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Durban Travel Tips, South Africa

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Durban, South AfricaDurban, South Africa
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Durban is the third biggest city in South Africa. Located in the eThekwini metropolitan municipality, it is the largest city in the KwaZulu-Natal province and the busiest seaport of South Africa. Durban covers 2,292 sq km (885 sq mi) and has a population of 3.5 million people.

According to archaeological excavations, the area around Durban has been inhabited by hunter-gatherer communities as far as as 100,000 BC. Nothing much is known about the area until the arrival of the Portuguese under Vasco da Gama, who sailed along the coast during Christmastide and decided to name it Natal, meaning Christmas in Portuguese.

The city of Durban was founded when the British arrival on the northern shore of the Bay of Natal. They were headed by Lieutenant F.G. Farewell. Joining them was adventurer Henry Francis Fynn, who helped the Zulu King Shaka recover from a stab wound. In gratitude, King Shaka gave the land to the British. The settlement was then name Durban, after governor of the Cape Colony, Sir Benjamin d'Urban.

Durban experiences a mild subtropical climate. The summers here are warm and wet while the winters moderately dry and cool. Warmest months are January to March, when the average high temperature reaches 28°C (82°F). Coldest months are July and August, when the average low temperature drops to 3°C (37°F). January receives the most rain, at 134 mm (5.28 in).

Downtown DurbanDowntown Durban
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authorshipHenry Trotter
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Visiting Durban

The new King Shaka International Airport is the gateway to Durban. It is located 40 km to the north of downtown. Arriving visitors can take the taxi to the city center. Fare is estimated around R400. Alternative to taxis are the airport shuttle buses, which cost only R80.

Anstey Beach, DurbanAnstey Beach, Durban
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Places of Interest in Durban

  1. BAT Centre
    The art-and-music facility of the Bartel Arts Trust located on the Durban Waterfront.
  2. Durban City Hall
    Modelled after the city hall of Belfast, Durban's City Hall was completed in 1910.
  3. Fitz-Simons Snake Park
    Center housing a large collection of local snakes and other reptiles. It is the biggest producer of snake-bite serum in South Africa.
  4. Golden Mile
    Beachfront entertainment precinct of Durban with a promenade lined with hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions.
  5. Local History Museum
    Museum occupying the former court house. It provides a glimpse into the early colonial life in the Natal region.
  6. Natal Maritime Museum
    Museum with collection of Durban's seafaring memorabilia. Also on display are some boats including the minesweeper SAS Durban.
  7. Natural Science Museum
    Museum occupying the ground floor of the Durban City Hall. It displays a wide collection ranging from wildlife to geology, dinosaurs and even an Egyptian mummy.
  8. North Beach
    A popular surfing beach in Durban.
  9. Suncoast Casino and Entertainment World
    Casino complex at Golden Mile.
  10. The Playhouse
    An outstanding entertainment complex and performing-arts venue.
  11. The Wheel
    Shopping mall with a gigantic ferris wheel.
  12. uShaka Marine World
    Aquarium with the largest shark tank in the world.

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