Office is open 7 Days a week from 07:30am – 22:30 (CAT).
Discover the vibrant central business district of Durban on a half-day tour that takes you to fascinating historical and cultural landmarks. Travel from Durban’s famous Golden Mile which is a revitalized beachfront promenade to the heart of the city’s central business district.
Highlights include visiting the world’s 8th largest working harbour and visiting the bustling street markets at Warwick Triangle. The tour ends with a quite walk through Durban’s beautiful botanical garden and a cable car ride to the top of Moses Mabhida Stadium.
- Golden Mile
- Durban City Hall
- Durban Post Office
- Medwood Gardens
- The Old Durban Railway Station
- uShaka Marine World
- Port of Durban
- Durban Botanical Gardens
- Moses Mabhida Stadium
|DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION||Pick up and drop off available at no extra charge from various Durban beachfront hotels. Pick up and drop off from hotels in other suburbs in Durban available on request at an extra charge
Tour duration and collection times may vary depending on route taken and traffic
|DEPARTURE TIME||9:00am Daily (except 25-26 December and 1 January)|
|WEAR||Comfortable athletic clothing, hiking boots, hat, jacket and sunscreen.|
The Golden Mile is a popular beachfront promenade in Durban which runs from uShaka Beach and uShaka Marine World in the south at Point Waterfront to Suncoast Casino and Entertainment World in the north. It creates a link between Durban’s central business district and iconic harbour to the popular seaside villages on the north coast. Moses Mabhida Stadium lies along the Golden Mile route.
It’s one of the main tourist attractions in Durban and lures thousands of holidaymakers to its wide, sandy beaches, stunning beachfront hotels and apartments, state-of-the-art shopping centres, entertainment centres and excellent restaurants and pubs. It boasts a heady mix of old-world charm with remnants of Durban’s historic landmarks and art-deco architect, interspersed with upmarket beach residential properties and lush golfing estates.
Popular attractions include:
Blue Lagoon, a popular hangout, picnic and fishing spot
Mini Town, a miniature replica of Durban complete with a working miniature railway and airport
Suncoast Casino and Entertainment World, a casino complex with a semi-private beach, restaurants, shops and entertainment facilities
uShaka Marine World, an impressive aquarium, water park, dolphinarium and a restaurant with the largest shark tank in the world
Point Waterfront, a harbour-side village located at the entrance to the Port of Durban
Port of Durban, the second largest port in South Africa and one of the busiest ports in Africa
Skate Park at the Bay of Plenty for skateboarders, roller-bladers and BMXers
Surfing Museum, showcases a historical catalogue of Durban’s surfing history
Popular surfing spots along Golden Mile include North Beach, Dairy Beach, the Bay of Plenty, Snake Park, Pirates and Country Club beaches.
Durban City Hall
Durban City Hall is a glorious Neo-Baroque-styled building which has been carefully preserved to showcase Durban’s rich cultural history. It’s a classic example of architectural exaggeration that exudes elegance and grandeur.
It is located opposite a vibrant street market in the central business district, in front of the historic Royal Hotel and is home to the municipal chambers, an auditorium, the Natural Science Museum which is home to a dodo bird skeleton and areal Egyptian Mummy, a public library and the Durban Art Gallery which exhibits African pieces as well as artwork with a distinctive European influence.
The exterior is bedecked with sculptures that represent different facets of modern South Africa; including art, music, literature and industry. Outside the Durban City Hall are statues of Her Majesty Queen Victoria, Sir John Robinson (the first Prime Minister of Natal), Harry Escombe, Jan Christian Smuts and a commemorative statue of volunteers who died in the World War between 1899 to 1902. Another monument has been erected in the memory of local soldiers who died during World Wars I and II.
Durban Post Office
Durban Post Office is located across the road from the City Hall. It was the original town hall but became the site of the central post office in the early 1900s when it became too small for its original purposes. The foundation stone was laid in 1883 and it was used as the Town Hall from 1885 to 1910.
Winston Churchill famously stood on the stops of the building in 1899 following his escape from Pretoria and delivered a speech to the excited citizens of Durban. It is also the site where the National Convention held its first sittings in 1908 which led to the Union of South Africa.
Medwood Gardens is located across the road from the Durban City Hall and next to St Paul’s Church. It is a tranquil oasis in the heart of Durban’s central business district and offers a welcome respite for office workers and tourists on a sweltering summer’s day.
