Sun, sand, and relaxing beach life – Durban is the prime vacation spot if you want to have an unforgettable South African holiday. Known as the largest city in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, it is also the main seaport in South Africa.
Unsure what Durban activities to add to your itinerary? Whether you fly to Durban or plan on taking a road trip down to the idyllic city, you’ll be spoilt for choice by the endless possibilities.
We’ll take you on an ultimate guide through this beachy gem and breakdown the top spots and fun things to do in Durban. From scenic views to the family-friendly excitement of uShaka Marine World, get ready to dive into the adventure of a lifetime.
What to Do in Durban – Top Places & Activities
Image by Captureson Photography on Unsplash
There are an abundance of fun activities in Durban, so it’s important to prioritise your time to include the must-see places and experiences of this gorgeous getaway. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing summer or some exciting adventures, this KwaZulu-Natal city has got you covered.
Check Out the Golden Mile
The magnetic activity of the promenade, the smell of the salt air and an electric vibrance – the Golden Mile is the place to be. Boasting a magnificent stretch of white beaches as far as the eye can see, this definitely is one of the most beautiful places in Durban.
Take a stroll on the paved walkway along these sandy beaches and witness the diversity of Durban at its finest. From local skate parks to craft stalls equipped with authentic Zulu craftsmanship, you’ll get to experience the many layers of this coastal haven.
These golden beaches are also lined with luxury hotels, shops, and restaurants to enjoy. For the full beach vacation experience, be sure to book accommodation on the Durban coastline. Whether you enjoy adrenaline-fuelled watersports or getting the ultimate tan, you’ll have plenty to do in this slice of heaven
Grab a Drink at the Lighthouse Bar
Image by Clay LeConey on Unsplash
Built in 1863, The Oyster Box Hotel is a luxurious establishment with the essence of elegance embedded in its interior. The Lighthouse Bar within the hotel boasts red and white themed decorations and trimmings to match the scenic Umhlanga lighthouse.
Sipping on a contemporary cocktail while encountering a beautiful Durban sunset over Umhlanga Beach will be a memorable part of your trip to this captivating city.
Practice your Surfing Skills at Addington Beach
Forming part of the sun-drenched splendour of the Golden Mile, Addington Beach is a surfer’s paradise and one of the most scenic places in Durban. With pleasantly warm waters and ample shark nets, you’ll be able to catch waves in the best conditions.
The small waves of Addington Beach are perfect conditions for beginner surfers to practice their techniques. Various local surf shops and companies offer surf lessons to get you riding the gentle waves of Durban like a pro.
Stroll through the Durban Botanical Gardens
Image by Liza Watkins on Pixabay
One of the best places to visit in Durban, are the botanical gardens which make a lush playground for nature lovers. Founded in 1849, this surviving relic is known as the oldest preserved botanical garden in Africa.
Exploring the technicolour dreamscape of blossoming orchid buds within the gardens is a charming way to spend the afternoon. The Orchid House is one of the star attractions as the collection has over 8000 plants in these cultivated plant nurseries.
Follow the trail to the Butterfly Habitat Garden and encounter the beautiful local butterfly population. While you’re at the Durban Botanical Gardens, head to the lake area to spot a variety of aquatic bird species.
Visit uShaka Marine World
Image by Zander Janzen van Rensburg on Unsplash
Situated at the end of the famous Golden Mile, this marine marvel is a must if you’re looking for family-fun. A visit to uShaka Marine World offers a kaleidoscope of ocean-centred activities and experiences. This popular Durban tourist attraction is also the largest aquatic-themed park in Africa.
The uShaka Wet ‘n Wild section is where adventure and fun collide to create a wonderful waterworld filled with exciting water slides and lazy pools. You’ll be able to splash the day away and make some wonderful memories.
Get ready to encounter the creatures of the deep sea, as the park offers a wide variety of sea animal experiences. From meeting dancing dolphins to spotting exotic fish underwater in the Snorkel Lagoon, the park creates interactive experiences you’ll remember forever.
Experience the Durban Seascape at Umhlanga Pier
Image by Andrew Harvard on Pexels
Also known as the whale-bone pier, the walkway is made out of steel-reinforced concrete to resemble the look of a whale skeleton lining its edges. This coastal landmark is the best place to find captivating backdrops for the perfect family-holiday photo op.
While this unique pier is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Durban, the pier was primarily constructed for practical use. The Umhlanga Promenade Pier Project was introduced to revamp the pier to decrease stagnant water pools on the surrounding beaches.
This seaside resort town is also the perfect place to stay on your Durban trip. Be sure to book your accommodation in Umhlanga in advance, as it can get quite busy during peak season.
Go to the Moses Mabhida Stadium
Referred to as the “arch of triumph”, this stadium is a landmark of Durban that should not be missed. Made to host sport and cultural events, the view from the arch is where the beauty of the city can be viewed in all its glory.
The stadium’s Big Sky Walk can be reached by the SkyCar, offering stunning views of the cityscape and seemingly endless blue hues of the Indian ocean.
The stadium is also home to the world’s biggest swing, according to the Guinness Book of Records. So, if you’re looking for adventurous things to do in Durban, this 80m swing will certainly get the adrenaline pumping.
Final Thoughts on the Ultimate Activities in Durban
Image by Tatenda Mapigoti on Unsplash
Watch the sunrise from the honey-dipped beaches of the Golden Mile and marvel at the setting sun over the glistening waves of Umhlanga beach.
If you’re wondering what the best activities to do in Durban are,you will discover a delightful brew of diverse experiences. Enjoy the hustle and bustle of the city mixed with the tranquil atmosphere of beach living.
Get ready to pack your swimming trunks, sunscreen, and sense of wonder – Durban awaits with a warm embrace.