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Local Knowledge & Travel Tips

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South Africa

  • Gauteng (Johannesburg & Surrounds)
  • KwaZulu-Natal (Durban)
  • Western Cape (Cape Town)
  • Eastern Cape
  • Mpumalanga
  • North West
  • Free State
  • Northern Cape
  • Limpopo

Rest of Africa

  • Nigeria
  • Mozambique
  • Kenya
  • Zambia
  • Tanzania

Middle East &
Indian Ocean

  • Seychelles
  • United Arab Emirates

Visit Durban

Local Knowledge & Travel Tips

Durban is one of South Africa’s best-loved holiday destinations. The postcard perfect beaches, year-round sunshine, uniquely Afro-Indian culture and fascinating historical heritage are waiting to be discovered. Our Durban guide includes useful travel tips, delicious dining destinations, a Durban spa guide, local’s favourite Durban attractions, suggestions on the top Durban hotels and the best beaches on the Golden Mile. Discover what makes Durbs so special and why the New York Times rated Durban as a top 10 ‘must-visit’ destination. 


Local Knowledge

Make your stay in Durban a trip to remember with our top travel tips. With Tsogo Sun hotels throughout the country, we offer travellers a local perspective.

Language

South Africa has 11 official languages with English spoken throughout the country. Up to 50% of the population of Durban have English as a first language. 

Say Hello!

  • "Sawubona" – Zulu
  • "Molo" – Xhosa
  • "Goeie dag" - Afrikaans

Local Lingo

With its mix of cultures and languages it is no surprise that Durban has its own special sound.

  • ‘now now’ can mean anytime from now to two weeks’ time
  • ‘hundreds’ is less about a number and more about something being just right
  • ‘bru’ or ‘bra’ can be anyone from a friend to a cousin to your actual brother 
  • ‘bunny’ or ‘bunny chow’ is a Durban-Indian food-speciality. Try one for yourself at a classic spot like Jeera.

Currency & Prices

Durban generally offers even more value than Johannesburg and Cape Town. From shopping and dining to entertainment and hotel stays, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy excellent value without compromising on service or quality. 

  • South African Rand
  • ATMs can be found throughout the city and main tourist locations
  • Hotel rates offer great value in Durban

Splash Out!
Treat yourself to a beauty treatment or massage at the Spa at Suncoast Towers

Stay Safe

  • It’s always good to be cautious when exploring a new city, and Durban is no exception. But don’t be paranoid, just use good common sense and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
  • Avoid walking around the city at night, although some suburbs have safe areas for you to explore between bars and restaurants.
  • Don’t flash your valuables around or leave valuables on display in your car.
  • If in doubt, just ask. The Durban beachfront is part of a Tsogo Sun supported policing initiative.

Weather

Durban has a very pleasant year round climate and it’s not unusual to enjoy a ‘beach day’ any time of the year. Expect some rainy days during spring and summer but don’t expect an extended non-stop rainy-season.

  • Summer (Mid October – February) 25 °C average temp.
  • Autumn (Mid February – April) 22 °C average temp
  • Winter (June to August) 17 °C average temp.
  • Spring (August – October) 18  °C average temp.

Travel Tip
Bring your shorts even if you’re visiting in winter.

Transport

  • Hire a car at the airport or in the city for the easiest way to explore Durban and the surrounds. The airport has a choice of international car hire companies such as Avis and First.
  • Durban does have a bus network, but it is limited and can be difficult to navigate for a first-time visitor
  • Uber is relatively new to South Africa but a quick and affordable way to get from point-to-point in the city (Download the app and request a driver)
  • Ring ahead and book a taxi. Ask at your Tsogo Sun hotel reception to book one for you.

Try Something Different

  • Take a helicopter ‘flip’ over the city for a birds-eye view
  • Ride a rickshaw for a tourist-focused, but undeniably unique ride on the beachfront

What To Do In Durban

Durban Beaches

Durban’s Golden Mile runs along some of the best swimming and surfing beaches in the country. The natural bay in which it lies along with the layout of its many piers and the protection of shark nets, makes it one of the safest stretches of coastline to enjoy your beach holiday. Have fun in and out of the water, hire a surfboard for the day or join the kids in building their dream sandcastle.

