Some of South Africa's most beautiful city parklands, established in 1850. Features include the Earnest Thorpe Orchid House, the Herb Garden, the Sunken Garden, the Indigenous Garden, the Garden for the Blind, and a tea garden. Live concerts take place in the park throughout the year with audiences relaxing on the lawns with picnic baskets. No admission except during concerts.
The twenty registered rickshaw-pullers are noted for magnificent headdresses, decorated with beads. First brought here by sugar magnate Sir Marshall Campbell for his wife's transportation needs, rickshaws became a major tourist attraction. They are now operated mainly by Zulus, who offer tours along the Golden Mile beachfront among sellers of hand crafts.
In the old rail station, at the main Tourist Information Bureau (160 Pine St) stands a large bust of Mahatma Gandhi who spent the better part of twenty years in South Africa, before returning to India to help throw off British rule there. The famous advocate of non-violent protest developed much of his political consciousness during his time with the Natal Indian Congress, pressing authorities on questions of racial equality, and spending time in prison for doing so.
The Cultural and Documentation Centre at the corner of Epsom and Derby roads, documents the history of the Durban Indian community, and covers Gandhi's time in South Africa. Over a million people of Indian descent live in Durban, celebrating holidays such as Deepavali (or Diwali) in November and the Kavadi festival each January. The Alayam Hindu Temple is the oldest and biggest in South Africa, on Somtseu Road on the outskirts of town. One of Durban's most spectacular shrines, it has brilliantly painted figures of Ganesh, Shiva, and Vishnu, and is the site for many festival celebrations.
Four miles of sandy beach, the "Golden Mile is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Durban. Swimming is possible year-round with lifeguards, shark nets and perfect temperatures. Surfers ply the waves and there are dozens of swimming and splash pools, fountains and waterslides. National and international surfing competitions take place here and twin jetties reaching into the water are a good place to watch the action. Amusement rides, the uShaka Marine World, and an abundance of restaurants, nightclubs and a casino also line the beach.
The west side Victoria Street Market in the Indian Quarter has a mixture of crafts, quality Indian spice sellers, Zulu herbalists, and vendors of prepared foods. On Grey Street and side-streets, north-west of downtown, are the oldest Indian shops in town, with bargains on fabrics, clothes, shoes and leather goods, jewelry, curios and appliances.
The Oriental Bazaar, Albert Street between Commercial Road and Queen Market, traditionally part of the Indian Quarter, now with trendy clothing, beachwear, tie-die T-shirts and surfer stuff for a younger crowd.
The Heritage Market, big outdoor shopping center in Hillcrest, with health stores, jewellery, sports, clothing boutiques, and specialty stores; plus restaurants, coffee shops, live music performances and a beautiful rose garden.
Ndumo Game Reserve: on the Mozambique border, the most remote KwaZulu-Natal nature reserve. Wetlands of the rivers Usutho and Pongola are lined with fig trees and fever trees, (once believed to cause malaria). There is also grassland, acacia bushland and forest. Large populations of hippos, crocodiles, water buffalo, giraffes, back and white rhinos, impalas, and other antelopes may be seen. More than 420 species of birds have been registered here, including those of tropical East Africa
Tembe Elephant Park: some 180 elephants live in this transitional zone between the tropics and subtropics. Buffalo, rhino, lion and leopard, zebra, giraffe, hyena, hippo and many species of antelope, along with 340 bird species are also to be found.
Mkhuze Game Reserve: bordered by the Lebombo Mountains and the Mkhuze river, rolling hills of wide acacia savannah, dotted with umbrella-shaped thorn-trees. Various types of forest, open grassland, swamps, and a jungle of wild fig trees, some as high as 70 feet in height characterize the area. Large numbers of black and white rhinos, buffalo, elephants, giraffes, warthogs, hippos, zebras, wildebeests, nyalas, kudus, impalas and other antelope, plus more than 420 bird species inhabit the terrain.
For more information on these and other South African tours see online guide South Africa Travel.
Nostalgic rides on steam train railway company, one of the most scenic railway trips in South Africa. Departures from Kloof station to Inchanga, the last Sunday of every month at 8:30am and 12:30pm. Buffet lunches and drinks on offer.