South African Durban has to be one of the continent’s most appealing cities, especially after the 2010 World Cup breathed new life into the area by revamping the waterfront; the splendid Moses Mabhida Stadium remains one of Durban’s primary attractions to-date. Durban moves to the beat of gqom, its own home-grown music genre, which is slowly making its way onto global charts from South Africa's sunny, tropical melting pot of eclectic cultural influences.
Third in population to only Cape Town and Johannesburg, Durban (or Durbs, as the city is often casually referred to) is known for its mix of African, colonial European and Indian influences. The local Indian community outnumbers any other outside of India, to which the neighbourhoods of Phoenix, Chatsworth and Tongaat with their Indian eateries and shops serve as testament. The northern suburbs are known as the refined home of resort hotels and fine dining restaurants, Umlazi and KwaMashu are African-dominated, while the Durban downtown brings bits of them all together forging a heterogeneous representation of Africa itself. With first-class beaches stretching all along Durban’s coastline, it is, perhaps, little surprise that much of local recreation centers around water sports – surfing in particular. Places like South Beach and New Pier see the highest concentration of surfers, although nearly anywhere along the Golden Mile (as well as a few beaches both north and south of the central area) delivers good waves, especially so in February, the surfing high season. Durban also boasts thriving nightlife and cultural scenes – places like the BAT Center strive to support local creatives and provide a platform for them to showcase artistic work, and evenings see local bars fill up with buzzing guests, who later head on to Durban’s gqom-playing clubs to dance to the genre’s infectious rhythms late into the night.Read More