Earth : Africa : Southern Africa : South Africa : KwaZulu-Natal : South Coast (KwaZulu-Natal) : Durban
This is a World Cup 2010 host city with games to be played at the new Moses Mabida Stadium.
Durban International Airport (formerly Louis Botha Airport) is the main airport serving the city of Durban and is 15km south of the city center. It serves mostly domestic destinations and the only international flights are to/from Mauritius (Air Mauritius) and Swaziland (Swazi Express Airways and South African Express)
See also Discount airlines in Africa.
All national carriers (e.g. Intercape, Greyhound) and the Baz Bus offer regular services to Durban. The city is also the gateway to Kwazulu-Natal province.
The central train station is in the city centre.
Spoornet operates daily inter-city trains to Johannesburg and Pietermaritzburg, with a weekly service to Bloemfontein, Kimberley and Cape Town. You can also get to Port Elizabeth or East London by changing trains in Bloemfontein.
MetroRail operates frequent commuter trains to various suburbs of Durban and towns nearby (such as Pinetown and the resort towns of both the south coast (eg. Kelso and Park Ryne) and the north coast).
Some cruise ships dock in Durban, but generally there are no "one-way" entries by boat to Durban. In theory passage on a freighter might be arranged, but it's not widely advertised.
Durban's newest tourist-targeted transport system is a range of high tech buses, or 'People-Movers', which feature CCVTV cameras, and wheelchair-friendly ramps, among other features. They run from 6:30am until the evening, and depart from each stop every 15 minutes. These buses stop over in the CBD, the Victoria Street Market, and along the beach route.
There is also the usual public bus system but as in any large city use common sense. Bus schedules are relatively accurate but allow extra travel time if taking the bus. You can pick up paper schedules and buy discounted multi-ride tickets at the info booth at the depot across from the Workshop. The Mynah lines depart from this depot to Morningside and the beachfront as well as buses to many southern and western suburbs.
Registered taxis are common, generally safe and relatively inexpensive. These are also known as metered taxis. There are ones which are based in Durban, in surrounding suburbs and in Umhlanga Rocks. These taxis do not rove and hence need to be called so that one can be fetched from your pick up point. A lot of these will conduct point to point transfers, airport shuttles, and corporate transfers. The ones that can be recommended for the Durban and surrounds are:
There are also group taxis, referred to as "combi taxis" (or "minibus taxis"), that are impossible to miss as (in Durban) they're brightly decorated and always have music pumping. They are mostly small vans and there is always someone hanging out of a window making the hand gestures that indicate whether there are seats available and where the combi is going. Combi taxis are very common and less expensive than registered taxis, but opinions differ as to their safety. There are many published reports of accidents involving combis, and there are frequent stikes and taxi wars over territory. Strictly speaking, they are minibuses that take people to and from work, they stick to set routes and they are generally not suitable for tourists unfamiliar with the area they are going to; when in doubt stick to metered taxis or buses.
Rickshaw rides are offered to tourists along the beach front, for amusement rather than getting around. Watch out for the many ups and downs in the ride; the tipping back of the rickshaw cause the contents of your pockets to fall out, into the coffers of the drivers!
FLORIDA ROAD Definately the happening street in Durban. Restaurants, Bars Cafe's Boutique shopping the in happy friendly Durban hang out.
Down on the beach strip:
Elsewhere in the city:
Parks and Reserves
Food to bring home (subject to import regulations)
As Durban has one of the largest Indian populations outside of India itself, a Durban curry is a popular dish and can range from mild to very hot. There is also the Bunny Chow which is unique to the city, a quarter loaf of bread hollowed out and filled with a curry of your choice. Check out the Workshop restaurants for some of the best bunny chow in the city. Or head over to the Indian neighborhood near Victoria Market for more authentic Durban Indian food. Good Indian dining is at Vintage Restauranr next to Bean Bag Bohemia - Windermere road
Try the Roma Revolving Restaurant at the top of John Ross House on the Esplanade for Italian food and the best view of Durban.
Wilson's Wharf a long pier buildt into the harbour, hosts a wide selection of international restaurants and watch the busiest harbor in Africa's activity. Take in a show afterwards at the upstairs Catalina theater.
Try Morningside restaurants, along Florida Road, for trendy cafe sidewalk eateries including one Italian style, Spiga d ' Oro , frequented so often by South Africa's notorious businessman, Schabir Shaik, that a dish is named in his honor 'Pasta a la Shaik'. Bill Clinton and Bill Gates ate at "Spice" set off the busy street in a quiet upstairs courtyard. And nearby, be nearly guaranteed to rub shoulders with the up-and-coming in-crowd at the Bean Bag Bohemia, Windermere Road, a restaurant that makes great dining an artistic event.
Zacks, located at Wilson's wharf on Victoria's embankment is a popular place to get thirst quenching drinks and just relax and enjoy the view of the harbor. Another popular destination is Thirsty's, one of Durban's best known pubs located at the edge of the water's mouth so you can watch the vast boats coming and going through the entrance to the port. Joe Kool's, on the beachfront is also well known as the best place for a "sundowner" after a long day on the beach. Check out their roof-top deck for the best views. The BAT Centre, on the port is also a good place for a quick meal or drink. There's free jazz most nights as well as other concerts, hip-hop and the occasional poetry slam.
As one of the largest cities in South Africa, and a major tourist destination, Durban offers a broad range of accommodation. There are many budget guest houses, an abundance of mid-range hotels and several luxury hotels. For those who want to stay longer it is also possible to rent a fully furnished flat.
Gibela Backpackers Lodge. Tel:+27 31 303-6291  This lodge has placed itself high with international and local travellers alike. It is a 4 star graded property by the South African Tourism Grading Council and was a finalist in the 2007 South African Tourism Welcome awards. It is also offers a totally smoke free environment, including the garden
The beach strip is frequently patrolled by policemen, there are CCTV cameras and there's ample lighting at night. As in all countries, there are several basic safety rules to follow. Avoid dark, deserted areas, and do not go out alone in the early hours of the morning. The promonade along the beach is safe to walk, but do not venture to the side and back roads of the hotels. Avoid the Point Road area - day and night time.
At night: It is still a good idea to stick to the main streets and not go out at night unless you are very familiar with a particular area. Avoid the usually busy central business district, which is empty after dark. Above all, use common sense. By the way, I'm a local citizen, and have group-walked through town at one in the morning, without being robbed, raped, or injured. Don't allow silly misconceptions to frighten you.
Remember, you're a tourist, not a 70s celebrity. Dress down to blend in with the people in the CBD (keep the fancy stuff to a minimum).
The harbour area is quite safe, as are the shopping malls and higher residential areas.
The Point, the area between downtown and the port, known for prostitution and cheap hotels has higher crime rate (although parts are currently undergoing a massive redevelopment). Avoid walking here alone or at night and take cars or metered taxis if you need to go to this area.
DO NOT HAVE UNPROTECTED SEX!!!
In September 2006, a study by the Medical Research Council found HIV infection rates higher than 66% among women in an area just south of Durban . If you decide to engage in sexual activity with someone whose infection status you do not know, please practice safer sex to reduce your risk.