Durban is a colourful vibrant city on the East coast of Africa. Built on a natural harbour, it has a beautiful setting. The Durban Beachfront has sixteen glorious wide beaches seeming to stretch on forever along the turquoise Indian Ocean. It is a spectacular location.
The Beachfront has 10 kilometers of glorious coastline with beach after beautiful beach, stretching from the Blue Lagoon at the Umgeni River, to uShaka beach at the point. They are some of the safest beaches in South Africa, and safe swimming and surfing is ensured with shark nets and lifeguards on duty. There are also swimming pools and wide sunbathing lawns, and paddling pools for children with slides and fountains.
The Beachfront was always a holiday haven for South Africans, but now that Durban is a modern global city it attracts international tourism, largely due to the magnificent Beachfront. The Golden Mile along the Durban Beachfront is lined with restaurants, coffee shops, hotels, pubs and open air markets.
It is listed by both the New York Times and London Telegraph as one of the Ten Best Modern Cities in the world to visit.
Durban’s warm subtropical climate, broad beaches with golden sand, glorious scenery, and the warm Indian Ocean make it an inviting year round holiday destination. Few cities in the world can offer world class surfing waves on the doorstep.
What To Do
The Golden Mile along the Durban Beachfront is an entertainment wonderland to match the natural beauty of the beaches.There are amazing fun things to do all along the Golden Mile.
Durban was also voted on the Lonely Planet as one of the Best Cities for Travel with Children, as there is so much entertainment for families.
One can go for long walks along the broad paved Promenade from uShaka beach to the Country Club, with beautiful sea views. To walk the entire beachfront promenade takes two hours.
The summer average temperature is 28 degrees and winter 20, and average water temperature is 24 degrees, so people swim all year and wetsuits are not necessary .The summers are hot and humid with evening showers and the winters warm and sunny.
Addington beach in a protected position next to the harbour, has calm water and gentle waves, perfect for swimming and body boarding.
South, Battery and North beaches are the best for surfing . There are 7 piers. There are also the Wedge, Dairy, Battery, Snake Park and Suncoast Beaches.
There are also segways and bikes to explore the Promenade, which is lined with shops, restaurants, pubs, hotels, night clubs, unique open air Zulu art and craft markets, and other amusements like Mini Town.
The Beachfront has 10 kilometers of with beaches, stretching from the Umgeni Blue Lagoon , to uShaka Beach at the point. Shark nets and lifeguards are on duty and there are swimming pools, lawns and pools
Wilson’s Wharf, a pier on the harbour, has a trendy shopping centre with a variety of art and craft shops and restaurants. One can sit at the outdoor pubs with a refreshing view over the rippling water.
The uShaka Marine World
Situated on 16 landscaped hectares of stunning beachfront land near the harbour, this is one of the biggest Aquariums in the world. Dolphin stadiums, penguin and seal pools, dive tanks, ocean walks, coral snorkeling, fun rides and slides, and restaurants, provide hours of wonderful entertainment for all ages.
Surfing lessons are available here on the beach.
At the Harbour one can arrange water sports such as board sailing, windsurfing, ski boating, jet skiing, kite surfing, yachting, scuba diving, deep sea fishing trips and sunset boat cruises. A number of piers along the beachfront are frequented by anglers every day.
The Suncoast Casino and Entertainment World.
The Casino, at the north end of the Golden Mile, is designed in a dazzling art deco ziggurat style, like the Florida Miami Art Deco, and offers a huge array of gambling, slot machines and gaming tables.
The Entertainment World focuses on family entertainment and has 12 restaurants, 8 cinemas and other amusements for children.
The Beachfront leads straight into Durban city a block or two away where there are several shopping malls and markets for shopping.
Where to Eat,
On the Golden Mile are numerous restaurants, coffee shops and fast food places. Afro’s Chicken is popular for the chicken hamburgers. Surf Riders Food Shack have casual food on the beachfront,
California Dreaming is a bistro on the beach and
Circus Circus do light food and snacks.
The African Peninsula Restaurant on the Bluff has beautiful views over the ocean, and is lovely for breakfasts and lunches in a spectacular setting.
The Royal Hotel has the Royal Grill room, an upmarket traditional sophisticated restaurant with white linen, silver, crystal chandeliers and dark wood.
Where to Stay
The Durban Beachfront has a wide choice of hotels and luxury self catering apartments in high rise buildings, with amazing views over the ocean and harbour, close to the city tourism venues. The beaches are a short walk away. There are lovely apartments 50 m from the beach, with roof gardens and spas. Accommodation varies from ultra modern to colonial styles.The city is a central point from which to visit other attractions in Zululand.
The Shaka Airport is 30 kms away and there are shuttles to town on the hour. Another option is to hire a car at the airport and take the N2 into Durban. Once in town, getting about is easy. There are the Ricksha and CitiTour bus services to see the sights, the People Mover buses, and Uber taxis. Durban’s coastal location as a sea harbour and trade port means it has superb rail, road and air links.
Did you Know
There 11 official languages in South Africa, so English is commonly used to make life simpler.
Not much more than a century ago, the bay was occupied by hippos, flamingos and crocodiles, and elephants, lions and hyenas wandered about on the ridge of hills which are now Durban’s immediate suburbs.