Close to the ground.

GPS: S 29 51.432 E 031 01.469 | pop. 3.5 million | elevation 4 m/13 ft

Durban is the third largest city in South Africa and has a vibrant mix of African, Indian and English people, cultures, architecture and neighborhoods. Visitors from both within the country and abroad come to the city for its year-round sunshine, moderate temperature and stretches of white sandy beaches up and down the coast. Durban’s city center can be a little rough around the edges as many residents and businesses relocated to the suburbs post-apartheid. But while much of the city center today is dead after dark, renewed development is starting to take hold and the greater Durban area exudes a pulse of growth and life. Just a few signs of the times are its new international airport, world-class stadium, and a flourishing restaurant, arts and nightlife scene.

When Portuguese explorer Vasco de Gama first laid eyes upon a bay of swampy coastal mangroves populated by alligators and hippopotamus on Christmas day in 1497, he called it Rio de Natal. Sailors and merchants that followed in his wake on their way to the riches of the Indies used the bay as a popular anchorage, but with the more established port slightly further north in Maputo, early Portuguese explorers had little interest in settling the untamed land. It was not until 1823 that a small but determined group of British settlers from the Cape Colony braved the wilderness. They befriended the mighty Zulu King Shaka and in turn were granted a strip of coastline to build their settlement. They named the port after the British Cape Governor, Sir Benjamin D’Urban, hoping to maintain strong ties with the colony and therefore ensure ongoing support.

Durban grew rapidly throughout the 1800s as British immigrants imported Indian indentured servants to work the lucrative sugar plantations and build the city. The descendants of these early laborers, as well as free Indian immigrants, give Durban its distinct Indian character. Today the city is home to the largest Indian community outside of Asia. Yet the growth of this community as well as a burgeoning black population spurred racist segregation laws. Officials became preoccupied with controlling the influx of the non-white population in the urban area while still ensuring their use as laborers. The myriad of laws and the use of passes to control movement and residence gave rise to what became referred to as the “Durban System.” These measures provided a blueprint of the later national agenda of the Afrikaner Nationalist Party, who implemented similar systems throughout the country as a cornerstone of apartheid. Opposition to racial discrimination turned the townships around Durban’s periphery into a battleground in the struggle for equality. Townships such as Cato Manor became overrun with riots protesting the city’s monopoly on beer halls, the profits of which were used to fund the same Native Administration system responsible for their subjugation. When the Group Areas Act threatened to forcibly remove Cato Manor residents to racially sanctioned townships such as KwaMashu for the black populations and Phoenix for Indians, the famed Cato Manor riots erupted in 1959. In the fallout of the riots the township was cleared of all its residents and left barren for years.

Durban was deemed a white-only playground during apartheid, but after the transition to democracy, Indians and Africans have again returned to reclaim the city. The white population has largely deserted the city center, moving into more secluded suburbs. The redevelopment of Durban’s townships, especially that of Cato Manor, is lauded as one of South Africa’s greatest success stories. Social and economic rehabilitation programs have made great strides as the city hopes to replace its history of paving the way towards national apartheid with a legacy of leading the way to restoration.


African Art Centre

African Art Centre is a nonprofit art gallery and store with a handpicked selection of intricate beadwork and hand-wrought telephone wire art, as well as other quality crafts. The gallery encourages young black artists and established craftspeople by providing training, development programs, exhibition space and publicity, all to make their artwork economically sustainable.

BAT Centre

BAT Centre is a community art center in a funky mural-covered building that supports economic growth for local artists through its craft stores and art galleries. Oceans Eleven Café is located right on the harbor and is a great spot to grab a sundowner or listen to live jazz on Friday and Saturday evenings.

artSPACE Durban

artSPACE Durban is located in a warehouse just off Umgeni Road. It has three airy galleries and artist studio workspaces above. The facility has a steady stream of contemporary exhibitions throughout the year ranging from single wall displays to large-scale urban renewal projects.

Gallery 415

Gallery 415 exhibits a wide range of work, from popular South African artists to street art. The gallery is only open when it has an exhibit, which is only a few times per year, so check online to see when it has something going on.

