Durban is a coastal city attracting visitors with its popular beaches for activities such as sunbathing, beach-games and surfing, being a host to balmy sub-tropical weather throughout the year. The UShaka Sea World encompasses the Wet and Wild Water Park as well as the Village Walk Shopping Centre. Much of the marine life can be found here and serves as a great way to experience the Ocean Walker which makes you go under water and get acquainted with the marine life. The Ushaka Marine World is part of the Golden Mile, the main waterfront of Durban hosting multiple beaches such as Amanzimtoti, Umhlanga and Ballito. The KwaZulu Natal Sharks Board Boat Tour is protected by shark safety nets, with further equipment on exhibit at the Shark Institute established over the coastline. For a heritage tour, the Inanda Heritage trail includes Mahatma Gandhi’s Phoenix Settlement, the Inanda Seminary, and the famed Ohlange institute where Nelson Mandela cast his vote for the first democratic election. The Spice Emporium, The Campbell Collections and the Playhouse Theatre are other options for exploring Durban. The KmaMuhle Museum introduces its visitors to the past as well as the present of Durban. From videos to photographs and documents, the museum even provides the framework for the national apartheid policy. There is also a Natural Science Museum with stuffed collections of animals along with discoveries. Other historical museums include the Sugar Terminals highlighting the sugar plantations and silos, the Addington hospital museum, the Bergtheil Museum preserving collections of the first German family which settled in Durban’s main village, the port Natal Maritime Museum, and the Old Courthouse Museum. To get a better view of nature at its best, one must head over to the Botanical Gardens and walk amidst the world’s top collection of living fossil plants existing since 1849. Along with Orchids, Palms and Cycads collection, a good stock of bird life, as well as an award-winning Garden of Senses and a Floral Sunken Garden, it also houses the original Lake site ‘The Fern Dell’. The Durban north Japanese gardens also hold the status as an official green area with ponds, walkways and shading huts. There is an exclusive park established for Mountain biking trails within the Giba Gorge. Durban is indeed a city for adventure lovers as it includes a 4 mile track for biking, jogging and walking. Options for exploring the wildlife nearby include the Tala Game Reserve, providing guided bushwalks to track Rhinos, Giraffe, wildebeest, hippopotamuses and springboks, and the Kenneth Stainbank Nature Reserve, featuring a smaller collection of wildlife ranging from herds of zebra and bucks around a pond and a walkway. For birdlife enthusiasts, the Umgeni River Bird Park features an exotic global bird collection in an open enclosure for visitors to interact with the birds. Art venues and establishments start from the African Art Museum, host to many galleries exhibiting local handicrafts, the Phansi Museum showcasing Zulu African dolls, and a Mini Town Model scaled down with original landmarks present across Durban. Architectural main landmarks include the Goto Moses Mabhida Stadium, which hosted the 2010 FIFA World Cup. There are major sport venues present in Durban as well, such as the Kingspark Rugby Stadium and the Kingsmead Cricket Ground. Entertainment avenues range from regular races held at the Greyville horse-racing race-course ground, live stage performances in a local restaurant at the Madame Zingara Theatre of Dreams, or the famed Suncoast Casino Entertainment World, a complex of restaurants bars, cinemas and live performers. There is also a water theme park with giant slides and a snorkelling aquarium which goes by the name of Wet ‘n Wild, while the most gigantic ‘swing’ of Africa can be availed at the Big Rush Urban Adrenaline.
Some well-reputed airlines that are flying to Durban from UK include Qatar Airways, KLM, Turkish Airlines, Air Mauritius, South African Airways and Emirates.
There are no direct Durban flights operated by any of the air operators.
The average flight time taken by Durban flights to reach from London is about 14.5 hours. Flights range with one to two stopovers which last 2 to 3 hours each, apart from the travelling duration.
Durban's primary airport, King Shaka International Airport is located at a distance of approximately 35 km or 22 miles north of the city centre of Durban.
The main transport options available at King Shaka International Airport for reaching the city are metered taxis and shuttle services. Regular shuttle buses operate from the airport to Durban city centre from 0500 to 2200 usually entailing a journey time of 30 minutes. Hourly shuttle services connect to multiple main spots spread throughout the city. Taxis are metered and usually take around 20 to 30 minutes for reaching Durban. A number of car rentals are also available at King Shaka International Airport.
Also known as the La Mercy Airport, the airport of Durban provides for its passengers several amenities and facilities to make ones stay at the airport more pleasurable. Numerous restaurants and coffee places are available throughout the airport both at the arrivals as well as the departure terminals. With a total of 52 retail outlets spread across the lower floors, passengers can also pass their free time at duty free shops as well as some local shops are located at the Departures terminal, with certain stores even selling gift items, cosmetics, jewellery, garments and appliances. Those passengers travelling in business class can relax at the Premier Lounge which is well equipped with many facilities similar to the VIP lounge in the arrivals terminal. The domestic terminal has the Baobab lounge along with Bidvest Premier Lounge, while the international terminal has the Umphafa Lounge and the ACSA VIP lounge. It should be noted that conference facilities are also available at these lounges. The airport takes particular interest in providing services to the disabled and has specially equipped toilets and lifts. Services such as ATMs and other foreign exchange facility are provided by the Standard Bank, along with kiosks of car rental radio cab companies, a post office, an official tourism information desk, and even a VAT Refund office. Although Wi-Fi services are available throughout the airport, one has to pay for this service. About 6,500 parking bays are established which are divided between shaded sections for long term and open bays for short term parking. As for airport accommodation, there are no options within the premises or even located nearby in the surrounding vicinity.
Travelling within Durban is quite easy given the easily navigable roads and the public transportation options available. There is a well-reputed bus service called Durban People Mover that is being operated by eThekwini Transport Authority. This bus service caters to many areas of the city including the beach-line. The beachside also has certain independent rickshaws plying for small rides along the stretch of sands.The Mynah bus service on the other hand offers a more extensive bus service operating through the city including Durban's suburbs. The suburbs are also easily be accessed by the Metrorail service. These networks of trains connect Durban city centre with the city's outlying suburbs. There are metered taxis as well as minibus taxis, with metered taxis requiring a pre-booking. Helicopter tour operators do provide stops from area to area, landmark to landmark for an airborne ride throughout Durban.
The high-end category offers a number of opulent hotels featuring exotic views over the waterfront and the beach, whether it’s from terrace restaurants, balconies or marina swimming pools. Some of the leading international chains of extravagant hotels are located along the beachfront promenade. The Royal Hotel, Endless Horizons Hotel, Fairmont Zimbali Resort, and Hotel Izulu join in among the rising brand of local hotels which provide the highest standards of luxury accommodation. A more budget-friendly accommodation option would include the city's mid-ranged hotels, Guest Houses and Bed & Breakfast Lodges, providing specialized amenities such as sports, exclusive in-house pools and bars. They focus mostly on the backpackers and student traveller community arriving in Durban. Many of the Durban's guesthouses, cottages, huts and bungalows operate on a self-service basis or a bed & breakfast (B & B) basis. Towards the central commercial districts, there are hotels established within plazas as well as along the main avenues to provide a convenient stay within the heart of Durban.