Are you aware that Durban was discovered by Vasco da Gama, the renowned Portuguese explorer? The discovery was made in the year 1947.  Durban was a sleepy area until the year 1842, when G. Farewell, a lieutenant in the British Army landed in the area from Cape Colony created a small settlement. Among the men was Henry Fyn, a distinguished adventurer who made friends with Shaka, king of Zulus, by enabling the king recover from a wound inflicted by the kingdom’s enemies. Shaka rewarded Flynn by donating an extensive coastline that stretched for 25 miles.  Today, there are is a good number of tourist attractions in Durban, making it one of the world’s top tourist attractions.

Tourists travel from Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and other parts of the world to this city for various reasons. This article reveals some of the most popular tourist attractions in Durban.

Suggested Tours

Mountain Splendor -The Kingdom of Lesotho

Durban Tours and Activities

Leave Durban and travel through the Natal Midlands to Himeville. Hop into a four wheel drive vehicle and enter Lesotho via the Sani Pass, where you will visit a Sotho Village and interact with the locals of this neighborhood. Travel to Sani Pass Top Chalet for lunch before returning to Durban after a full day of exploring.

Cost: From $194.79

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13-Day KwaZulu-Natal, Johannesburg and Kruger National Park Tour from Durban

KwaZulu Natal tours

This 13 day tour covers the best that KwaZulu-Natal has to offer – the Drakensberg Mountains, Battlefields and Zululand. It is a tour which brings together the magnificent scenery, historical, cultural and natural heritage of this province with that of the northern part of South Africa, including Johannesburg, Mpumalanga’s Blyde River Canyon and the Kruger National Park.

Cost: From $4,670.99

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Durban Tourist Attractions

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Golden Mile

Golden Mile - KwaZulu Natal

Golden Mile is a beachfront area that stretches from S. Beach to Suncoast Casino & Entertainment World. It’s among the most popular tourist attractions in Durban. The wide stretch of sand, for instance, serves as the perfect destination for tourists who visit the area to soak in Indian Ocean’s warm waters, and also watch as the sun rises and sets every day.

Golden Mile is popularly referred to as the ultimate surfer’s paradise. The South Beach, in particular, is suitable for tourists who’re still new to the surfing world because it’s absolutely safe.

The tourist destination has no shortage of accommodation facilities. There are a number of tourist hotels and residential houses that visitors can choose from, depending on the purpose of visit and length of stay.


Durban Botanic Gardens

Durban Botanical Gardens

Established in 1849, this is among the oldest botanical gardens in Africa. It’s still surviving nearly 170 years after it was first established.

The garden is home to the world’s best collection of fossil plants. The pre-dinosaur plants that go as far back as 250 million years are currently facing extinction, so Durban Botanic Gardens plays an influential role in keeping them alive.

Wood’s Cycad species are named after John Medley Wood, a distinguished botanist and curator. As a matter of fact, the garden was established by the same person, John Wood. This was in 1895, when he discovered just one surviving cycad plant while walking in a forest.

When you walk though the gardens, you’ll feel as if you’ve just stepped into a Jurassic Park. Even though the garden has no dinosaurs, the pelicans with pink backs that you’ll find perched on trees eerily resemble pterodactyls.



Indian District

Two major emigrations undertaken by the Indians played an influential role in the establishment of one of the most multi-cultural cities, with the highest population density of Indians, thousands of kilometers away from India.

With the assistance of guides, you can take a tour of the area/ district around Yusuf Dadoo and Bertha Mkhize (Grey and Victoria) streets to enjoy the city’s rich history and tradition.

When you visit the Indian District, you should consider making stopovers at Zulu Muti and Victoria Street markets. They are renowned for sale and purchase of Indian traditional medicine, aromatic spices and fabrics as well.


Ushaka Marine World

ushaka marine world dolphin show

South Africa’s Ushaka Marine World has been rapidly developing because of a dream to establish a world-class destination for tourism and entertainment not only for Durban, but also for the rest of the country.

It’s regarded as an absolute Theme Park because of various reasons. Other than Ushaka Marine World, there’s no other tourist destination where you can find a blend of sea water and fresh water, an amusement park with water slides, natural materials, marine images of Durban Port, re-engineered cargo ship that got destroyed in 1940, leafy vegetation and world’s fifth largest aquarium with extremely beautiful indigenous African decoration.

If you have been wondering where to go for vacation during Christmas season, then you should consider visiting Ushaka Marine World.


Valley of 1,000 Hills

Valley of a Thousand Hills KwaZulu Natal

Valley of 1,000 Hills is one of the world’s most popular attraction sites for tourists. It’s found between Durban and Pietermaritzburg.

It’s a meeting point of two of South Africa’s largest rivers, River Umgeni and River Msunduzi.

Tourists love visiting the valley because of the exquisite landscape, beautiful trees, tranquility and wide range of wildlife species. Some tourists participate in the annual Dusi Canoe Marathon, and you can be one of them.

Umhlanga Rocks

If you choose to visit Umhlanga, you’ll get to enjoy some of the world’s finest entertainment spots, nature trails and exquisite restaurants within a very secure environment.

Sibaya Casion and Gasteway Shopping Center are some of the establishments you will find in the area.

There are a wide range of activities that you can engage in during your tour. When you get tired of surfing, you can choose to engage in; deep sea fishing, kite boarding, whale watching, scuba diving and dolphin viewing, among other interesting activities.


Boat tour of KwaZulu-Natal Sharks-Board

Are you aware that the beaches found along KwaZulu Natal’s coastline are some of the safest beaches in the country? This is because of the protection against sharks offered by shark-safety gear like anchored drum lines as well as nets. Therefore, you won’t have to worry about sharks, especially if you love swimming and surfing.

A visit to this area will give you the opportunity of learning how the safety system works and behavioral patterns of sharks. Additionally, you’ll also have an opportunity of encountering dolphins, turtles and other animals that live in the sea.


Inanda Heritage Trail

Many South Africans may not be aware that important chapters about the history of their beloved country were documented in Inanda. It’s a large town located on the north-western side of Durban.

Are you aware that Mahatma Gandhi cultivated his philosophy of passive resistance in Inanda while living as an expatriate lawyer?

Inanda Heritage Trail comprises of several historic sites such as; Inanda Seminary and Gandhi’s Phoenix Settlement. The former was established in 1869 by missionaries from North America and is among the oldest girls high schools in South Africa.

Visit the beach

You can visit the beach in Inanda at any time of the day, or in any day of the year, courtesy of the comfortable sea temperatures, generous sunshine and friendly subtropical climate throughout the year.

There are unique identities for each stretch of sand. The South Coast, Addington Beach and Bay of Plenty are ideal for surfing, family outings and beach holiday tournaments respectively.


Hare Krishna Temple

Hare Krishna Temple, also known as the Temple of Understanding, is among the most popular tourist attractions in Durban. This is because of various reasons.

The temple was specially designed to resemble a lotus plant, and was constructed in 1969. It is Africa’s largest Hare Krishna Temple.

If you are a vegetarian, you’ll find an exceptional restaurant that caters for tourists like you.

The temple has incredible architecture that consists of marble tiles, golden statues, gold-tinted windows, crystalline chandeliers and ornaments made of brass, among other fascinating features.

When you visit this incredible tourist destination site, you would wish to stay around for weeks.



The above-mentioned are top rated tourist attraction in Durban. If you visit the aforementioned places, you’ll be assured of getting value for your time and money.

See also: South Africa Tourist Attractions

Durban Tours and Activities