Barea, Morningside & Around

Campbell Collections

Campbell Collections is home to one of the best collections of African art and cultural artifacts in the country and is housed in the former home of Natal sugar farmer and politician Marshall Campbell. Campbell's daughter Killie made collecting African art her life's passion and when she died in 1965 she bequeathed her treasures to the University of Natal. The attached Mashu Museum of Ethnology, named after Sir Marshall Campbell himself, contains an impressive array of field sketches and watercolor paintings by Barbara Tyrrell as well as beadwork representing the distinct styling of the Zulu, Ndebele and Nguni of KwaZulu-Natal. Visits are by appointment only and include an excellent tour of the premises.

Phansi Museum

Phansi Museum has an extraordinary collection of Zulu beadwork, artifacts and adornments. What began as a small private collection is now a world-renowned treasure of traditional artwork. Of particular interest are the life-size marionettes dressed in colorful ceremonial attire. Guided tours last anywhere from 20 minutes to one hour, depending on the interests of the group.

KZNSA Gallery

KZNSA Gallery is home of the KwaZulu-Natal Society of the Arts, a nonprofit organization that aims to provide formal art training to disadvantaged communities. Its dynamic gallery space displays contemporary works by upcoming and established South African artists. Attached to the gallery is the bustling outdoor Arts Cafe and an upmarket gift shop, the revenue of which provides financial support for the organization and 70 local craftspeople.

Durban Botanic Gardens

Durban Botanic Gardens was founded in 1849 as a testing site for potential commercial crops and today contains beautifully diverse vegetation and an arboretum displaying plants from Africa, Asia and the Americas. The orchids and cycad collection are impressive, but don't miss the award-winning Garden of the Senses or lush Sunken Garden. The gardens are an ideal place for a picnic or you can grab a coffee and snack at the lovely Tea Garden (10am-4pm Mon, 9am-4pm Tues-Sun), where all profits are donated to the KZN Anti-TB Association. Every Sunday the gardens are transformed into a live concert venue through the popular Music at the Lake, which features contemporary South African musicians and the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra. For the current lineup check online or call 031-202-5819.

City Center & Beachfront

City Hall

City Hall is a 1910 example of Edwardian neo-Baroque architecture in the heart of the city center. The grandiose structure is home to the Durban Art Gallery, the Natural Science Museum and the municipal library.

Durban Art Gallery

Durban Art Gallery has dynamic exhibits housed under beautifully vaulted ceilings. An array of historical KwaZulu-Natal artifacts are intermixed with contemporary works by local and internationally renowned artists. Temporary exhibits often focus on social issues and promote art and culture that reflect the country's diverse people and places. Guided tours are available upon request.

Natural Science Museum

Natural Science Museum has an extensive collection of stuffed animals, birds and insects representing the many species that once inhabited or still inhabit southern Africa. A life-sized replica of a Tyrannosaurus Rex coupled with multimedia exhibits that emphasize conservation and biodiversity make it great for kids.

KwaMuhle Museum

KwaMuhle Museum offers a glimpse into Durban's turbulent past. Set in the former offices of the Native Administration Department, it was from within these walls that the infamous "Durban System" of urban racial segregation was enforced, laying the foundations for the future apartheid policies that overtook the country. Poignant photo exhibits depict the city's development, life in the surrounding townships, and the Cato Manor riots, and pay tribute to the city's influential leaders who struggled for equal rights. Temporary exhibits highlight international human rights movements and their intersections with South Africa's experience.

Old Courthouse Museum

Old Courthouse Museum, also known as the Local History Museum, is one of the city center's oldest buildings. Today it displays relics from Durban's 1920 Art Deco era, as well as a three-dimensional exhibit that lets you walk though a model house and apothecary from Durban's bygone days. There is also an impressive tribute to Kasturba Gandhi, the wife of Mahatma Gandhi, which recognizes her contribution and struggle for equal rights alongside, and often independent of, her husband.

Port Natal Maritime Museum

Port Natal Maritime Museum covers the maritime history of the busiest shipping port in the country. In addition to weather and navigational equipment there are a number of small boats and three large retired ships that are open for exploring. They include an old coal fired engine from the early 1900s, a steam tugboat and a navy minesweeper.

