14 Best Things To Do In Durban, South Africa

things to do in durban
| 6 min read

The third largest city in South Africa, Durban is a popular destination for many tourists and locals. There are many interesting, exhilarating and educational experiences for you when you visit this city. Below are just a few of the best things to do in Durban, we definitely could not fit all of them here, but here goes.

Durban with kids

Kids are easily entertained but also easily bored. You do not want them to get bored on vacation and that is why I have the following activities that will have you and your kids engaged, entertained, educated and excited about your visit in Durban:

1. Hike the Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Reserve

things to do in durban | hike the umhlanga lagoon nature reserve
Source: instagram

Plan a day trip to the Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Reserve with the whole family where you will get to walk the coastal dune forest, along the Ohlange River, as you make your way to Umhlanga Lagoon. This half hour hike will not put much strain on your kids, and it will actually be an exciting time for them as they learn about the different birds and come across the small mammals on the trail. You are warned not to walk the route alone or without a guide.

Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Reserve

Address: Hawaan, Blackburn, 4319, South Africa

Website: Hike the Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Reserve

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2. Zorbing at Groovy Balls Adventure Park

Looking for something new to do on your next visit to Durban? Bounce down the hills at Groovy Balls Adventure Park just outside Durban in a giant zorbing ball! http://bit.ly/1OoZfHU

Posted by Flexi Club South Africa on Wednesday, 18 May 2016

This thrilling and exhilarating activity will have the kids raving about it for a very long time. Pack up the kids and head out to Groovy Balls Adventure Park for a day filled with exciting downhill rolls and gleeful laughter. Zorbing involves an individual climbing into a huge transparent ball that is insulated and then you are let lose to roll down a hill. Sounds exciting! They have different courses for you and there are other fun and exciting activities to do at the park like go karting, paint balling and target shooting.

Groovy Balls Adventure Park

Address: 70005 St, Bux Farm, Outer West Durban, 3700, South Africa

Website: Groovy Balls Adventure Park

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3. An all-inclusive day at Funworld

There is no doubt that Funworld had to be on this list, considering it is also a firm favorite with the local kids who spend most of their school holidays here. It is quite easy on the pocket and is open till late on school holidays. They also have rides such as the swing boat, aerial cableway, which takes you up to the Durban skyline for a bird’s eye view of Durban, and the tilt-a-whirl. Want to get a little competitive and rough? Head off to the Dodgems Arcade and have a family bumper-car-battle.


Address: Tambo Parade, South Beach, Durban, 4001, South Africa

Facebook: Funworld

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Romantic getaway

Durban has been known to have some of the most romantic locations in South Africa and below is a few of them. For some great Durban romantic getaways, check out:

4. Karkloof Spa

Interior of Karkloof Spa
Source: Photo by Flickr user MollySVH used under CC BY 2.0

Tucked away somewhere in KwaZulu Natal, this spa has been voted as the best safari spa in the world – IN THE WORLD GUYS! You should be ready to splash some cash when making your booking for a romantic escapade with your significant other. The spa is situated in a place where it symbiotically gels well with the nature around it, with 17 treatment rooms that have the best view possible. The spa is eco-designed with natural materials such as thatch and living roofs camouflaging with the environment. You will have access to the many luxurious facilities available such as its glassy manicure and pedicure area, floatation pool, rassoul with Moroccan flavor, hot tub set in an open area, saunas, steam rooms, the Kneipp therapy pool and its Reflections Lounge.

Karkloof Spa

Address: Ottos Bluff Road, Pietermaritzburg, 3231, South Africa

Website: Karkloof Spa

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5. Picnic at Umgeni River

Hop in a helicopter which will take you up along Umgeni River and land on a cliff just above Inanda Dam, where you will get a scrumptious picnic basket packed up for you and your significant other. At the pickup point, the helicopter pilot will brief you on the proceedings after which you will set off to the destination over the meandering Umgeni River, taking in the beautiful aerial view of the countryside. On arrival, your romantic picnic will be waiting for you. It is the perfect setting for a proposal as you look down the rolling hills of the Valley of a 1,000 Hills. After the breathtaking views, mouthwatering picnic and thousands of pictures later, you will be taken back to the city in your helicopter, a day well spent with the love of your life.

Umgeni River

Address: Riverside Rd, Durban North, Durban, 4051, South Africa

Website: Umgeni River

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6. Ride a balloon over the Natal Midlands

Posted by Sky Adventures on Sunday, 10 April 2016

Spectacular sunrises or sunsets make for a great romantic balloon ride over the Natal Midlands. Experience the peace and serenity of the Midlands in another light from the air, as you float over being awestruck, the whole experience bringing the two of you even closer. When the ride is over, you land to a sumptuous champagne breakfast.

