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Lisa Darko
 
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What to do in Durban

20 January 2014, 07:49

What to do in Durban.

When my family in the U.K called me to say that they were coming to Durban to visit family and friends (including myself) on short notice, I had to be quick on my feet with figuring out how to ensure they got the most out of the holiday. Having lived in Durban my entire life, I had become jaded toward the culture and activities that Durban to offer. When I did some research, I remembered just why I loved living here! Durban has some amazing entertainment adventures, experiences and is rich in culture!

Because the family had not been in South Africa, I organised everything for them-from car hire for when they arrived, to tourist attractions and things to do in the time frame they would be staying. They were to be staying with me for 5 days, so I wanted each day to be exciting, different and fulfilling. When they arrived I met them at Durban airport where I was thrilled to see them. Some had new additions to the family, while others had grown old-reminding me of how fast time flies. I then took them through to the car hire company which I had chosen from a great website, which compares prices, specials and does most of the work for you. I didn’have to do much at all, which helped me a lot as I was so busy planning the itinerary. Here is a list of places we visited over 10 days.

Day 1:

Ushaka Marine World.

This is an all around experience and with endless activities, was bound to make for a long, fun filled day. With an aquarium, water park, live dolphin and seal shows, cage diving for the braver folk, as well as an array of shops, restaurants, and live entertainment. My family was thrilled by all of the things to do. We spent the day watching a dolphin show, letting the kids play at the sea park, getting golden tans and finishing off with a delicious family meal at Cape Town Fish Market.

Day 2:

Suncoast Casino.

We decided to take it easy the next day, as we were all quite tired from the busy day before. That evening, however, we got ready to set off to Suncoast Casino. Despite its main attraction being the casino itself, there was no worry with bringing the kids with us, as there are so many other family friendly things to do. We arrived in the early evening and had a few cocktails and snacks at News Cafe which has fantastic sea views. We then took a walk around to check out the shops-there were curio shops for my family to take back novelty items with them, sweet shops for the kids, and plenty more. Suncoast even has a crèche for small children, which is open from 10 a.m until midnight! To keep the older kids occupied while the adults decided to hit the tables and machines, we set them off to the kids’ arcade-offering a variety of games to keep the kids busy for hours. We went home with a few extra rands in our pockets, and excited yet sleepy children.

Day 3 

Mitchell Park Zoo

We decided to have a quiet day and make day 3 more about the little ones. I suggested we visited Mitchell Park Zoo. The kids were eager to go after I described it to them. Off we went in the car, and headed to the zoo. When we arrived we were greeted by gorgeous landscaping, green grass and pretty flowers. Obviously the first plan on our agenda was to take a walk around the zoo. We took loads of photos-there were exotic birds, a 100 year old tortoise, meerkats, crocodiles, monkeys, wallabies, black swans and flamingos-to name but a few. By midday we were all starving, so we went to Blue Zoo-the little restaurant in the park. We decided on toasted sandwiches, and even shared a few cheeky scones with cream. We then headed home for the day with full bellies, and had a chilled out evening.

Day 4:

Moses Mabhida Adventure Walk

Today the adults got to play. We left the kids with dear friends of ours and decided to do the scary yet exhilarating Moses Mabhida stadium walk! The adventure walk is a 500 step up to the top of the 106 metre arch-not for those afraid of heights! It is, however, very safe. You are provided with top notch safety gear, given safety guidelines, and guided by a professional. Once you get to the top, you are greeted by a 360 degree view of Durban-a breathtaking sight to behold. On top of that, the sense of accomplishment and adrenalin leaves you on a fantastic high. The best part is that this amazing little adventure costs as little as R90 per person! This truly is a must for those deciding to travel to Durban.

Day 5:

Durban Beach

With all the fun and activities, we were quite sad that the time to leave had come. Time certainly flies when you’re having fun! Because my family had to be at the airport in the early evening, we chose Durban beach as our final destination. Along the pavement were people selling everything from little wire bicycles, to sarongs and bags, rickshaw rides and other cheap curios to take home. We settled in a lovely little spot on the beach, under an umbrella, and watched the kids make sand castles while we chatted about the holiday experience and soaked up the sun.

Before we knew it, it was time to go. With everything packed up, we went to the airport, turned in the rental car and said goodbye to each other. The best thing? My family was so impressed they promised to visit South Africa at least once a year for more adventures! I was quite proud of myself for showing them such a great time.

If you had family from overseas visiting, where would you take them? With so many other attractions there are, without a doubt, a few that we unfortunately mis

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