Juma Masjid Mosque

Juma Masjid Mosque is the largest mosque in the Southern Hemisphere. The mosque is adorned with original marble, chandeliers and crown molding from 1895. More than 6,000 people come to worship here every day, and visitors are welcome to enter the mosque with a guide from the IPCI Information Center across Queen St/Denis Hurly St (S 29 51.391 E 031 00.957).

There should always be a guide on hand during the mosque's visiting hours so there's no need to call ahead. Guides are also generally very knowledgeable about the history of the Indian and Muslim people in Durban and willing to describe the broad tenets of Islam for those interested. Women and men must cover their legs and remove their shoes before entering the mosque.

Big Rush Swing

Adrenaline junkies will get a kick out of the where you can jump from the arch, 106 meters above the ground, and swing above the sports field.

Sugar Terminal

Sugar Terminal is one of the largest sugar silo complexes in the world. The terminal is capable of holding more that 500,000 tons of sugar and can process 800 tons per hour. Sugar is loaded from the silos directly to cargo ships and transported around the world. The tour of the facility covers the production and refinement of sugar and the vast supply chain system. No cameras are allowed on the tour.

North & West Durban

Umgeni River Bird Park

Umgeni River Bird Park will thrill bird lovers and kids, alike. The park is set in the lush forest along the Umgeni River. Bird shows, which feature endangered species such as the Wattled Crane in free flight, are held daily at 11am and 2pm (weather permitting).

Temple of Understanding

Temple of Understanding is said to be the largest Hare Krishna temple in all of Africa. The temple was built in 1969 in the shape of a lotus and is ornamented with ornate statues and gold-tinted windows. The tranquil music from a solitary musician and the steady flow of followers make for an unforgettable experience worth sitting down and soaking in. If you are hungry, head downstairs for some vegetarian cuisine at their cafeteria-style restaurant.

Barea, Morningside & Around

Taco Zulu

Taco Zulu is two floors of Mexican goodness, with enough high-octane margaritas and succulent Mexican fare to let you imagine for a minute that you are in central Mexico. The only thing missing here is that Latin laissez-faire - the Florida Road bar scene dominates both floors of Taco Zulu most nights of the week, so be sure to get here early enough to score a table.


Hakuna Matata Charters

Hakuna Matata Charters offers hour-long public cruises that take you beyond the harbor and onto the open sea. The best way to enjoy the cruise is to bring a picnic. Private charters can also be arranged for a maximum of 50 people.

uShaka Marine World

uShaka Marine World is a theme park and aquarium with varied attractions best for families. Sea World has fish and dolphin tanks, a penguin rookery, a shark dive tank (R150) and snorkeling (adult R160, child R105 for full day) among the reefs of a manmade lagoon. Wet n' Wild has pools, slides and a river for tubing. The park also has a collection of restaurants and a "phantom ship" where guests can dine among the remains of a 1920s shipwreck and watch sharks swim through a full-length aquarium window. The park is right next to the beach (free), where you can kayak and play volleyball.

Ocean Ventures

Ocean Ventures is located on the beachfront promenade of uShaka Marine World and offers a variety of water-based activities including private catamaran chartering, a whale watching cruise, kayak lessons and rental, and surfing lessons and rental.

Calypso Dive Center

Calypso Dive Center offers scuba diving lessons, certification, night diving and trips to shipwrecks, caves and offshore reefs. Beginners and certified divers can also suit up and dive in the uShaka Ocean Aquarium.

Sun Coast Casino

Sun Coast Casino brings gambling and glitz to the beachfront. The huge neon-lit resort and casino invokes Vegas and provides 26 hectares of entertainment, food and drinking on Durban's "Golden Mile." It has over 1000 slot machines, 50 gambling tables, eight cinemas and a nightclub.

The Royal Durban Golf Club

The Royal Durban Golf Club was built more than 100 years ago within the Greyville Horse Track. This 18-hole par 73 championship course is fairly flat, but conveniently located only a few minutes from the city center.

Horseback Beach Adventures

Horseback Beach Adventures offers leisurely horseback rides along the beach and through the bush. Rides can be extended to include a stop for refreshments or to take your horse swimming. No horseback riding experience is required.

