8 min read

Top 18 Things to Do in Durban

Havana Dauncey
· November 8, 2023
Top 18 Things to Do in Durban

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As South Africa's 3rd largest city, you can be sure to never run out of things to do in Durban. With its rich history, stunning coastal landscapes, iconic wildlife and diverse cultures, you’ll find a variety of fun activities for everyone to enjoy. And while you may not expect it, Durban has some of the largest and oldest attractions around.

The big question is — what amazing activity do you do first? Here are the top 18 things to do in Durban for a fun and exciting adventure!

1. Have the Best Day at uShaka Marine World

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The most iconic spot in Durban has to be uShaka Marine World. Located just off the Golden Mile, it doesn’t get bigger or better than uShaka — in fact, it’s home to the 5th largest aquarium in the world, the largest in the southern hemisphere, as well as the highest waterslide in the southern hemisphere. With a variety of attractions, there’s something for everyone:

  • uShaka Sea World Aquarium

  • Wet n Wild Water Park

  • Village Walk filled with shops and restaurants

  • Animal interactions, including sharks, reptiles, dolphins, seals and spotted eagles

2. Walk the Golden Mile

The Golden Mile is the shining star of the Durban beachfront with a 6 km promenade where you can walk, cycle or even segway along to explore the best that Durban has to offer:

  • Some of the Durban’s best beaches

  • Public swimming pools

  • Mini Town — a miniature replica of Durban

  • Countless shops and restaurants

3. Experience the Valley of a Thousand Hills

Things to do in Durban - Valley of a Thousand Hills

Escape the city with just a 40-minute drive and into the utopian Valley of a Thousand Hills. Yes, it is actually made up of 1 000 hills that stretch the Indian Ocean all the way to the Drakensberg Mountains. Soak up the breathtaking views of the tranquil landscape and the winding Umgeni River, and see it from every angle by hiking, mountain biking, horse riding, paragliding and rock climbing.

And don’t forget to explore the surrounding villages and their local art, visiting the many restaurants and shops.

4. Try Your Luck at Suncoast Casino and Entertainment World

If you’re looking for some entertainment, there’s no better place to go than the Suncoast Casino and Entertainment World — home to a massive casino with over 1 000 slot machines and 50 gaming tables, a kid’s arcade, cinemas, shops, restaurants, a beach bar and even their own semi-private beach

5. Travel in Style with a Rickshaw Ride

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You can’t go to Durban without taking one of the classic rickshaw rides along the Golden Mile. Propelled by the legendary rickshaw men in their magnificent, elaborate clothing, adorned in a variety of fabrics of all colours and patterns, dressed in beads, feathers and mirrors and crowned with a mighty headdress, you’re guaranteed to travel in style.

And don’t forget to check out the little market at the start point with women selling clothes, jewellery, art, sculptures and souvenirs.

6. Picnic at the Durban Botanical Gardens

Make use of Durban’s gorgeous weather with a picnic lunch in the scenic Durban Botanical Gardens. Not only do the grounds span 37 acres, but it’s the oldest surviving botanical garden in South Africa, opening its gates in 1849.

Check out the Orchid House with over 8 000 plants and the serene Butterfly Garden. There are also 50 bird species nestled within the gardens for bird lovers to enjoy.

7. Explore the Indian Quarter

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Durban has one of the largest Indian populations outside of India. Immerse yourself in rich Indian culture with a trip through the Indian Quarter.

Peruse the aisles of the Victoria Street Market for a variety of spices, incense, fabrics, jewellery, souvenirs and more.

Visit the Juma Masjid Mosque — the largest mosque in the southern hemisphere — and take in its majestic architecture of domes and spires, fascinating history and spiritual significance.

8. Become a Bird Watcher at Umgeni River Bird Park

Whether you’re an avid bird watcher or just want a tranquil escape from the bustling city, you should definitely visit the Umgeni River Bird Park.

Spanning 8,6 acres, the Umgeni River Bird Park is home to over 800 birds across 200 species — both indigenous and from Southeast Asia and Australia. It’s also famous for its luscious vegetation and stunning waterfalls. You can also enjoy the soaring wonders of the Free Flight Bird Show.

