Things to do in
Durban

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Our most recommended things to do in Durban

Durban: 30-Minute Harbor Boat Cruise

1. Durban: 30-Minute Harbor Boat Cruise

This tour will take you on an unforgettable trip around Durban. Durban Harbor is the biggest and busiest harbor in the southern hemisphere. The harbor tours are especially educational for kids, as the boat takes them to points of interest in Africa’s largest harbor and shows them the route through which ships enter the harbor, discharge cargo, and exit. The skipper will teach the passengers about the port and its operation. If the weather conditions are favourable, the boat may go further out from the shore. The skipper is in close contact with the passengers and will give you a comprehensive guided tour. The trip will either take you down the Maydon Wharf Channel or to the City and Cor Container terminal.

Durban: 1-Hour Boat Cruise from Wilson's Wharf

2. Durban: 1-Hour Boat Cruise from Wilson's Wharf

Spend a day touring Durban from a vantage point on the Indian Ocean. Check out the sights and look out for pods of dolphins along the route. Pass by enormous container and cruise ships at the port. See the beautiful beachfront from a new perspective out on the water, and Wilson's Wharf; a lovely hidden gem filled with restaurants and entertainment. Enjoy protection from the sun with a semi-covered boat so you can see the sights comfortably.

Durban: Canal Cruise

3. Durban: Canal Cruise

Marvel at the iconic Durban skyline from a unique perspective on a 30 minutes circular journey around Durban point canals. Relax aboard a luxury pontoon boat, which features comfortable luxury seating and a professional tour guide. Pass by Durban’s historic and impressive attractions from the comfort of your boat. Cruise and sail through the canals and take in a unique atmosphere. See historic, impressive, like uShaka and Ithala Trade Centre. Enjoy a relaxing way to do sightseeing in Durban and escape the traffic noise and congestion. Explore the open decks that allow you to feel the cooling river breeze and see the city from many points that offer perfect photo opportunities.

Durban: Boat-Based Whale and Dolphin Watching Experience

4. Durban: Boat-Based Whale and Dolphin Watching Experience

Take an exhilarating 2-hour cruise into the Indian Ocean and encounter one of the world's most magnificent mammals, the humpback whale, at close range. Admire the inquisitive whales in their natural habitat, and learn about them and other local marine life with a qualified whale tour guide. After greeting your guide at the meeting point, board your 11-passenger semi-rigid inflatable boat, registered with SAMSA as a suitable Whale and Dolphin Watching boat since 2012 and holder of one of the limited whale watching permits in Durban. Head out onto the deep blue ocean toward the Mozambican current, and enjoy the views from your front-facing seats with the skipper/crew behind you. From June to November every year, look out for the spectacular breaches of the whales above the water as they travel on their migratory route from the Southern Oceans to warmer tropical waters for mating and giving birth, and on their return toward the nutrient-rich waters of Antarctica. If you're lucky, delight in the mesmerizing experience of a mother feeding or playing with her calf, or older calves jumping and teasing one another, seeking the attention of the adults. As well as whales, this tour offers the opportunity to watch dolphins frolicking in the swells and, on occasion, see turtles come out of the awesome clear depths to feed on what's on the surface. Marvel at the local wildlife big and small, from birds and fish to the enormous humpback whales themselves, which reach approximately 15 meters (49 feet) in length and weigh about 30 tons. Occasionally there are orca, manta rays, and killer sharks too.

Durban: Gondola Ride

5. Durban: Gondola Ride

Board an African gondola at the uShaka Marine World and go on a magical ride during the day or at night.  Sit back while enjoying your trip down the scenic canal and back. Relax on the gondola and marvel at the striking surroundings.  Enjoy the picturesque canal and take in the stunning views. Pass by beautiful bridges and admire the unique atmosphere of this activity.

Durban: Waterfront Canals Pedal Boat Rental

6. Durban: Waterfront Canals Pedal Boat Rental

Rent a pedal boat and discover the Durban Point Waterfront Canals, a protected marine reserve with over 30 species of fish.  Sit back and relax as you make your way through the calm waters of the canals, keeping an eye out for the marine life below. With 11 pedal boats available, you can also enjoy this activity as a group. Come with family or friends and enjoy a fun outdoor activity in Durban. The pedal boats are easy to operate, and each boat can accommodate two adults and two children, so bring your kids along for a fun family outing. 

St Lucia: iSimangaliso Wetland Park: Full-Day/Half-Day Tour

7. St Lucia: iSimangaliso Wetland Park: Full-Day/Half-Day Tour

Enjoy an open game drive safari in South Africa's first UNESCO World Heritage Site. Start with pickup from St Lucia or Durban, and after a brief introduction, enter the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. While on safari, enjoy the spectacular natural beauty of the park as you explore numerous loop roads, outcrops, and lookout points. With knowledgeable and experienced guides, discover an abundance of wildlife species in the park. Search for Africa's Big 5 game animals: lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and Cape buffalo. Spot other animals such as waterbuck, impala, wildebeest, zebra, warthog, reedbuck, chameleon, giraffe, and hyena. Enjoy a stop at Cape Vidal, a protected bay and beach area. Take some time for snorkeling or swimming in the waters surrounding this resort destination, and enjoy some lunch on site. See the highest vegetative dunes on the African continent and enjoy plenty of scenic photo opportunities throughout the day.