Wave House

Wave House is an amusement park inside of the Gateway Theatre of Shopping where you can surf artificial waves, scale an eight-story rock climbing wall or skateboard in the largest skate park in the country.


Tekweni Ecotours

Tekweni Ecotours offers city tours that cover a number of city attractions as well as the history of the various groups of people who have settled in the area. Zulu village tours take you through the Valley of a Thousand Hills, where you will learn about Zulu history and can even spend the night in a traditional hut in one of the local Zulu villages. Tours include pickup and drop off from your accommodation in Durban and a portion of the fee of community tours go to the Community Development Trust.

Rickshaw Bus

Rickshaw Bus is a three-hour tour through the city on an open-top double-decker bus. Tours start at 9am and 1pm from Rickshaw Bus Kiosk next to Metro Police, behind Garden Court Marine Parade and end at the same location.

Victoria Street Market

Victoria Street Market is a popular Indian shopping center crammed with hundreds of individual stalls selling everything you can imagine, from food and jewelry to curios and cell phones.

Bead Market

Bead Market is a bustling and busy local market located right behind the Victoria St market on Friday mornings. Colorful beads, jewelry and crafts are strewn out on the ground as Zulu women trade their wares and sell their work for nearly half the price of what you would pay elsewhere. Come early as it can get crowded and things start to break down around noon.

Gateway Theatre of Shopping

Gateway Theatre of Shopping is a mega entertainment and shopping complex with nearly 400 stores. There is also a rock climbing wall, cinemas, a theatre and art gallery, restaurants and a small but tubular water park where you can surf artificial waves.

Musgrave Centre

Musgrave Centre has a good selection of clothing and department stores and a number of restaurants and banks, but it less exciting than some of the other shopping arenas.

Because Durban is so large, your experience in the city will be greatly defined by where you choose to crash. The beachfront is stacked with high-rise hotels, which offer little character but direct access to Durban's beaches. For a different beach vibe head to The Bluff, a slightly more suburban beach that has a number of guesthouses with ocean views. The city center is a convenient jumping-off point for sightseeing across Durban, but it's a dead zone at night and both locals and tourists have cautioned about safety issues after dark. The popular Florida Road in Morningside has a handful of party-hard backpackers and high end accommodation. Hostels, B&Bs and guesthouses are scattered throughout the rest of the Berea area and north Durban. For more sleeping options in town, check out


10 Woodlands Road B&B

10 Woodlands Road B&B is a clean and quiet two-house B&B with two swimming pools and modern, sleek accommodations. The rooms are on the smaller side, but there are two self-catering rooms with adjoining kitchens. Host Ursula and her three small dogs will make you feel right at home. For a balcony, ask for the upstairs rooms.

Barea, Morningside & Around


Nomads Backpackers

Nomads Backpackers is one of Durban's oldest backpackers and is still a favorite. The owner, Leigh, started the business out of her former home and has grown it to a hostel with full amenities. There is a large hangout area and lawn, a swimming pool, pool table and full restaurant and bar. Reception is open 24 hours and staff is more than willing to help set you up with information about area activities.

Hippo Hide Lodge & Backpackers

Hippo Hide Lodge & Backpackers channels the tropics with a faux-stone pool and small cabins dotted around the property. Staffers and guests are equally jovial to one another and the honesty beer bar and a braai area seems to keep everyone busy, but outside entertainment options are slim. There is only one dorm, which holds 11 people and has its own kitchen.

Surf'n Dreams

Surf'n Dreams

Surf 'n Dreams is a well-kept backpackers run by a younger couple who are keyed into the Durban scene. It has a comfortable lounge area and a proper bar overlooking the swimming pool. It is only 2 km from the beach and is very popular with visiting surfers, and with those who just want to cruise the restaurants and bars on Florida Road.

Gibela Backpackers Lodge

Gibela Backpackers Lodge is a smart, clean and non-smoking backpackers that caters to a more sophisticated crowd. Rooms are small but tidy, and there is a bohemian patio in the back. Conveniently located within walking distance to the action on Florida Road, it's an excellent budget option if you are looking for something quiet. Reception closes promptly at 9pm.