  • South Beach - Smaller surf for beginners and located near uShaka Marine World and Moyo on the pier for drinks and snacks. This is a great family beach.
  • North Beach - Arguably Durban’s most popular beach (especially during December school holidays), North Beach is great for bodyboarding, paddle boarding and swimmers who don’t mind bigger waves.
  • New Pier / Dairy Beach - Reliable surf at this Durban favourite that can get a little crowded in the water. 
  • Bay of Plenty - As popular as it is for fishing as it is for sunbathing. The pier (especially very early morning) is a great place to catch the local fishermen in action.
  • Beyond Durban - If you fancy a change from the Golden Mile then head south and discover tourist friendly beaches such as Margate and Ramsgate (a little over an hour from Durban) or North to uMhlanga Rocks (just 20 minutes from Durban) for an upmarket beach vibe. 

Shopping and Markets

  • Pavillion Mall – a Durban landmark with 245 stores just 5kms from the centre. The Pav, as it’s known, is one of the best shopping spots in the city.
  • Gateway Theatre of Shopping – A little out of the city in uMhlanga is Africa’s largest mall. Gateway has everything from a skate park to big brand flagship stores.
  • Rivertown – part of a new urban regeneration initiative the area has its first major player with 8 Morrison, a design hub for creatives.
  • Station Drive – a transformed industrial area is becoming one of the hottest spots in the city and home to a micro-distillery, vintage shops, trendy dining and a selection of handcrafted goods from designer clothes to wooden sunglasses.
  • I Heart Market – if you are in the area on the first Saturday of the month take a drive to Moses Mabhida stadium and explore one of SA’s largest design markets.
  • Morning Trade – situated in Durban’s trendy Station Drive Precinct this artisanal focused food market is open every Sunday
  • Victoria Street Market – authentic Afro-Indian market experience in the city centre (08h00 – 18h00 Monday to Saturday & 10h00 – 16h00 Sunday)

Family Fun

  • uShaka Marine World – home to one of the world’s largest aquariums, a water park, shops and more at the south end of the Golden Mile
  • Moses Mabhida Stadium – take a Segway or bike tour around this tourist friendly stadium. If you are feeling extra brave get harnessed into the world’s tallest swing at the top of the stadium.
  • Durban Botanic Gardens – have a picnic in Africa’s oldest botanical gardens

Out & About

  • Helicopter Flight – book a tour from above and fly from Durban to uMhlanga and back. (Sky Adventures / +27 73 334 7911)
  • Diving – 30 minutes’ drive from Durban (in Umkomaas) is the starting point for one of the World’s top 10 dive spots – The Aliwal Shoal. This is cage free scuba diving in an area renowned for its shark diversity. (Aliwal Dive Centre / 039 973 2233)
  • Cycling – hire a bike at Moses Mabhida Stadium or on the beachfront and spend some hours cruising the bike friendly Golden Mile.
  • Inner City Tour – jump on the Durban Ricksha Bus and enjoy a 3-hour guided city tour.

Durban's Culture and History

  • Durban Natural Science Museum – this charming museum is set in the beautiful Durban City Hall and is perfect for school age learners or anyone looking for something educational and a little different. (+27 31 311 2242 / Durban City Hall)
  • KZNSA Gallery – The KwaZulu Natal Society of Arts gallery is a nonprofit gallery showcasing contemporary local art in a leafy Durban suburb. (+27 31 277 1705 / 166 Bulwer Road, Glenwood)

Dining in Durban

Durban is known for its spicy dishes, but there is no shortage of culinary picks for foodies looking for a taste to remember. From melt-in-the-mouth sushi to reinvented South African home-cooking and plenty of familiar European style classics, the Durban menu is most definitely a global one.

Jeera – the menu offers a range of classic Indian dishes with a contemporary twist and a little bit of Durban inspiration.
Daruma – sushi, sashimi, tempura and other tantalizing Japanese and Asian dished all expertly prepared with fine ingredients at Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani hotel in Durban
Grill Jichana – traditional grill house favourites combined with flavours of the African East Coast spice route.
The Sugar Club – culinary excellence, unsurpassed service and an award winning wine list.
Lingela – guests return again and again to Lingela, Durban’s favourite interactive buffet restaurants. Lingela has everything from seafood and vegetarian dishes to prime cuts and mouth-watering desserts.
Vigour & Verve – a hip coffee-bar style café on the Durban beachfront. Great coffee, tasty cakes and a choice of light meals for a lazy way to spend some hours.
Elements Café Bar – eclectic informal dining, light snacks, cocktails and more at uMhlanga’s famous Beverly Hills hotel.
Panorama Bar – sit at the bar or around the pool and enjoy one of the best views in Durban alongside some of the best cocktails and light meals

Durban Spa Guide

Our Durban spa guide is the first step on your path to relaxation, rejuvenation and refreshment. As with all spa treatments, the best way to enjoy the experience is to tell the therapist exactly what you want to achieve and let them do the work.

