South Africa’s second-largest city, Durban is located in the KwaZulu-Natal Province on Africa’s eastern coast. The region’s most distinguishing feature is the Drakensberg mountain range, with its characteristic dragon-like spine. Durban’s subtropical climate, scenic beaches and close proximity to Johannesburg have made the coastal city a popular vacation destination for South Africans.
Situated on a bay surrounded by hills, Durban is a cosmopolitan city with well-paved roads and modern amenities. The city is home to a broad mix of European and Asian populations, including a large presence of Indians who have had a major influence on the region’s cuisine. A visit to Durban isn’t complete without sampling “bunny chow,” which is a curry dish served in a scooped-out loaf of bread.
The English Colonial architecture that once dominated the city has been enlivened by a mix of Zulu murals, Islamic mosques, Hindu temples and Christian churches. Attractions include the Bartel Arts Trust (BAT) Center located near the harbor. The museum showcases unique indigenous art. The Botanical Gardens in the suburb of Berea are also worth a visit for its extensive display of bright poinsettias, water lilies and palm trees.
Durban also serves as a home base for thrill-seeking travelers. The Drakensberg mountains attract hikers and hang gliders while the shark-infested waters draw divers looking for adventure. Nature lovers come for the beauty of the mountains and sea as well as an opportunity to view the nearby Tugela Falls, known as the world’s second-highest waterfall.