La Bordello

La Bordello is a Moroccan-themed boutique hotel with seven rooms. The bright red and yellow walls, decadent chandeliers, and large soaking tubs will make you want to stay in and chill all day.

Napier House

Napier House is a pleasant, family-run, 4-star B&B with five bedrooms surrounding a small courtyard pool and lounge area. Hosts André and Sherryn provide great service and are knowledgeable about the city and surrounding area.

Browns B&B

Browns B&B has four large chic apartment-style suites with full kitchens and large bathrooms with a bath and shower. It tends to attract the corporate crowd looking for an alternative to a large hotel chain and travelers looking for a bit more privacy.



Quarters has a prime location within walking distance from many good restaurants and bars on Florida Road. The hotel's dark wood and Victorian furnishings are elegant and masculine. Eat with the regulars at the hotel's upmarket restaurant, The Quarter's Brasserie.

Essenwood House

Essenwood House has seven private rooms in a beautiful guesthouse that caters to a more mature clientele. Rooms are well appointed with excellent attention to detail and have wonderfully spacious bathrooms. Most rooms have small verandas overlooking the well-manicured tropical grounds and a city view in the distance, but Room 3 has its own private deck.

City Center & Beachfront


Happy Hippo

Happy Hippo is a laid-back warehouse loft with private rooms and 4 to 5-person shared dorm rooms built around a large communal open space. There is not a whole lot of nightlife within walking distance, but it's a five-minute walk to the beach, and the fully stocked rooftop bar has a great view of the industrial city center.


Durban Manor

Durban Manor is like stepping back in time in a grandiose Edwardian structure building whose history spans the past 100 years. The hotel offers spacious rooms, some modern amenities, a restaurant and pub - all surrounded by a garden, with unobstructed views of the harbor, and conveniently located in the city center.


Belaire has sleek rooms, each complete with a black leather love seat, flat screen TV, and small kitchen. All rooms have sea views and are just a stone's throw from the beach. Breakfast is served downstairs in the hip little Cafe Jiran.


Blue Waters Hotel

Blue Waters Hotel is a legendary beachfront high-rise with an aquatic theme permeating the building from the ground floor up. The rooms are small but modern, with satin drapes that open onto balconies with ocean views. The second floor restaurant and cocktail lounge are popular among guests and visitors alike.

The Royal Hotel

The Royal Hotel is historically Durban's finest hotel just opposite City Hall. However, some bad reviews and the rise in crime in the city center have reduced the hotel's popularity. But the high-rise still offers some of the best views of the bay and the price to stay in this Durban landmark has never been better. There is a swimming pool on the roof, a spa and sauna and two quality restaurants in the building. Unfortunately for smokers, smoking rooms are on the lower floors and do not have a view. Non-smokers should aim for the highest floor possible and ask for a bay-facing room.

North Durban

Smith's Cottage

Smith's Cottage is run out of the family home of Pat and Keith, a hospitable British couple who will go out of their way to make your stay pleasant, whether it's setting you up with take out menus or dropping you off at the beach. The large backyard has a swimming pool and braai area surrounded by a couple of private cabins, a two-bedroom flat and a spacious dorm room with its own kitchen. The no pressure atmosphere makes it easy to stay here a week or more.

Endless Horizons Boutique Hotel

Endless Horizons Boutique Hotel is an airy and stylish guesthouse accented with rich colors and Asian décor. Located away from the bustling downtown, it offers sweeping panoramic views of the Durban coastline from its deck and infinity pool. Deluxe rooms all have private balconies.

The Bluff

Agape Backpackers

Agape Backpackers is run by a longtime surfer. The handful of quaint air-conditioned shacks surround a small swimming pool and a chill hangout area with table tennis, a pool table and darts. The rooms are surprisingly high quality for the price and are just up the hill from the ocean.

Ansteys Backpackers

Ansteys Backpackers is the place to head if you're looking for a cheap place to crash so you can surf and party. The backpackers, just 100 meters from the beach, rents out surf gear and can provide lessons. The majority of the accommodation is in tightly packed musty shacks but that won't be much of a concern after a day of riding the waves and an evening of drinking Black Label.

