Durban Tourism

The history of this now magnificent city is controversial. Once upon a time, Durban enforced the harshest apartheid laws on it’s mixed population, keeping the races strictly segregated. The British, who at the time called it Port Natal, founded it. They brought in the original Indian sugar cane plantation workers as indentured servants, creating what has now become the highest concentration of Indians outside of Asia. 

Once the Apartheid era was over however, Durban quickly revamped it’s image to become the very poster child for secularity and progressive thinking. The city now unabashedly celebrates its mixed cultural heritage. 

Apart from the magnificent Marine World, there isn’t much to do in the city limits. Durban’s main attractions are the lovely beaches kissing the Indian Ocean, around which most of the city’s entertainment and hangout spots are based. Outside the city though, the wonders of South Africa and it’s Zulu heritage come into play. Be sure to check out the Valley of a Thousand Hills.

Essential travel information and Durban tips for your visit

  • Tip 10% of your restaurant bill.
  • Keep your valuables safe in a locker somewhere
  • Smart casual wear is almost universally accepted.
  • Ask permission before you photograph someone.
  • Don’t wear ostentatious items in public,
  • Don’t use the words “negro” or “blacks”
  • Do not call Afrikaaners dutchment

The best tours and activities in the city, guided by experts to give you a local insight to the best of Durban

  • Know the pollution level of Durban before you plan your visit.

    • Air Pollution 41.46 (Moderate)
    • Water Pollution 55.77 (Moderate)
    • Noise and Light Pollution 41.45 (Moderate)
    • Unattended dirt and garbage 62.82 (High)
    • Drinking Water Pollution and Inaccessibility 26.32 (Low)
    • Dissatisfaction with Garbage Disposal 45.51 (Moderate)
    • Dissatisfaction to Spend Time in the City 42.31 (Moderate)
    • Dissatisfaction with Green zones and parks 47.22 (Moderate)
  • How safe is Durban for tourists? Understand risks and safety concerns that can hamper your travel experience in Durban.

    • Burglary and Theft 82.98 (Very High)
    • Mugging and Robbery 79.71 (High)
    • Assault and Armed Robbery 86.89 (Very High)
    • Corruption and Bribery 91.42 (Very High)
    • Car Stealing 78.96 (High)
    • Robbery of Car belongings 77.16 (High)
    • Attacks 76.77 (High)
    • Drug offense 71.65 (High)
    • Safety walking alone during daylight 34.79 (Low)
    • Safety walking alone during night 8.1 (Very Low)
    • Insulting and offensive behaviour 61.05 (High)
    • Hate crime due to Racism, Religion, ethnic origin 65.56 (High)
    • Property crimes and Vandalism 81.16 (Very High)
  • Quality of Life Index of Durban is 142.07 (High)

    • Safety Index 20.36 (Low)
    • Climate Index 95.61 (Very High)
    • Pollution Index 50.76 (Moderate)
    • Traffic Commute Time Index 33.93 (Low)
    • Cost of Living Index 38.81 (Very Low)
    • Health Care Index 52.77 (Moderate)
    • Property Price to Income Ratio 3.08 (Very Low)
    • Purchasing Power Index 91.7 (Moderate)
    • Indices such as Quality of life, Climate & Healthcare index are good to be high whereas others such as Property price, Traffic & Cost of living Index are good to be low.

  • Here's how much it will cost to shop in Durban

    • Local calling per minute on Prepaid mobile 0.13 USD
    • International Movie per seat 5.58 USD
    • Summer clothing in a chain store 34.36 USD
    • Pair of Basic Nike Shoes 79.15 USD
    • Pair of Basic Levis Jeans 50.2 USD

*Stats and figures mentioned are crowd-sourced ‚Äčand subjected to change without notice.

* Some of the data on this page is powered by Numbeo