I'll start with an honest opinion here: Durban is easily South Africa's best city by the sea! (Sorry Cape Town).

I'm not saying this because it's my home town and I'm completely biased, but because it genuinely is a wonderful city, and it's by the sea.

Durban has everything you could want from a destination or a hometown - It's big, modern, has pretty good infrastructure (by South African standards, at least), wonderful weather year-round, and a coastline that goes on for hundreds of miles.

Tidal pools along the coastline

If you're interested in finding out more about the specific highlights of Durban, such as uShaka Marine World & Gateway Mall, I've written on them in my Attractions section below.

Durban isn't just an attraction by itself though - it's also a portal to both the North Coast (if you're heading up to Umhlanga, St Lucia & Sodwana), and the South Coast (featuring locations such as Margate & Port Edward), all of which are popular holiday destinations.

Durban, the best coastal city in South Africa!

Our last visit to Durban was April 2022; kindly hosted by Valerie and family, we spent a great day at uShaka and later on the beach, after a wonderful lunch at Siggi's German restaurant. I wish we'd had an extra day or two at least, as one day is nowhere near enough to enjoy everything Durban has to offer.

First visit in 20 years, Val hasn't changed a bit!

While the above all seems super rosy, Durban has had it's share of conflict and tragedy in the recent past.

The riots of 2021 caused widespread chaos, not just in Durban but all through Kwa-Zulu Natal, resulting in food shortages and a complete breakdown in municipal order. Communities were left to fend for themselves, though in true South African style, this is exactly what they did!

Small communities came together to provide support and security for each other, reducing the impact of what could have been an even more catastropic series of events.

The tragedy of the 2022 floods must also be mentioned, the effects of which are still being felt as I write this. After record rainfall (Climate change, anyone?), floods and mudslides engulfed Durban and the surrounding areas.

Houses, apartment buildings, roads and bridges were swept away (or simply sank into the earth, in some cases), and hundreds have lost their lives.

We left Durban the day before the floods hit, and we count ourselves lucky not to have been affected, but thoughts go out to all those in Durban affected directly or indirectly by this disaster.


Durban Attractions

uShaka Marine World

Gateway Mall

Siggi's German Restaurant

Beaches - all of them!

Durban Funworld