Drakensberg Kamberg Cave Art & Mandela Capture Site Day Tour

8. Drakensberg Kamberg Cave Art & Mandela Capture Site Day Tour

Your tour starts off with a visit to Pietermaritzburg, the capital of KwaZulu-Natal. There you will stop at Pietermaritzburg's City Hall, which claims to be the largest brick building in the southern hemisphere. Visit the Gandhi statue before heading towards the Drakensberg mountains. Your main stop is Kamberg Nature Reserve which forms part of the Maloti- Drakensberg Park World Heritage Site and is situated centrally in the foothills of the mountains. The reserve was proclaimed in 1951 and is 6,300 ha in extent. This reserve is particularly scenic, with many walks throughout the area. The natural landscape has many rock shelters, containing San rock paintings. These were created by the San people over a period of at least 4,000 years. The rock paintings are outstanding in quality and diversity representing the spiritual life of the San people who no longer live in the region. From there, head to the small town of Howick and visit its waterfall. Howick Falls is approximately 95m high and lies on the Umgeni River. The Zulu people called the falls KwaNogqaza, which means "Place of the Tall One".   We visit the Nelson Mandela Capture Site Statue and Apartheid Museum. The Nelson Mandela sculpture comprises of 50 steel column constructions – each between 6.5m and 9.5m tall – set into the Midlands landscape. The approach to the site leads you down a path towards the sculpture where, at 35 meters, a portrait of Nelson Mandela, looking west, comes into focus. The 50 linear vertical units, line up to create the illusion of a flat image. The museum is dedicated to Nelson Mandela’s life and his struggle against Apartheid.

From Durban: Sani Pass and Lesotho by 4WD Vehicle

9. From Durban: Sani Pass and Lesotho by 4WD Vehicle

Benefit from pickup at a location of your choice in Durban, and then make your way to the historic city of Pietermaritzburg, capital of KwaZulu Natal. Take a short sightseeing tour to see the statue of Mahatma Gandhi by City Hall. Then, venture into the Drakensberg Mountains on the amazing Sani Pass into Lesotho. Travel along the 33-kilometer gravel road that straddles the sheer cliffs in a series of tight zig-zag curves. Marvel at the dramatic landscape as you head from the Sani Pass Hotel, 1,566 meters above sea level. Be amazed as your 4WD Land Rover navigates the narrow road across the border post with Lesotho. Get spectacular views of the rolling hills and endless sky. Reach the top of the Sani Pass, 3,240 meters above sea level. Enjoy a hot lunch at the highest pub in Africa, and then meet the native Basotho people in a local village to learn about their everyday lives. Make your way back down the mountain to cross the boarder back into South Africa.

Durban: Guided Walking Tour

10. Durban: Guided Walking Tour

The 4-hour tour begins with a pick-up at your hotel, and you’ll then embark on a scenic tour of Durban to see a variety of landmarks that highlight the city's diverse history and culture. On Victoria Street you’ll see traditional Zulu attire and traditional healers offering different kinds of umothi (Zulu medicines). This is a popular area for local residents to meet for shopping and lunch. After, your tour guide will show you around the exterior of the Moses Mabhida Stadium and explain its history, use and significance. You will be given time to go to the sky platform by an elevator called the Sky Car for an additional fee. The tour also includes a visit to uShaka Marine World’s Village Walk on the famous Golden Mile Beachfront on Durban’s or Tambo parade. There you will be given time to shop and have lunch. Visit the Kwa-Muhle Museum and learn about the history of apartheid in Durban. It also houses a very interesting HIV / Aids exhibition which educates the public on the South African HIV/ Aids situation. Relax at the Botanical Garden and listen to the lovely melodies of different species of birds. Admire the many varieties of South African flowers as well. Afterwards you’ll be taken on a drive to the Durban’s City Hall, Durban Harbour and Umgeni Hindu temple. This is where your tour ends, and you will be transferred back to your hotel.

Frequently asked questions about Durban

What top attractions are a must-see in Durban?

Which tours in Durban are taking additional COVID-19 precautions?

Planning Your Visit

  • South Africa can be dangerous. How safe am I here?

    As with all places, remain aware of your surroundings, but perhaps more so in South Africa, due its notoriously high crime rates. Suggested advice includes: locking car doors while you're driving, avoiding remote beaches alone, and avoid walking along quiet areas at night and in early mornings -- especially on your own. If you're leaving windows open in your hotel room, make sure there are burglar bars.

  • Weather

    South Africa is in a subtropical location in the Southern Hemisphere, and therefore the coldest days are in June to August, with virtually no rainfall. The east coast is on the Indian Ocean, which has a warm current and the west coast is on the Atlantic Ocean with a cold current. Summer temperatures on the Indian coast can reach up to 90 degrees with high humidity. December, January, and February are the wettest months, while March and April tend to be pleasant with temperatures averaging 80 degrees.

Good to know

  • Language
    Afrikaans and English
  • Currency
    South African Rand (ZAR)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+02:00)
  • Country Code
    +27
  • Best time to visit
    May through September is the best time to visit as its cooler and the dry season, when wildlife is more active and will provide best chances to see the famous African animals up-close.

Other Sightseeing Options in Durban

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What people are saying about Durban

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 609 reviews

Fantastic cruise and crew. I was really touched by the young man’s care and rapport with my mum. He has an amazing love which made me shed a tear. I shall definitely be back later this year . Thank you very much

It was the first time traveling but I enjoyed. I was also happy with safety precautions done by Safety Officer that was excellent. I'm looking forward to come with my kids

It’s was amazing, a beautiful end to our date night. Would highly recommend doing this

It was fun and nice the driver put the nice music for us and he was so friendly

Excellent tour from knowledgable guides who really knew the city.