9. Have the Best Beach Day

Durban is home to some of the best beaches in South Africa with its golden brown sand and warm Indian Ocean waters. If you’re looking for the best beach day of sunbathing, surfing, paddle boarding, kite surfing and more, here are the beach hotspots to hit up:

  • North Beach

  • Ballito Beach

  • Umhlanga Rocks Beach and Pier

  • Dairy Beach

  • Ansteys Beach

10. Visit the Sri Sri Radha Radhanath Temple

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The Sri Sri Radha Radhanath Temple is famous as the largest Hare Krishna temple in Africa. Wander through its lotus-shaped garden, gold-tinged domes, gilded statues, chandeliers, marble tiles and ceiling frescoes. While you’re there, you can grab lunch at the vegetarian restaurant, Govinda’s.

11. Glimpse the Big 5 on a Game Drive

Durban’s sublime national parks and famous wildlife make it the perfect place for an adventure into the bush on a thrilling game drive where you can get close and personal with South Africa’s famous Big 5. Here are popular nature reserves and safaris near Durban:

  • Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Game Reserve (South Africa’s oldest game reserve)

  • Phezulu Safari Park

  • Phinda Game Reserve

  • Tala Game Reserve

  • Kenneth Stainbank Nature Reserve

12. Catch a Sports Game

An intrinsic part of South African culture is our love for sport. So if you want to get in on the action and catch a sports game, Durban has what you’re looking for.

Durban is especially known for its rugby with its dominant local team — the Sharks. Catch one of their riveting games at Kings Park Stadium

Catch the local cricket team, the Dolphins at Moses Mabhida Stadium which was built for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. And if there aren’t any matches on, don’t worry — the Moses Mabhida has a giant swing where you swing across the grand stage.

13. Explore the Mitchell Park Zoo

Get close and personal with some interesting wildlife at the Mitchell Park Zoo. Starting as an ostrich farm over 100 years ago, this quaint zoo has now expanded to include a host of small animals from around the world, including giant tortoises, buck, crocodiles, raccoons, wallabies, monkeys and a variety of birds in the walk-through aviary. Be sure to visit Admiral, an ancient tortoise that first arrived at the park in 1915. You can also picnic and braai in the beautiful grounds or visit the Blue Zoo tea garden for some lunch.

14. Learn from Inanda Township and Heritage Trail

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The Inanda Township and Heritage Trail is an epicentre of legendary cultural and political moments in South Africa’s history, and you can follow along the heritage trail to journey through this small village’s powerful historical roots:

  • The Phoenix Settlement where Gandhi lived and developed his passive-resistance philosophy.

  • The Ohlange Institute where ANC president John Dube was born and buried.

  • The place where Nelson Mandela cast his vote in South Africa’s first democratic elections in 1994.

  • Inanda Seminary — South Africa’s oldest girls school.

15. Enrich Yourself with a Visit to a Museum

Given Durban’s rich cultural history, there is no lack of museums where you can become enriched with fascinating knowledge and enjoy a wide range of traditional art.

Some top museums to visit include:

  • Shakaland living museum

  • African Art Centre

  • KwaMuhle Museum

  • Natural Science Museum

  • Port Natal Maritime Museum

16. Night out on Florida Road

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If you’re looking for a night out on the town, there is no better place to go than the nightlife hotspot — Florida Road. Stretching from Sandile Thusi Road to Innes Road, this popular street is lined with beautiful Edwardian-style buildings, art galleries, famous and designer boutiques, coffee shops, ice-cream parlours, cocktail bars and restaurants from every cuisine you can think of.

Florida Road is also the best spot to try Durban’s signature dish, the Bunny Chow — a delicious Durban curry that sits in a hollowed-out half-loaf of bread.

17. Go Shopping at Gateway Theatre Mall

In Durban fashion, Gateway Theatre Mall is the largest mall in the southern hemisphere. You can spend weeks wandering through the countless shops and range of exciting activities including:

  • Imax Theatre

  • Barnyard Theatre

  • Cinema Nouveau

  • 4 x 4 track

  • Skatepark

  • Wavehouse

  • The Rock Indoor Climbing wall

  • Fantasy Forest gaming centre

18. Explore the Marine Life

With Durban sitting on the shores of the rich and diverse Indian Ocean, you can miss exploring the vast marine life in whichever way suits you best:

  • Boat ride

  • Shark cage diving

  • Snorkelling

  • Sunset catamaran cruise

Planning on Making the Move to Durban?

Are you going to be making the move to the great city of Durban where you have access to these awesome activities every day? Well, if you need the most trusted and affordable moving service in town, then you better check out Wise Move!

Wise Move’s moving company platform connects you with local movers from around South Africa so that you can find the perfect movers in no time and with no stress.

Get your quote today and start your journey to your new life in Durban.

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