Massage

  • If you are looking to de-stress during your visit to Durban then a massage is a very good idea. A massage by a trained therapist can relieve aches and pains or just pamper you into a feeling of total relaxation.
  • If you prefer a light massage opt for a Swedish or aromatherapy massage. You’ll love the Dancing Fingers massage at the Suncoast Spa.
  • If you want something to get a little deeper, hot stone massage or a deep- tissue massage can help ease out any muscle aches. You’ll love Rhythms of the Back massage at Suncoast Spa or Izimanga full body hot stone massage at Mangwanani Boutique Spa.

As with all spa treatments, the best way to enjoy the experience is to tell the therapist exactly what you want to achieve and let them do the work.

Facials

If you feel that your skin is looking a little tired, perhaps more lines than you’d like to see, or just want to treat your skin to a little rejuvenation then a facial is for you. Facials are designed to improve your skin using natural therapies and treatments.
For a quick treatment choose the Radiance Facial or the Ubuso facial for skin that is cleansed, restored and soft.
Durban’s Suncoast Spa also has a choice of facial treatments tailored to your exact needs, from Anti-Aging to an Ocean Goddess facial designed to improve your complexion, elasticity and luminosity. 

Hands & Feet

Your hands and feet do a lot for you, so it’s probably time they get a little pampering. A pedicure (feet) or manicure (hands) revitalizes the look and feel of your skin and nails.
Take a little time out with a full 60 minute manicure or pedicure at Mangwanani Spa in Durban, or even opt for a gel colour or polish at Suncoast Spa.

Spa Package

While individual treatments focus on a specific area of your body a full spa treatment or spa package will leave your entire body and mind feeling less stressed and energized. Combining the best beauty treatments along with gentle massage therapy is the perfect way to relax in Durban.

The Harmonious Half Day Spa stretches over three hour long therapies including Hot Stone massage, a skin cleansing ritual and a North African Head, Neck & Shoulder massage.
Alternatively a Repair or Replenish spa package includes a Serene Soul Massage as well as beauty treatments for the body, face, hands and feet to leave you looking and feeling your best. 

Couples

A couples spa treatment is perfect if you want to reconnect with your loved one, or even just take some time out to relax together. Both of our Durban beachfront spa’s allow you to book couples sessions. Just get in touch with either the Spa at Suncoast or Mangwanani Boutique Spa at Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani.

Durban Spa For Men

Spa treatments are not just for ladies; gentlemen are well catered for with a range of treatments that are tailored to their skin and to reverse the effects of daily skin damage from shaving. From re-energising the skin to exfoliating back rubs and hand and foot grooming, the spa is just what your body needs.

Book a Babor Men’s Re-Energising Treatment to desensitize, moisturize and revitalize your face.

Special Treatments

Mama’s Touch – a specially designed massage for pregnant mum’s to be.

Indian Ocean Dream – a spa package for a special occasion that includes body treatments, face treatments, hand and foot treatments and an indulging massage.

Cleopatra Milk Wrap – a queenly treatment to leave your skin satin smooth and nourished.

Chocolate Body Wrap – luxury for chocolate lovers that tightens and repairs the skin.

Etiquette

To get the most out of your Durban spa treatment it’s always good to remember the following:

  • Keep your phone off. Even if your spa allows it, a cell phone free zone increases relaxation.
  • Dress comfy and your spa will provide you with slippers a towel or sarong.
  • Drink water or herbal tea before and after your treatment to keep hydrated and flush out toxins.
  • Open shoes are a good idea if you are getting your nails done.
  • No need to blush, trained therapists will keep you discreetly covered except for the treatment area.
  • Your therapist is your friend, tell them what you like and let them do the work.

 
Place Name Address Phone Show on map
Addington Hospital Erskine Terrace South Beach Durban +27 31 327 2000

Addington is a 571 bedded and 2 200 staffed district and regional hospital, situated on South Beach, Durban.

