You may know it purely for its beach, but if you book flights to Durban, you’ll find a city abuzz with other creative ways to spend your days. So, what are the best things to do in Durban? Not an easy question to answer but, luckily for you, we’ve asked local travel and lifestyle bloggers to share their favourite activities. Get to know where the locals eat, drink and spend their time…Find flights to Durban
Recommended by Briget, a Durban-based creative. Briget has a penchant for wine and chocolate and is an all-around over-enthusiastic go-getter. Follow her on Twitter here.
One of my favourite museums is the Bergtheil Museum. It tells the story of Jonas Bergtheil and his family who used to live in this very building during the turbulent 19th century. It gives visitors an insight into how people used to cook and how they stored their food without refrigeration.
I personally love the old house and all of the household items and appliances on display that have been really well preserved. When you step inside, you are instantly transported back to a time long gone.
Recommended by Sandy, a proud Inanda born Durbanite. Follow him on Facebook here.
Inanda is one of South Africa’s best heritage sites and has so much beautiful history behind it (the legendary Mahatma Gandhi’s house-turned-museum is in Inanda) and tourists from all over the world visit it daily. Mahatma Gandhi is not the only South African icon who called Inanda their home, but also the great John Langa Libalele Dube used to live here too.
Behind me in the picture above is Inanda Dam and there are so many adventurous things that one can do here, like water-skiing and power-boating against the backdrop of the Valley of a Thousand Hills, or you could simply relax next to the water’s edge at one of the many picnic sites. Over 50 different bird species have been recorded in the Inanda Dam and there are various trails offering visitors interesting opportunities for sightings.
The Station Drive Precinct
Over the past few years, a resurrection of sorts has occurred which has seen small businesses flourish, artisan goods develop and creativity thrive. None more so than the explosion of activity in the Station Drive Precinct, a seemingly nondescript crescent of warehouses and previously unloved buildings, which now plays home to over 40 businesses ranging from tech startups and restaurants, to jewellery and furniture stores, with a distillery and a brewery thrown in for good measure. With graffitied walls featuring local artists, art galleries and coffee shops set up around discarded tyre tables, this is the heart of creative Durban right now.
Pick up a coffee from Fortune Café, browse for local design at Shoppe, mosey across a warehouse filled with homeware treasures at Con Amore, look through the second-hand gems at The Vintager and then pick up a handmade piece of jewellery around the corner at Michele Robyn Design. Fill your tummy with a Durban burger from S43, wash it all down with Durban’s very own 031 Gin from Distillery 031 and you’ve got a day in Durban waxed.
Recommended by Kelly, a laid back adventurer and camper that was once based in Durban, follow her on Twitter here.
There are so many things to do in Durban, but Zinkwazi beach is my happy place with a sun hat on it. An hour’s drive up the North Coast from Durban will spit you out at the village of Zinkwazi where life moves at the pace of a dripping ice cream and revolves around sandy toes, dips in the warm KwaZulu-Natal waves and sundowners with an ocean view, often including whales and dolphins playing in that big blue. It’s far enough out of town to make you feel like you’ve escaped humanity and all its crowdedness but close enough to make it an easy option for a KwaZulu-Natal beach day out.
Zinkwazi Beach is the definition of a secluded stretch of wild coastline and long, happy beach walks are mandatory there. If you stroll up the coastline, away from the main swimming beach, with the lagoon to your left, hypnotic sea to your right, you will soon have the untouched beach paradise to yourselves. Keep an eye out for the resident fish eagles too. It gets extra love from me because it’s dog-friendly.
Recommended by Jenna, a 20-something writer from Durban. Follow her on Twitter here.
I’ve been going to the ArtSpace building off Umgeni Road since I was in High School, so it’s a pretty special place for me. Over the last two years or so it’s become more than just a gallery, but a cool little community of creatives too. The gallery itself is one of my favourite exhibition spaces in Durban and I could spend a good few hours getting lost staring at local artworks. I also love grabbing a cappuccino and a snack from Noble Coffee and the mini urban garden is super Instagram worthy! Plus there’s always some cool event going down – music events, movie nights, markets – you name it. I get really stoked on places like this that bring fun and creativity to our city.
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