Durban is about much more than having fun in the sun on its endless stretch of beaches and is worth taking the time to explore more fully. Without having to spend hours on the road, it is possible to gain a broad insight into the City of Durban and its place in the history of the country.
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Warwick Junction is the largest market of its kind in the country; with up to 460 000 people a day passing through this important transport and shopping area which consists of nine separate markets, each offering different items.
There are approximately 5 000 to 8 000 vendors in the area and if beads are what you’re looking for, this is the place to visit. The main markets are full of local vendors from coastal areas adjacent to Durban selling traditional Zulu beadwork items.
Berea Station Market, located near two rail stations, has vendors selling traditional Zulu items such as spears and shields, as well as modern clothing and technology items.
Food is an important part of the whole market area; the Bovine Head Market consists of vendors who cook and sell cows' heads, a traditional African delicacy while the Early Morning Market, perhaps the most recognised of all the markets, is the place to buy fresh produce, spices, and flowers.
Then there is Brook Street Market that is based on two levels with a food court upstairs and clothing and household goods on the lower level. There is also a Herb Market dealing in traditional African medicine dispensed by healers who diagnose customers according to their ailments and then recommend a herbal treatment.
Victoria Street Market was founded in 1910, and consists of 180 traders with individually-owned stores selling jewellery, spices, and traditional art.
The imposing KwaMuhle Museum at 130 Bram Fischer Road, Durban is the city’s only Apartheid Museum and is housed in the old Native Administration Building that issued ‘passes’ to African workers looking to work in Durban.
Moses Mabhida Stadium, 44 Isaiah Tshangase Road, Durban was built specifically for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, but is more than just a football stadium. The Sky Car (dependent on weather and wind) takes visitors up to the platform on the arch of the stadium for a panoramic view of the city.
Visitors can also do a Segway tour of the stadium, and for the truly brave there is the option to jump into the stadium on the Big Rush Big Swing.
As the oldest surviving botanic garden, the Durban Botanical Gardens remains a key contributor to plant conservation and education. It was established in 1849 and covers 15 hectares, curating a variety of cycads, palms, and orchids.
Conservation and education are also high on the list at uShaka Marine World, where visitors can see a wide range of marine life as well as have an opportunity to swim with the fishes. The precinct offers several restaurants as well.
The neo-Baroque Durban City Hall, Anton Lembede Street, Durban, was designed by Stanley Hudson and completed in 1910. It is also home to the Durban Art Gallery and the Natural History Museum that boasts a Dodo skeleton and genuine Egyptian mummy amongst it exhibits.
Just across the road from the Durban City Hall, is the 1909 St Paul's Church. The Gothic Revival Edwardian building was rebuilt after the original, which opened for service in 1853, and burnt down in 1906. It is worth the visit just to see the wooden ceiling and stained glass windows along with some of the early history of the city preserved in commemorative plaques on the walls.
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