The Playhouse Company 231 Anton Lembede St, Durban, 4001, South Africa +27 31 369 9555

The Playhouse Company is Ethekwini’s premier theatre organization

Nelson Mandela Capture site R103, South Africa +27 33 330 8195

The temporary exhibition, hosted in the converted shed, tells a story of Nelson Mandela’s journey through life and how he built a new nation from within a conflicted South Africa.

uShaka Marine World 49 Timeball Blvd, Durban, 4001, South Africa +27 31 328 8000

uShaka Marine World is a 16-hectare theme park which was opened in 30 April 2004 in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. It comprises 4 sections: uShaka Sea World, uShaka Wet 'n Wild, uShaka Beach, and uShaka Village Walk. It is located on the strip of land between the beachfront and the harbour.

Moses Mabhida Stadium 44 Isaiah Ntshangase Road Durban 4001 +27 31 582 8242

The Moses Mabhida Stadium is a stadium in Durban, South Africa, named after Moses Mabhida, a former General Secretary of the South African Communist Party. It is a multi-use stadium. It was one of the host stadiums for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Phezulu Safari Park Old Main Road • Bothas Hill Durban • KwaZulu-Natal +27 31 777 1000

Phezulu Safari Park is an exciting tourism venue, situated in Botha’s Hill, only 35 km’s from central Durban. This picturesque park has magnificent views of the world-famous Valley of a 1000 Hills.

Suncoast Casino and Entertainment World 20 Battery Beach Road, Durban, 4001 +27 31 328 3000

Suncoast Casino and Entertainment World is situated at the northern end of Durban's Golden Mile, adjacent to the Kings Park Sporting Precinct. Besides the casino, the complex houses many restaurants, a beach bar, cinemas and its own semi-private beach, which was rated as one of the top 3 beaches in South Africa.

Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Reserve Hawaan, Blackburn, 4319 +27 31 205 1271

These areas include mainly coastal dune forest and aquatic habitats such as reed beds and shallow well vegetated ponds.

The Pavilion Jack Martens Drive, Westville, Durban, 3611 +27 31 275 9800

From stylish fashion outlets and tantalizing restaurants; The Pavilion hosts over 230 stores, 40 restaurants and 40 jewelers making it the ideal place to satisfy your shopping desires. Don’t forget the Amusement Area, Skate park and 12 Cinemas for your entertainment.

Sharks Board 1 Herrwood Dr, Umhlanga, 4319 +27 31 566 0400

Service organisation that protects beach users in KwaZulu-Natal against shark attack.

Sahara Stadium Kingsmead Kingsmead Way, Kingsmead, Durban, 4001 +27 31 335 4200

Kingsmead is a cricket ground in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

King Shaka International Airport King Shaka International Airport, King Shaka Dr, La Mercy, 4405, South Africa +27 32 436 6758

King Shaka International Airport, abbreviated KSIA, is the primary airport serving Durban, South Africa.

La Lucia Mall 90 William Campbell Drive La Lucia, 4051 +27 31 562 8420

La Lucia Mall is an exclusive shopping destination situated on the beautiful East Coast of KwaZulu-Natal. Offering a wide range of over 130 restaurants and service related businesses under one roof, the mall is conveniently located in the heart of La Lucia.

Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre Inkosi Albert Luthuli ICC Complex, 45 Bram Fischer Rd, Durban, 4001 +27 31 360 1000

This world-class facility, renowned for its high standards of service excellence, has successfully staged some the world’s most prestigious and complex events.

The Barnyard Theatre Gateway Palm Boulevard Umhlanga Ridge +27 31 566 3045

Barnyard shows feature the greatest hits of our time. In addition, we regularly host well-known South African bands, comedians and performers.

Netcare Umhlanga Hospital 323 Umhlanga Rocks Drive Umhlanga Durban 432 + 27 31 560 5500

Netcare Umhlanga Hospital's state of the art facilities are complimented by a team of dedicated specialist, outstanding nursing care and amongst the most sophisticated equipment anywhere in the world.

Durban Botanic Gardens 70 St Thomas Rd, Durban, 4001 +27 31 322 4000

The Durban Botanic Gardens is situated in the City of Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. It is Durban’s oldest public institution and Africa's oldest surviving botanical gardens.

