KZN’s rich natural and cultural offerings come together in and around Durban. Avukile Mabombo, Group Marketing Manager, Protea Hotels by Marriott is an avowed travel addict.
"People often don’t explore beyond the city centre and the beachfront – nothing wrong with either of those, but you can find so much more to see," he said.
The Beachwood Mangroves is a 76-hectare reserve, just 5 minutes from the city centre, is a national monument and consists of rare mangrove swamp forest and important estuarine habitat at the mouth of the Umgeni River. Mabombo urges travellers to t ake a stroll, or a guided walk or canoe trip. He said this was an amazing space to catch your breath and get an introduction to the city's natural corners.
"The Mzinyathi Gorge is home to the magnificent Mzinyathi Falls, an impressive natural attraction featuring a fantastic waterfall. The gorge is also where you’ll find a space known as the “Rastafarian Caves”, where stone-built huts offer a space for the Rastafarian community to come and pray and worship on weekends. You do need a guide and permission to access the caves, but it’s worth the additional effort," he said.
Emalangeni Hill, a magnificent place will truly capture the spirit of the Valley of 1000 Hills, an endless vista that stretches all the way to the Drakensberg, where at certain times of the year you may see snow, far away in the distance.
Adventurists will be pleased to know that Durban also caters for the adrenaline junkies. Perhaps h ead over to Cato Ridge for a combo of archery, clay pigeon shooting and quad biking, or wobble away on a Segway on a guided tour, on or off-road. There’s cage diving, ziplining , microlight flights – in fact, pretty much any bucket-list activity could be ticked off in this city.
The wave house at Gateway Theatre of Shopping boasts two simulated waves, known as flow riders, that mimic small waves, so you can learn how to surf in a controlled environment with trained professionals on hand (Durban is all about the surf!). If you’re not in the mood for getting wet, you can still get some board-riding in, right next door at South Africa’s biggest skate park designed by Tony Hawk himself.
And what is a visit to Durban without a culinary experience? Indian and African cuisine are some of the most popular.