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Top Rated Attractions in Durban

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Durban Botanic Gardens

Durban Botanic Gardens are regarded by many as some of South Africa's most beautiful city park lands. In 1850, the original curator, Mr. Mark Johnson McKen, laid the groundwork for what it is today. Specialties include the Earnest Thorpe Orchid House, a Herb Garden, a Sunken Garden and the Garden for the Blind. There is an information center and a tea garden. There are live concerts held in the park regularly, throughout the year, and audiences are welcome to bring along a picnic basket. Multiple concerts take place in the hall and the event spaces in the gardens. Workshops and exhibitions are also held.

Golden Mile Beaches

Encompassing a long stretch of sandy land, the Golden Mile boasts a pristine series of beaches in the city. Straddling the coast of Durban, these beaches also feature a number of attractions that beckon tourists from all over. Owing to the conducive environs, scores of surfers and outdoor enthusiasts flock to the Golden Mile.

Mitchell Park Zoo

The Mitchell Park Zoo was initially set to be an ostrich farm, but when the plan didn't work, it was later turned into a vibrant zoo. An extensive collection of exotic birds, tropical fish, small animals and reptiles are housed in this pleasing setting. There are also spacious lawns for picnics. Easily accessed from the far end of Musgrave road.

Kwa Muhle Museum

This museum is located in the center of the town and examines Durban's history. The museum focuses on the history of racial laws in Durban, and is housed in the former Department of Native Affairs building. Photographs and video exhibits examine the political and social struggles that characterized the apartheid period and the colonial period before it.

KZN Sharks Board

Most of the popular bathing beaches in Kwazulu-Natal are protected by shark nets maintained by the KZN Sharks Board. Each day, crews on ski boats check the nets and collect any snared sharks. These are brought back to the institute, dissected and studied. There are regular one-hour tours which include a peek into the enormous freezer where the shark carcasses are stored, a shark dissection, and a fascinating audiovisual presentation. There is an interesting curio shop offering sharkskin leather goods and sharks teeth. Boat tours may also be arranged (USD 15). Some of these exhibits are not for the faint-hearted.

Indian District

To the eastern side of the city center is The Indian District, also known as the Indian Quarter. The Jumah Mosque is reputably the largest in the Southern Hemisphere. Two markets are of note, the Oriental Bazaar on Albert Street (between Queen and Commercial) and the Indian Market which is on the far side of the M3 at the west end of Victoria Street. This area has become home to Zulu herbalists selling 'muti'. For traditional medicine and rituals, head for Russell Street Extension where these sellers congregate.

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