Netcoral Guesthouse

Netcoral Guesthouse is an exquisite beachfront property perched atop the bluffs. There are four light-filled rooms that have unobstructed sea views and two rooms are pool-facing, but all guests will appreciate the private beach access.

Barea, Morningside & Around

Fusion Café

Fusion Café has only 10 tables and absolutely impeccable service. The restaurant is staffed by students of The Fusion Cooking School and the meals they cook are a fusion of cutting-edge culinary techniques and fare from around the world, for example, tender steak cooked for four hours in a dishwasher and ice cream made tableside over boiling nitrogen.

Corner Café

Corner Café is an eco-friendly, funky café and eatery that serves exceptionally fresh food and the best coffee in town. All their produce is bought direct from farmers and any leftovers are fed to their worm farm in back. No fuss yet sleek décor and outdoor dining makes a perfect setting for breakfast or a light lunch.

Taste of India

Taste of India is a popular local haunt that offers traditional Indian cuisine on a covered outdoor patio. Try its famed bunny chow. It is a great value for your money and a good starting point if you plan to explore the bars and clubs on Florida Road.


Spice is one of the few restaurants in town you where you can dine at the same establishment as the likes of Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, and John Kerry. Well known for its traditional curries, Spice's food is excellent and also includes a wide selection of salads and options from the grill. In addition to its standard menu, it has both a vegetarian supplement and a version available in Braille.

Caffe al Bacio

Caffe al Bacio is an Italian café-style restaurant on Florida Road serving all-day breakfast, light meals including pasta, pizza, burgers and freshly baked pastries.

La Bella

La Bella is quality Italian food without fuss or high prices. The vibe is fun and casual with excellent service and tasty dishes. Try the focaccia starter - it's crisp, light and delicious. Sunday and Monday night is a steal with pizza and pasta for just R35.

City Center & Beachfront

Little Gujarat

Little Gujarat has delicious authentic and ridiculously cheap Indian fare. Located in the heart of the Indian district downtown, this is the real deal. It's a purely vegetarian restaurant that serves a mean veggie bunny chow for just R10. It should be noted that there are two Little Gujarats.

Little Gujarat 2

The second is by the same owner and stays open later. However, though still great food for a good price, it does not beat the original.

New Cafe Fish

New Cafe Fish has floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Durban marina and the city skyline. Its wide selection of seafood is delicately prepared and the upstairs bar is popular with locals and yacht-goers alike.


Moyo is a large African themed restaurant within the uShaka Marine World complex that has a beachside bar overlooking the pier and ocean. The menu offers a wide selection of food that includes Moroccan tagine and a number of authentic regional specialties from South Africa such as Hermanus shrimp and Oudtshoorn ostrich.

Cargohold Restaurant

Cargohold Restaurant offers fine seafood aboard a large ghost ship in the middle of the uShaka Marine World. While the set is a bit hokey for fine dining, the giant aquarium wall that allows guests to watch sharks circle is worth dropping in for a meal.

West Durban

Olive & Oil

Olive & Oil is a pretty and comfortable Mediterranean restaurant with delicious fare that will make you wish it was your neighborhood haunt. This place attracts a diverse crowd of all ages that pile in to enjoy the brilliant and fresh combinations of classic Italian ingredients.

Yossi's Café

Yossi's Café was the first to put the up-and-coming gourmet strip of Davenport Road on the map with its impeccably flavored North African cuisine. The creatively titled and spiced Moroccan dishes are as much as a delight to look at as they are to devour.

Hemingway's Bistro

Hemingway's Bistro serves up wholesome, straightforward and polished classics that Papa himself would be bound to enjoy. He'd also love the half price cocktails between 4pm and 6pm Monday through Saturday.

Taco Zulu

Taco Zulu is part Mexican restaurant, part club. It mixes pop and house for a young, hip crowd and is one of the places to be seen sipping cocktails on Florida Road.

Booty Bar

Booty Bar is not the classiest establishment on Florida Road, but still draws a decent crowd on the weekends with cocktail waitresses in short shorts who occasionally dance to Top 40 hits for the patrons' entertainment.

