The entire city is covered by beautiful works of nature, offering a magnificent visual delight to tourists. The mesmerising landscapes of Durban consist of beachfront views, flower-filled parks, lush green valleys, game reserves, heritage trails, and so on. 

Durban- A Versatile Holiday Destination

The coastal city of Durban is a very versatile holiday destination in South Africa. Many tourists visit the city for the Durban beach experience and gaze at the spectacular seafront views. The amusement park experience in the city is another of its primary tourist attractions. Besides these, Durban is famous for its botanic gardens, game reserves, bird parks, picnic spots, etc. It is also a great place where you can enjoy the vibrant nightlife and adventure tourism in South Africa.

How to get to Durban

The city of Durban is quite well-connected with other parts of South Africa and the world via various transport methods. Here’s how you can get to the city:

By air:

One of the fastest and most comfortable ways to reach Durban is via plane. The King Shaka International Airport (DUR) is the main airport serving the city since 2010. It is located approximately 35 kilometres from the Durban city centre. Besides international flights, the airport also features frequent domestic flights connecting Durban to major South African cities, such as Cape Town and Johannesburg. Once you land at KSIA, you can take a taxi or bus to Durban City, which should take about 30 minutes.

By road:

Travelling to Durban by road is another suitable way to reach the city quickly and comfortably. You can hire a taxi or go for a rental car for this purpose. If you are starting your journey from Port Elizabeth or Cape Town, consider following Highway 2 around the coast. And if you are travelling from Johannesburg to Durban, you can take Highway 3. There are also frequent bus services, like Baz Bus, Translux, Citiliner, etc., connecting Durban with the main cities in South Africa.

By rail:

The Durban Railway Station offers reliable and convenient rail connectivity between Durban and other South African cities, like Pietermaritzburg and Johannesburg. It is located about 2 kilometres from the city centre. 

Interesting Facts about Durban 

Durban is a land of many wonders, and if you are planning your next trip to this beautiful city, make sure to check out these interesting facts about it for a better idea:

  1. The Durban Port, also called Durban Harbour, is the busiest container port in South Africa. It has around 59 berths and handles over 30 million tons of cargo every year.
  2. Famous Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama first visited Durban back in 1497. He named the area “Natal”, which meant Christmas in the Portuguese language. 
  3. The world’s oldest and largest ultramarathon, called the “Comrades Marathon”, is run annually between the city of Durban and Pietermaritzburg.
  4. Durban is a popular spot for adventure on South Africa tourism, attracting visitors with activities like surfing, kayaking, shark cage diving, etc. The Durban Beach sites are the most prominent locations for these activities.
  5. Mahatma Gandhi first visited Durban in 1893 to serve as legal counsel to a merchant named Dada Abdulla. It is where he spent years fighting racial discrimination before returning to India.
  6. The city has some of the finest beaches in South Africa, spreading across the famous Golden Mile.
  7. Durban has the largest population of Indians outside of India. They are now a prominent part of the diverse culture and traditions of the city. 
  8. The part of the Indian Ocean that Durban overlooks is warm, thanks to the warm Mozambique current.
  9. The uShaka Marine World in the city has an underground aquarium which is dubbed the fifth-largest aquarium in the world. It is also one of the most visited tourist places in Durban.
  10. Durban’s Centre for Creative Arts (CCA) is known for hosting some of the biggest art events in all of South Africa, including the Durban Film Festival, Poetry Africa and Time of the Writer.

Why is Durban recommended?

There are many reasons why one should visit South Africa’s famous city, Durban, at least once in their lifetime. For instance, individuals looking to spend a memorable vacation amidst nature without steering far from city life will find Durban to be a perfect location. Apart from its magnificent beaches, valleys and mountains, its city life offers attractions like museums, amusement parks, religious landmarks, and so on. The views of the sunset and sunrise from the city are also quite popular in the region. Referred to as “South Africa’s Playground”, the clear and warm weather of Durban makes it a pleasant location to visit in the country throughout the year. Its diverse culture and rich history also draw the attention of thousands of visitors annually.

Another major reason to visit Durban in South Africa is that it is considerably cheaper when compared to other major cities, like Cape Town or Johannesburg. The availability and quality of food, transport and accommodation in Durban are quite good. You can grab a decent hotel in Durban, travel via public transport and check out the various tourist attractions in the city, all within a budget.

To answer the popular question “Is Durban safe for tourism?”, it should be noted that the crime rate in the region is a bit on the higher side. However, the main tourist areas remain considerably safe for visitors. Hence, as long as you are taking all precautionary measures and listening to the instructions of your tour guide, you can enjoy your holidays in Durban without any hindrances. 

Cost to reach Durban via different transport methods

Depending on your travel budget, you can choose from the various transport methods available to reach Durban. You can find details about the general travel cost to reach the city in the following:

  • 1By flight- It is the fastest and the most expensive travel option available to reach the city. For instance, the cheapest flight from New Delhi to Durban costs around INR 50,000. If you are flying domestically, like from Johannesburg to Durban, then the cheapest flight fare is around R500 - R600.
  • By train- The cheapest train fare from Johannesburg to Durban is around R360.
  • By bus- If you are travelling to Durban by bus from Cape Town, it can cost anywhere around R690 - R1450.
  • By taxi- If you are travelling from neighbouring cities to Durban, you can choose to go by taxi. For example, the cheapest taxi fare from Pietermaritzburg to Durban is about R550 - R700.

Keep in mind that these prices can vary depending on your starting location and date of travel.

have us call you back!
have us call you back!
Please enter a valid Email-ID
Please enter a valid mobile number
You missed this
You missed this
I accept Privacy Policy and I authorize Thomas Cook to contact me with details.
Also See . . .
Top International
Honeymoon Destinations