Francis Farewell Square Farewell Square Farewell Rd Durban 4001 +27 31 304 4934

This historic square in the middle of Durban is the spot where the city originated as a tiny settlement of itinerant traders and hunters in the early 19th century.

Kings Park Sports Stadium 12 Isaiah Ntshangase Rd, Durban, 4001 +27 31 308 8400

The Kings Park Stadium is a stadium in the Kings Park Sporting Precinct in Durban, South Africa

Durban City Hall Anton Lembede St, Durban, 4000 +27 31 311 1111

The Durban City Hall houses a public library, auditorium, the Durban Art Gallery and the Natural Science Museum behind its gracious façade.

Mount Edgecombe Country Club Gate 2, Golf Course Drive, Mount Edgecombe, South Africa +27 31 539 5330

World class facilities with the ability to cater for varying group sizes in the different function rooms available.

Durban Country Club Isaiah Ntshangase Road, Durban +27 31 313 1777

Durban Country Club (DCC) offers not one but two magnificent clubhouses and highly rated courses.

Umhlanga Main Beach 22 Lagoon Dr, Umhlanga, 4320, South Africa

This beach has been awarded with a blue flag for its clear water and surroundings. It is suitable for kids, too.

University of KwaZulu-Natal Howard College Building, Berea, 4041, South Africa +27 31 260 1111

The University of KwaZulu-Natal or UKZN is a university with five campuses all located in the province of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa.

The Valley of 1000 Hills Tourist Junction Building, Third Floor, 160 Pine Street, Durban, 4001 +27 31 366 7500

The breathtaking Valley of a Thousand Hills is an exciting component of Durban and South Africa's province of KwaZulu-Natal - the Kingdom of the Zulu.

Wilsons Wharf 14 - 18 Boatmans Rd, Durban +27 31 907 8792

Wilson's Wharf is Durban's trendiest fusion of fun food, top shows and crafts, blended with the rustic interface of a boating marina and working slipways.

Victoria Spice Market 151/155 Victoria Street, Durban, 4037 031 306 4021

Venture down to the Victoria Street Market on the corner of Queen and Victoria Streets in Durban Central and step into a sensory Afro-Indian world.

Durban Natural Science Museum Anton Lembede St, Durban, 4000 +27 31 311 2256

The Durban Natural Science Museum has dynamic and innovative research and education programmes with a particular emphasis on Biodiversity Conservation, and Ecology.

Old House Museum 31 Diakonia Street Durban +27 31 311 2261

The site of the Old House Museum was donated to the city by George Churton Collins, built by the Durban Town Council and opened on 12 June 1954.

Virginia Airport Virginia Airport (VIR), Airport Street, Durban North, 4051, South Africa +27 31 563 7101

Virginia Airport is an airport serving Durban, the largest city in the province of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa. This general aviation airport is located 10 kilometres north of Durban.

Gateway Theatre of Shopping 1 Palm Boulevard, Umhlanga Ridge, Durban, 4319 +27 31 514 0500

Gateway offers fashin, fun variety and entertainment for the upmarket shopper. A place where you can leave your troubles behind.

Durban Workshop Flea Market Samora Machel St, Durban, 4001
1000 Hills Tourism 47 Old Main Rd Durban +27 31 777 1874

The breathtaking Valley of a Thousand Hills is an exciting component of Durban and South Africa's province of KwaZulu-Natal - the Kingdom of the Zulu.

The Magic Company 1 Sibaya Drive, Umhlanga Rocks, Durban +27 31 568 1522

Entertainment for the whole family.

The Magic Company - Suncoast Casino 20 Battery Beach Rd, Durban, 4025, South Africa +27 31 337 5486

Entertainment for the whole family.

Durban North Beach North Beach, Durban South Africa

North Beach is one of the beaches of Durban, South Africa. It is situated north of the harbour and bluff, in between Bay of Plenty and Dairy Beach on Durban's Golden Mile.

South Beach O R Tambo Parade, South Beach, Durban, 4056

South Beach lies to the south of central Durban, midway between North Beach and Ushaka Marine World on the beach front of the city.

Mini Town Durban 114 Snell Parade, Durban, 4000 +27 31 337 7892

Mini Town is one of Durban's most well-known tourist attractions. Mini Town gives a good impression of some of Durban's landmarks in a 1:24 scale.

Tsogo Sun
Montecasino Blvd, Gauteng, 2021, ZAF
Phone: +27 11 461 9744