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Know Before You Go
- Go on a walking tour. You can choose from two different routes that leave at 9:30 a.m. every day. The walk lasts for three hours and costs ZAR 100 per person.
- The tap water in South Africa is drinkable. Save money by bringing a reusable water bottle and topping it up as you explore the city.
- Don't feed the monkeys. Not only will you soon attract a larger group, but it becomes a nuisance for other travellers and the locals.
- If you want to experience Durban's nightlife, visit Florida Road. Whether you're looking for a relaxing night cap or dancing until the sun comes up, there's something for everyone.
- Be careful when at the beach. The strong northeasterly winds are known to blow jellyfish onto the sand. If you do get stung, call for a lifeguard who will be able to give you medical attention.
- Durban has the largest Indian population outside of India, so make sure you try popular cultural dishes like Bunny Chow. This dish is unique to Durban and is a quarter loaf of bread hollowed out and filled with delicious curry.
Getting Around Durban
- The best way to get around the city is with a car. Make sure you have an updated Google Maps or GPS device as some street names have changed over the years.
- An affordable way to get to a destination is with the city's buses. The Durban People Mover runs every 15 minutes and stops at major attractions along the way. It costs ZAR 6 per ride or ZAR 17 for a full day pass.
- To get between the suburbs and the city, your best option is to take the Mynah buses. The buses leave every 30 minutes from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Workshop terminus. The bus stops at various points of interest including Ushaka Marine World and North Beach.
- If you want an inexpensive way to see Durban's main attractions, book a spot on the Ricksha Bus. It runs from the North Beach Tourism Office every day with the first bus leaving at 9:00 a.m. The tour takes 3 hours to complete, comes with commentary and costs ZAR 100 per person.
- For travellers not comfortable with driving around the city, a taxi is one of the fastest ways to get around. However, you can't hail one from the street. You'll either need to call ahead or use a ride-sharing app like Uber.
- If you're feeling adventurous, you can take one of the minibus taxis. These shared taxis stick to strict routes and aren't the best option for tourists who don't know the area. But if you want to save money and time, they are one the cheapest and fastest options.
When is The Best Time to Visit Durban?
If you are on a tight budget, the best time to visit Durban is during the low season. From April to June and August to October, prices for hotels, flights and tours drop by almost 40%.
June to August is the city's winter months, but temperatures remain around 24°C. It's also dry season, meaning the humidity is low, and rainfall is rare. While the winter months form part of the low season, July is quite pricey thanks to the number of festivals that take place. The Durban International Film Festival and the Good Food and Wine Show attract domestic and international travellers to the city's shores, driving up hotel rates.
December to March is the most popular time to visit the city. It's school holidays for South Africans, and families from around the country descend upon the city. Temperatures reach an average of 30°C with high humidity, and there are frequent thunderstorms. If you are visiting during this time, book your accommodation and tours in advance to lock in lower prices and ensure availability.
If you want to avoid the crowds, visit the city between April to May and September to November. You'll have Durban's attractions all to yourself if you don't mind the occasional showers.
Airports in Durban
King Shaka International Airport
King Shaka is the primary airport for Durban and is 35 km from the city centre. It's a key airport for domestic flights in the country and is a hub for SA Express and a focus city for Kulula and British Airways. It's also won the prestigious "Best Airport in the World Handing Under 5 Million Passengers" award by Skytrax two years in a row.
Getting To and From King Shaka International Airport
Many shuttle bus companies operate from the airport. Most run from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. every day and cost ZAR 80 to get into Durban. Tickets are bought on board and buses run every 30 to 45 minutes.
Your other option is to take a taxi or request an Uber. Fares from the airport with a metered taxi cost over ZAR 400, and cabs are found outside the arrivals terminal. If you're on a budget, Uber's are cheaper, with rides costing around ZAR 300.
Car rental services are also available at the airport in the arrivals terminal.