South Africa
 
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Book with peace of mind with Africa A-Z - PROVIDING EXCEPTIONAL AFRICAN SAFARIS AND TOURS SINCE 2004 (Free, no-obligation quotes)  
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Durban offers year round warm weather and therefore Durban's beaches are always an attraction. Umhlanga is one of the most popular. Durban is also home to the uShaka Marine World and the Victoria Street Market.

 
Durban is in the Kwa-Zulu Natal province of South Africa
 
Durban is a unique cultural mix of colonial European, Indian and Zulu communities. The Victoria Street Market has a magnificent array of exotic oriental items for sale as well as spices, curry powders etc. All visitors to Durban have to try the bunny chow: a half loaf of bread which is dug out to create a hole and filled with curry. The bread from the inside is placed on top to use to dip up the delicious curry in the center.
 
Durban has many beaches. Surfing, fishing and sailing are very popular. With it's warm temperatures most of the year and easy access (about a 6 hour drive from Johannesburg), it is a big domestic tourism destination.
 
Umhlanga Rocks is the largest of the North Coast's coastal resorts. Umhlanga's main beach is one of the accredited Blue Flag beaches. The beach offers superb swimming and surfing within walking distance of the Umhlanga village center. There are regular fishing competitions. Boats can be launched from the Ski Boat Club and deep-sea fishing, scuba diving, dolphin and whale-viewing and general day trips are available. The promenade stretches 2.7km's along the beach front and is accessible from virtually every beach front hotel. The Umhlanga Lighthouse has become a well known landmark and was built in 1954.

The Natal Sharks Board has it's headquarters on the ridge overlooking Umhlanga and protects 37 beaches along the coastline. Educational tours are offered which include shark dissection and an audio-visual presentation of the daily servicing of the shark nets. For the more adventurous there are early morning trips out to sea. Experience and enjoy the sights of Durban as you travel through the harbor and out to sea into the rising sun. These trips are run seven days a week, and on weekdays one can see the shark nets being serviced along Durban’s “Golden Mile”. Sharks are not often found in the nets but there will be an opportunity to see and learn about the dolphins, seabirds and fish life that abound in our coastal waters.

There are close to 300 days of sunshine a year, and even when the sun is not shining it is still warm enough to swim. Stunning reefs off the Umhlanga coast make for excellent diving and snorkeling.

You will also find one of Africa's largest shopping centres in Umhlanga - Gateway Theatre of Shopping which boasts 18 cinemas, IMAX Theatre, Cinema Nouveau Theatres, The Barnyard Theatre, more than 60 eateries, More than 300 world class stores, The Wave House, Fantasy Forest, 4000sqm Skate Park, The World`s highest indoor Climbing Rock etc.

Umhloti is a seaside village that is just north of Umhlanga. Beautiful golden beaches, safe swimming and excellent fishing, set against a backdrop of sugar-cane covered hills and lush sub-tropical countryside.

Ballito is known as the 'Pearl' of the Dolphin Coast and is well known for it's safe beaches. Micro-lighting is also available here.

Zimbali is a few minutes south of Ballito and is set in a pristine coastal forest with a rugged, unspoiled coastline providing the perfect setting to get away from it all. Zimbali also boasts an 18-hole golf course, Zimbali Golf Course and horse-riding on the beach or in the forest.

Shaka's Rock is a small residential area with holiday accommodation available. Here you will find Thompson's Bay and Charlie's Pool, an Olympic size tidal pool. Secluded beaches, rocky coves and shallow paddling pools will provide endless hours of fun.

Salt Rock is further north and it's name originates from King Shaka's days when his handmaidens used to collect dried salt off the rocks at low tide. This beach provides good fishing spots and there is beautiful reefs offshore. Close to the main beach is a tidal pool.

Further north, lies the lagoon and beach nature conservancy of Zinkwazi. The lush paradise of indigenous forests, tropical palms, seven kilometers of pristine lagoon and endless beaches, is a nature lover's wonderland. There is a wide variety of bird life which is spectacular, with many rare species to be seen. Zinkwazi means the place of fish eagles in Zulu and their hunting cry is still part of the magic.
 
The North Coast of Durban (Kwa-Zulu Natal) is famous for the bottlenose dolphins that can be seen all year round. Whales can also be spotted on their annual migration. There are various boat expeditions where one can go out to sea and view these amazing creatures in their natural environment. The North Coast is a perfect combination of golden beaches for safe bathing, surfing, fishing or simply soaking up the sun and is rich in history and culture for exploration and authentic Zulu experiences. It is also called the 'Jewel of the Zulu Kingdom'.

Durban is home to the uShaka Marine World which is the fifth largest aquarium in the world. This marine world encompasses indoor and underground aquarium, Wet 'n Wild World entertainment park and lots of restaurants. The main restaurant is a re-creation of a wreck of a 1940's cargo ship where you can watch the sharks as they swim passed your table in the restaurant (window seat to be requested).

Durban is the busiest port in Africa and is the gateway to the many attractions of Kwa-Zulu Natal. These include the scenic Midlands Meander, Drakensberg, famous Battlefields, the game parks of Zululand including Hluhluwe and the greater St Lucia Wetland Park.
 
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