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.
The Umgeni River Bird Park is one of the finest bird parks in the world, with a spectacular collection of over 3,000 exotic and indigenous birds. A network of paths gives you a fine place to see lories, cockatoos and aras. It is set on the Umgeni River, which is at the edge of Durban city, close to the river mouth. There is a daily show which is highly recommended and an excellent way to see the birds in flight.
uShaka Sea World is a world of wonder and magic. This outstanding shipwreck-themed aquarium is linked to the dolphinarium where delightful dolphin, seal and penguin shows take place throughout the day. There's also a snorkeling lagoon and a touch pool. Scuba divers feed fish, giant turtles and stingrays by hand, and the sharks are awe-inspiring. Sea World is run by SAAMBR (The South African Association for Marine Biological Research), a non-government, non-profit association that also incorporates the Sea World Education Centre and the Oceanographic Research Institute.
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.
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.
One of Durban's most attractive areas, Florida Road is where nightlife thrives alongside myriad shopping establishments. Dotted with restaurants that offer a riot of cuisines, this street will win you over with its pleasant bustle and upbeat vibe. It can be safely dubbed a retail paradise, owing to the number of varied fashion boutiques it houses and is also home to some extremely charming buildings like the Quarters Hotel - an erstwhile Victorian home. A heaven for art lovers too, this street is further peppered with establishments like Artisan Contemporary Gallery and African Art Centre. In addition, entertainment venues like Casablanca and brimming bars breathe life into its sprawl.
African Kingdom Tours specializes in day and overnight tours including the Hluhluwe Game Park and St. Lucia tour and the Lesotho Via Sani Pass tour, which includes transportation via 4x4 and a trip to the highest pub in Africa. Longer tours include a three day trip in the Drakensburg Mountains. For those who are traveling through, several one-direction tours are also available. All tours include transportation and some food.
South Africa's third-largest city after Johannesburg and Cape Town, Durban is golden sands and Afro-Indian culture. The city is home to the largest population of Indians outside of India. Over the years, the distinctive traditions of the subcontinent have been irrevocably fused with the native culture of South African - Durban's local flavor is one that is entirely unique. Durban's Golden Mile is its most defining feature, a stunning, 5.9 kilometers (3.7-mile) stretch of sun-baked sand that edges the deep blue waters of the Indian Ocean. Surfers, swimmers and sunbathers flock to the waterfront, replete with restaurants, resorts, souvenir shops and pools. For a close encounter with sharks, there's the uShaka Marine World, while Florida Road is the place to be for culture, cafes and nightlife. Although not well-known, the Inanda Heritage Route winds its way through the Inanda Valley, linking together sites of great import to the history of the nation, including such gems as the home of Mahatma Gandhi, the grave of Dr. John L. Dube, and the Ohlange Institute where Nelson Mandela cast his vote in 1994. The nearby Shakaland and PheZulu Safari Park, alternatively, grant a glimpse into the intriguing lives of the Zulus. The Moses Mabhida Stadium is a popular modern landmark and along with a blooming food scene, Durban is a beachside beauty on the rise.
Take a day off from your daily schedule and spend it under the delightful sun at Addington Beach. The beach is always buzzing with tourists and locals alike, where people can find a lot of recreational activities like surfing, swimming, and other forms of water sports. Professional lifeguards are always on duty on the beach, so there's no fear of harm. There's also a number of bars and restaurants just across the street if you fancy a drink or bite after a tiring yet fun day. So grab your swimsuits and spend the day building sand castles on the Addington Beach.