Durban & surrounds
Hot and spicy! Durbs-by-the-sea is South Africa’s most laid-back city. It’s hot, lush, and tropical and has miles of great swimming and surfing beaches. Exotic Indian and earthy Zulu influences add an exciting dimension to this buzzing city. Durbanites have been voted the friendliest people in South Africa. You don’t have to go far to escape the bustle of Durban. Take a short drive north or south of the city and you’ll find two idyllic beach destinations. Both are close enough to Durban to enjoy all its attractions and far enough away to feel that you’re out of the rat race.
What to see and do
Durban has attractive brick-paved promenades from which you can take a ride in an outlandish rickshaw or shop for cheap curios at market stalls. If it’s glam you’re after - find it at the Beach Cafe’ at the Bay of Plenty.
They’re responsible for the nets that keep sharks away from swimming beaches. The Sharks Board do weekly shark dissections at their base in Umhlanga Rocks. You can also join them when they service the nets.
UShaka Marine World
An aquarium, dolphinarium, water amusement park and shopping centre rolled into one convenient package. Take your cozzie.
’Music at the Lake’ at the Botanical Gardens
Regular performances by the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra. The gardens also host Carols by Candlelight, a Steel Tin Drum Festival and others.
Indians have been in Durban for 150 years. Their cuisine speciality is a ‘bunny chow’ – a chunk of bread with its inside scooped out and filled with curry. Do some soul-searching in the ornamental gardens of the Hare Krishna Temple of Understanding in Chatsworth.
Victoria Street Market and others.
Durban has markets galore - art and crafts markets, flea markets, fruit and veg markets, muti markets, markets in stables and markets on the beach. East meets Africa in the Victoria Street Market where some stalls sell Zulu beads and basketry and others sell Indian spices, fabric and brassware.
Durban backpacker accommodation
- Gibela Backpackers Lodge
- Hippo Hide Lodge and Backpackers
- Happy Hippo Accommodation
- On the Beach
- Nomads Backpackers
- Nunuburd Lodge, Tours and Transfers
- Tekweni Backpackers Hostel
- Smith's Cottage
- Ansteys Beach Backpackers International
- Township Vibe Backpackers
Ballito is a coastal town that lies between lush fields of sugar cane and the Indian Ocean. This stretch of coast gets regular visits from schools of dolphins and is called the ‘Dolphin Coast’. The golden beaches are the areas main attractions. Ballito is sophisticated, with good restaurants and several shopping malls.
Backpacker Accommodation in Ballito
Valley of a Thousand Hills
The remarkable experiences that you enjoy at the valley of a thousand hills are aplenty, the landscape, the culture, the weather; all of these combined with a good nights sleep will ensure a good time at the valley of those 1000 Hills.
Backpacker Accommodation in the Valley of a Thousand Hills
This sea side town is a favourite amongst South African holiday makers. It is a laid-back seaside town 30km south of Durban, with great waves for surfing. It is also close to Aliwal Shoal, one of the best dive and PADI certified spots on the South Coast.
Backpacker Accommodation in Warner Beach
This is a lovely stretch of sandy beach with a beautiful tidal pool flanked by picturesque rocky cliffs. This is an awesome spot for scuba divers, surfers, beach lovers or anything that has to do with having a good time in the water on the beach. It is named after King Shaka whose men are believed to have jumped off the rock to prove their bravery.
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