Casa Nostra

Casa Nostra is a below ground dance club that is popular with students on Friday and gets packed on Saturday. It occasionally hosts foam parties and other special events and a strict dress code is enforced.


Czar has been recently redecorated and re-launched as a chic nightspot with an outdoor terrace restaurant. The opulent two-story club is decked out with mirrors and stuffed leather couches and attracts Durban's stilettoed socialites. It also hosts standup comedy shows during the week, check its site for the current schedule.

Bean Bag Bohemia

Bean Bag Bohemia is an artsy café and bar, best for a cocktail with friends or for meeting a few of Durban's hipsters. The offbeat decor and eclectic crowd are a mellow alternative to the party on Florida Road.

Oceans Eleven Cafe

Oceans Eleven Cafe is a bar, restaurant and lounge located right on the harbor that presents good local jazz. Friday and Saturday feature "Jazz Sundowners" with cocktails and live music starting around 4pm and continuing into the night.

Joe Cool's

Joe Cool's is a low-key spot for an afternoon beachside cocktail or light meal on the weekdays. But on Friday and Sunday nights this place is one of Durban's hottest night spots where partygoers are egged on to excess when the bartenders proffer 2-liter cocktails and wheelbarrows full of beer with a 50 bottle minimum.

Rainbow Restaurant & Jazz Club

Rainbow Restaurant & Jazz Club is Durban's oldest jazz venue and started in the early '80s as the first place for black South Africans to eat and drink in a "white" zone. It became a hot spot for musicians and as a meeting place for anti-apartheid activists. The club is located about 20 km west of Durban's city center in the Pinetown suburb. To get there, take the N3 west of Durban for about 14 km to the M13 exit. Continue on the M13 for 5 km to the M1 exit. Take a right from the exit and continue 500 m, turn right onto Anderson Rd, take the first left on Stanfield Ln and the club is a half block down on your left.


Tickets for most entertainment events, including sports, can be purchased through Computicket.

Live Music

Music at the Lake

Music at the Lake features live music from popular South African artists including the likes of Just Jinger, Mango Groove, and the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra at the beautiful Botanic Gardens. Gates usually open at 12:30pm and the show usually starts at 2:30pm, but check online or call for updated listings. Purchase tickets before the day of the event for a discount.

KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra

KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra has a highly regarded World Symphony Series with winter, spring and summer programs at Durban City Hall.


Playhouse Theatre

Playhouse Theatre is a publically funded theater run by the Performing Arts Council and is located in the city center in a grand Tudor Revival style building from the early 1900s. Bookings for live theater, musicals and dance performances can be done at its box office or through Computicket.

Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre

Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre hosts a wide variety of shows from musicals to comedy put on by both professional traveling performers and university student productions. Tickets can be purchased one hour before the show at the box office or via Computicket.

The Barnyard Theatre

The Barnyard Theatre is an informal 430 seat "barnyard" style venue that hosts musical performances for a month at a time. The shows are primarily musical revues with a full band and are suitable for all ages. Check online or call to see what is playing. The theatre opens at 6:30pm from Tuesday to Saturday with shows starting at 10pm. On Sundays the theatre opens at 12:30pm with shows starting at 2pm. Guests are welcome to bring their own food, but can also buy food and drinks inside.


Workshop Cinema

Workshop Cinema has inexpensive movies on six screens.


Ster-Kinekor has a number of screens as well as its more independent Cinema Nouveau, which is dedicated to art films.


Moses Mabhida Stadium

Moses Mabhida Stadium is a newly built multipurpose stadium that hosts both cricket and football.

Kings Park Stadium/ABSA Stadium

Kings Park Stadium/ABSA Stadium is just north of the new Moses Mabhida Stadium and is home to the Sharks rugby team.

Kingsmead Cricket Ground/Sahara Stadium

Kingsmead Cricket Ground/Sahara Stadium is located downtown and is home to the Nashua Dolphins cricket team.

Greyville Racecourse

Greyville Racecourse surrounds the Royal Durban Golf Club and has races June through August. The Vodacom Durban July, which has been held on the first Saturday of July since 1897, is the biggest race of the year.