Hot Air Ballooning

Website: Hot Air Ballooning

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Experience Durban culture

What better way to learn about the Durban culture than fully immersing yourself in it? Below are some experiences you do not want to miss:

7. Walk the Indian District in Durban

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

It is a well-known fact that the South African Indians in Durban are the highest concentration of Indians outside of India. This was brought about by the extensive two-part migration process of Indians. One group made it into South Africa as servants to the British in the 1860s, while the others were brought in by traders in the 1880s. For this walk, you will get a guide who will take you through the district as you learn about the city’s Indian history and heritage by making stops at symbolic areas in the district. The guide will definitely take you to Zulu Muti Market to experience and learn about traditional medicine and to Victoria Street Market for some great bargains, with colorful saris and different spices on offer.

Indian District

Address: Durban, South Africa

Website: Indian District

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8. KwaMuhle Museum

This is where you will get all the information you need on the “Durban System,” which was a racially charged policy, introduced in the past. Durban’s past and its present are well documented at the KwaMuhle Museum. The museum pays homage to the “ordinary” South Africans that took it upon themselves to fight and challenge racist rules set up.

KwaMuhle Museum

Address: 130 Bram Fischer Rd, Durban Central, Durban, 4001, South Africa

Website: KwaMuhle Museum

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9. Inanda Heritage Trail

Take the kids on the Inanda Heritage Trail. It’s an exciting learning experience. http://www.sa-venues.com/things-to-do/kwazulunatal/inanda-heritage-trail/ Image courtesy of www.sa-venues.com

Posted by Kindlewood Estate on Thursday, 13 October 2016

Inanda is a township northwest of Durban, rich in historical excellence. It had historical giants such as Mahatma Gandhi and John Dube formulating philosophies and institutions that would shape the history of India, South Africa and the world, right in Inanda’s backyard. Book an Inanda Heritage Trail tour to learn about the above stalwarts and many more.

Inanda Heritage Trail

Website: Inanda Heritage Trail

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Sometimes the best way to enjoy a place is by embracing the nature in that place and learn about its different fauna. Below are some of the places you can immerse yourself in beautiful Durban nature:

10. Durban Botanic Gardens

Durban, Botanical Gardens - panoramio
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Frans-Banja Mulder used under CC BY 3.0

This is the oldest botanical gardens in Africa that prides itself on its collections of fossil plants, that date back as far as 250 million years ago. Walk through some of the oldest known plants in the world.

Durban Botanic Gardens

Address: 70 St Thomas Rd, Musgrave, Durban, 4001, South Africa

Website: Durban Botanic Gardens

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11. The Valley of 1000 Hills

With its rolling hills, there definitely is something for everyone here. Nature lovers will appreciate its untouched nature, wildlife and the outstanding scenery. With Umgeni River slowly meandering down the hills making its way to the Indian Ocean, its beautiful curves will have you going back every time you find yourself in Durban.

Valley of 1000 Hills

Address: Old Main Road, Bothas Hill

Website: Valley of 1000 Hills

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Shopping havens

You cannot come to Durban and not experience its shopping zones, some of which are:

12. Heritage Market

A post shared by Flaco Tuan (@flaco_tuan) on Sep 18, 2015 at 8:13am PDT

For an all-encompassing shopping experience, head off to Heritage Market. You are guaranteed to find a one-of-a-kind purchase. The shops sell things like art and crafts, clothes, jewelry, and novelty gifts. The market also has sprawling rose gardens and there are restaurants and cocktail bars here too.

Heritage Market

Address: 9 Old Main Rd, Hillcrest, Natal Midlands

Website: Heritage Market

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13. Weekend Market at North Beach

Images for the Weekend Market are unavailable.

For your shopping fix of curios, novelties and gifts, head off to the Weekend Market. It is the perfect place for an excursion with the family, to find that special souvenir you’ve been looking for.

Weekend Market at North Beach

Website: Weekend Market at North Beach

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14. Galleria Mall

Posted by Galleria Mall on Monday, 6 July 2015

Surf through the big brand shops, score a deal in one of its fashion boutiques and fill up in the many restaurants available. For entertainment, check out the newest movie releases in the cinema or play mini golf.

Galleria Mall

Address: Cnr Mosskolnik and Arbour Road, Galleria, Durban, 2194, South Africa

Website: Galleria Mall

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Fun and adventure all-round

It does not matter if you are vacationing in Durban with the kids, are by yourself, with a group of friends, or with the love of your life, there is something for everyone here. An all-round fun time is to be had in Durban.

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Raphael is an accomplished travel writer with a passion for exploring the world. With over a decade of experience in travel writing, he has honed his storytelling skills, making readers feel like...Read more

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