The lawns are lush and green and there is a historic fountain in the garden dedicated to Grace Amelia Osborn, mayoress of Durban who died in office in June 1957. Medwood Gardens was named in honour of John Medley Wood who served as the curator of Durban’s Botanical Gardens from 1882 to 1913. During the Anglo-Boer War, the gardens were used as a military depot by the Royal Navy and the British Army.
The Old Durban Railway Station
Stepping into the Old Durban Railway Station is stepping back in time. This historic Victorian-style railway station was completed in 1892 and served as the central hub for various industries. It was built in 1892 and today, still exudes a timeless elegance.
It was built using dramatic red bricks which were a popular architectural feature of the region and an outstanding feature is its impressive roof. This was actually a mistake; the roof plans were accidently switched by architects and Durban’s railway station got the roof design that was meant for the Toronto Railway Station in Canada.
Mahatma Gandhi was famously forcibly removed from a ‘whites-only cart” in train at Durban’s old railway station. A plaque has been erected to commemorate his humiliation; saying, “Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi took the first step in his struggle against all forms of discrimination and oppression when he boarded a train at the Durban station on 7th June 1893.”
uShaka Marine World
uShaka Marine World lies at the start of Durban’s Golden Mile and spans some 15 hectares including prime beachfront and Africa’s largest marine theme park. It’s one of Durban’s most popular tourist destinations and is home to the 5th largest aquarium in the world by volume of water.
The salt water aquarium has indoor and outdoor displays and exhibits and a 1 200-seat dolphin stadium as well as a seal stadium and penguin rookery. It offers edutainment tours behind the scenes and fascinating interactive activities such as snorkeling through reefs and grottos and scuba dives. Bell’s Beach is adjacent to uShaka Marine World and a popular hangout for local families. Activities include windsurfing, beach volleyball, surfing, jet skiing, kite surfing, paddle boat rides, dolphin viewing charters and beach sports events.
Other highlights of uShaka Marine World include exhibits such as the Rocky Touch Pool, Open Ocean exhibit, Coral Gardens, Dangers of the Deep and the Deep Zone. And when you’ve seen and touched the beauty of the Indian Ocean, head to the Wet ‘n Wild Waterpark or the restaurant and shopping complex.
Port of Durban
Commonly known as Durban Harbour, the Port of Durban is the second largest port of South Africa and one of the busiest ports in Africa. It is South Africa’s main cargo and container port as it is positioned with easy access to major shipping routes and rail and road links.
Durban Harbour has a fleet of tug boats owned and operated by the National Ports Authority (NPA) and each tug is fitted with firefighting and salvage equipment. The NSRI operates out of Durban Harbour and has both deep-sea and smaller rescue boats.
There is plenty to see and do at Durban Harbour including sightseeing ferry trips and a visit to the Maritime Museum which houses exhibits of old tugs, a minesweeper, photographic records of the original harbour and exhibits on the history of whaling in the region. Enjoy a delicious meal at the harbour restaurant while watching the frenetic activity of a working port.
Durban Botanical Gardens
As Africa’s oldest surviving botanic gardens, the Durban Botanic Gardens is well worth a visit. The lawns and flower beds are beautifully maintained; there are benches scattered throughout the Gardens from where to admire the fauna and flora. Orchids, bromeliads, palms and cycads are the main collections of the gardens; the mature trees make a perfect backdrop. The lake attracts many birds and the lawn next to the lake can accommodate up to 750 people in a marquee. This area is sometimes used for concerts.
Moses Mabhida Stadium
The Moses Mabhida Stadium is a striking landmark on Durban’s Golden Mile. It serves primarily as a sports stadium which accommodates 56 000 spectators but it is also a popular tourist attraction and place to go if you’re an adrenalin junkie.
A standout feature is its arch which is an engineering feat in its own right. It’s also where you find the Big Rush Big Swing from which you can swing from a dizzy height of 80 metres above the ground. The SkyCar transports visitors to the highest point of the arch (106 metres) where they have a 360° panoramic view of the breath-taking Indian Ocean on a warm, sunny day and the lush sugarcane plantations that surround Durban city centre.
Moses Mabhida Stadium was named in honour of one of South Africa’s most dedicated freedom fighters during the apartheid era. It’s also home to the much-loved Sharks rugby team.
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