Falling in Love with Durban

11:38 am

When Durban made the Top 10, by coming in 7th, on the New York Times’ list of Top 52 Places to Go in 2015; most Capetonians were outraged. They usually make that list. However, this did not surprise me. We are the well known secret of South Africa.

Durban Beach Front
While everyone else have cold winter and minus temperatures. Durban has stayed relatively mild, because that’s just how we roll. With sunny skies and the option for long walks along the beach – anyone would be in. The one-up Durban has from Cape Town? They might have the mountain, but we have the warm seas. This is why people from all around the country flock towards the ocean during winter. They have assessed and have taken everything else into consideration and found that we are lucky.

It’s not only during winter months that Durban scores. We have great weather all year round. With interruptions of thunderstorms and normal rain bouts experienced during the hot summer months. Most South Africans have at least one memory of the hot, sticky mess that Durban can be. But those memories are usually the ones we tend to remember.

My childhood memories consist of hours on the beach or in the water. Wearing jerseys and shorts, while walking on the beach – because it was not hot enough nor cold enough for either or options – but you wanted to feel the sea and sand underneath your feet. But that hasn’t changed much over the years. You can still do that.

Slowly, right before the 2010 World Cup, Durban started changing. Just subtle changes, not too many but they were there. You can now take a long walk next to the beach, because let’s admit it: SAND RUINS EVERYTHING. You don’t need to walk in the sand to experience the beauty of the sea. You feel safe as there’s police presence and the “golden mile” looks good and clean. Before all these changes, anyone would rather go further up the coast towards Umhlanga to enjoy the beach.


Art Deco Building.

Have you seen the art deco buildings? They are spectacular in Durban. This one is on the Berea and has been upgraded from looking like a frump to a diamond that’s been polished. If you really love old and beautiful buildings – Durban is definitely the way to go! If you see our City Hall, which is said to look like a replica of Belfast’s City Hall in Northern Ireland. It is amazing inside and out. If you drive past the harbour and look left, you might see the Department of Labour and in my mind it fits the description. Small windows, with bars in front, built into a redbrick-face building. There are so many gems that you need to check out in Durban, like Café 1999. You can spend a whole day just seeking out these architectural treasures.

If you are an art fan, Durban is a great place to check this out. There is not only up-and-coming art galleries, but there’s wall art (better known as graffiti) all over Durban. These are not just the tag you find at the Skate Park, but it’s also in the rejuvenating areas of (insert riverhorse bend or double check). Not only will the artist that live here knock your socks off, you will want too take some art with you back home.

This is just a small taste of Durban and what you can find here. In my next post I will be writing about the taste of Durban, no not the event but rather what people eat around here. Let me tell you, it’s a wide variety.


Gillian believes she was born to write.  Born into a family who all have the itch to see the world, she definitely followed in their footsteps. By day she's a content writer and a wannabe designer, but by night she works away on her novel. You can read her short stories here: http://thisisgillian.co.za or her opinions here: thinkspacefor1.wordpress.com. But mostly she's found here: twitter.com/GBasson

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