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Durban, South Africa

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Durban Beach Durban Beach Steve Roetz from Durban, South Africa

Durban is a great place to visit for first time African adventurers and seasoned travelers alike. South Africa in general can be surprising to many people who picture Africa as a vast wilderness of wild animals and civil conflict. Durban is one of those areas that will surprise with a lot of interesting tourist activities to pursue.

Durban is located on the eastern shores of South Africa with miles of beautiful beaches on the Indian Ocean. The downtown area beaches are nicknamed "The Golden Mile" and feature excellent surfing. Being a beach town, the usual multitude of water sports are available with great dive and snorkeling sites, fishing, and more.

Beaches in Durban are protected from sharks by nets and drumlines that reduce the number of sharks coming close to shore by as much as 90%. Workers visit the nets on weekdays to release any live animals that have been caught in the nets. The Shark Institute offers tours of the nets for a very reasonable fee.

Durban is South Africa's largest coastal city and holiday resort. There are many great hotels and resorts from two star values through five star luxury. Most of the major hotel chains are represented, but there are also excellent independently owned hotels and resorts to consider. Staying in a hotel or resort in Durban can be an excellent base of operations for venturing out to see other natural sites nearby.

Tourist areas are generally very safe with regular police patrols and CCTV cameras. It is recommended to use regular common sense and stick to the main areas, avoiding dark areas off the beaten path. Most of the time you should stay from the South Beach area north, but a visit to the point to see the uShaka Marine World is worth the trip. It is best to drive or take a taxi when visiting this area, and not to stay too late.

When To Visit Durban

Like other destinations in the southern hemisphere, Durban's winter and summer are opposite of locations in the northern hemisphere. This means the crowds and high season tend to occur around Christmas in the traditional northern winter time. With mild Durban winters, visiting during the off season of July-August can make for an awesome vacation free of the large crowds.

Getting To And Around Durban

There are few international airlines that fly directly to Durban. Typically travelers will fly into one of the South African hub airports and then connect on to Durban. We suggest including an opportunity to fly Kulula into Durban for an experience you won't soon forget. Kulula's neon green aircraft are instantly recognizable and often have funny quips painted on them.

Once in Durban it is recommended to rent a car (keep in mind South Africa drives on the left). Taxis can be expensive, but there is public bus service that covers the central business district, the harbor, as far west as the race course and as far north as the stadium. The bus is very reasonable and runs regularly throughout the day.

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