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Welcome to Durban


Delightful Durban is the largest city of the vast and varied KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa. A coastal port with a more than equable sub-tropical climate and wide golden beaches washed by the warm Indian Ocean, Durban is a holidaymaker's paradise and gateway to the dozens of seaside resort towns of the coast to the south and north of the city. The 'Golden Mile' central beach area, flanked by numerous high-rise hotels, stretches for four miles (6km) and is fronted by promenades and entertainment facilities with many things to see and do, such as a skatepark, flea markets and colourful traditionally clad Zulu rickshaw pullers.

Although much of Durban is characterised by British colonial heritage and beautiful Art Deco architecture, the city is actually an exciting mix of cultures. There is a large Indian community, descendants of indentured labourers who came to work on the Natal sugar estates in the 1850s, and who provide the city with an intoxicating oriental flavour enhanced by their shrines, bazaars and tantalising curry restaurants. There are also the Zulu people, whose proud warrior ancestors inhabited the province before the coming of the European colonial powers. The heritage of the amaZulu is very evident in the region north of the Tugela River, known as Zululand, where the legendary King Shaka once ruled supreme and today is where most of KwaZulu-Natal's best game parks are to be found.

Durban is the gateway not only to the coastal beach resorts of the province, but also to the rolling hills and plains of the Natal Midlands and their backdrop: the majestic, jagged peaks of the Drakensberg Mountains, which border the province in the west and cradle the nearby mountain kingdom of Lesotho.

Information & Facts


Durban enjoys a subtropical climate, with very hot, humid summers and mild to warm winters. Rain is frequent during the summer months, but comes in the form of thunderstorms in the afternoons, so the sunny holiday weather is not badly affected. In winter temperatures are more comfortable but still warm enough for beach-going.

Eating Out

Eating out in Durban is a multicultural activity, with its large and diverse cultural communities each bringing their own distinctive flavour to the table.

Durban's Indian population, one of the largest outside of India, permeates its cuisine at nearly every level. Take-away curry restaurants abound on every corner, offering samoosas and Durban's own traditional food, the 'bunny chow': a hollowed-out loaf of bread filled with a hot helping of beef, mutton, chicken, prawn or bean curry. Thanks to the generous helpings of peri-peri chillies, the curries tend to be very spicy at most traditional restaurants; most waiters will be able to recommend dishes suited to more sensitive palates, though. If you find yourself battling with the spiciness, you can end your meal with a bowl of mild soji (semolina pudding) and cream. Iconic restaurant Silverani's in Berea is a great place for true Durban curries.

Because of the large Muslim population, many Indian restaurants follow Halaal guidelines. Vegetarian options tend to be somewhat lacking overall in Durban restaurants however, apart from vegetable curries.

Durban's strong and proud Zulu culture makes its own contributions to local cuisine, though you'll find it mostly in more rural areas. Traditional restaurants in the Valley of 1000 Hills and Eshowe offer hearty meals of amadumbi (Zulu potatoes), uphuthu or pap (hard maize porridge), mogodu (tripe), and more adventurous options like boiled chicken feet and sheep heads.

Restaurants tend to be clustered in residential districts like Glenwood's Helen Joseph Road, Morningside's Florida Road, or Durban North's Kensington Drive. There are cosmopolitan options to suit every taste, including Chinese, Italian, Portuguese, Greek, Mexican, Moroccan, Mediterranean fusion and sushi.

There is cheap food and fine dining for every budget when deciding where to eat in Durban, ranging from burger joints like Steers and Wimpy to the elegant Roma Revolving Restaurant, which offers a romantic atmosphere, decadent food, and spectacular views as it rotates on the 32nd floor of a South Beach skyscraper.

Most restaurants close their kitchens promptly at 10pm; however you'll find a few late-night dining options in the party districts like Florida Road and Suncoast Casino, and Chartwell Drive in Umhlanga. Pizza and pasta eatery Spiga d'Oro is popular with locals, staying open until 3am on weekends.

Tipping is always encouraged, as many waiters don't receive a wage. 10 percent is the standard minimum, going up to 15 percent for very good service. Most restaurants accept credit cards, but don't let it out of your sight as identity theft is a concern in South Africa.

Getting Around

Durban's public transport system can be described as ad hoc at best. The city's bus network, which services the city centre and surrounding suburbs, has fallen dramatically in quality in the last several years, resulting in an erratic schedule that may leave passengers stranded.

The mode of transportation used by most working-class Durbanites is the minibus taxi (or kombie), which are independently-operated vans that stop anywhere along their routes. These taxis are cheap and widespread but often cramped, and can be dangerous as the drivers largely ignore the rules of the road. Minibus taxis should only be used during the day and on busy routes, and travellers should not enter an empty minibus.

Durban has several reputable metered taxi companies, but these can be expensive for long journeys. It is always advisable to use a branded cab such as Zippy, Mozzie, or Eagle. You can negotiate a price upfront, or use the meter. Most cabs do not take any form of credit card, and tipping is customary.

There are many places to hire cars in Durban, however visitors should avoid driving in the central business district, as traffic during the day can be very congested and the streets considered unsafe at night. Doors should always be locked while driving as hijacking is a serious concern in South Africa, and purses and other valuables should not be left visible on seats.

Kids Attractions

KwaZulu-Natal has always been a popular destination for both local and international families to holiday in, so it has quite a few attractions that make Durban great for children.

The famous Golden Mile beachfront offers gentle waves for kids to splash around in, and wading pools for those too little to venture deep. The Fun World Beachfront Amusement Park has carnival rides and an arcade, including a gondola ride that gives you a great view of the city and the ocean, but it's best to go there only during the day. Minitown in North Beach is another way to get a bird's eye view of the city, with miniaturised versions of buildings and landmarks to wander through.

uShaka Marine World gives children an exciting educational experience in its massive aquarium, and you can let them let loose in the Wet 'n Wild Water Park with its eight waterslides. Be sure to pack sunscreen though, as the Durban sun can be brutal, especially in the summer months.

Gateway Theatre of Shopping in Umhlanga has much to offer for children of all ages, and ensures there's a lot to do in Durban for kids and teenagers, with a massive indoor climbing wall, a skate park designed by Tony Hawk, and the Flowrider man-made wave at the Wavehouse. It also boasts an IMAX theatre, ten-pin bowling, video arcade, indoor carnival rides, and go-kart racing.

For a relaxed afternoon picnic, the Durban Botanic Gardens are a scenic oasis in the middle of town, or you can visit the manicured Mitchell Park, which has a restaurant and tea garden, a small and slightly dilapidated zoo, and a playground that features a special area specifically designed for handicapped children.

South Africa has 11 official languages, including Afrikaans, English, Xhosa, Zulu and Sotho. English is widely spoken.

South Africa's currency is the Rand (ZAR), which is divided into 100 cents. Money can be exchanged at banks, bureaux de change and the larger hotels. ATMs are widely available (there is a daily limit for cash withdrawals) and major international credit cards are widely accepted, except in petrol stations where cash is required. Visitors should be vigilant when drawing cash from ATMs, as con artists are known to operate there. Travellers cheques and some foreign currencies are accepted at larger hotels and shops, but commission is charged, otherwise all commercial banks will exchange them.


Durban is primarily a holiday town, with its mind set firmly on the beach. That doesn't mean the fun stops when the sun goes down, but it lends Durban nightlife a relaxed atmosphere more focused on fun than glamour.

A good place to start is at a beach bar on Golden Mile, perhaps with a local beer at the neon-lit Joe Cools or gigantic strawberry daiquiri from the more African-themed Moyo at uShaka Marine World. Restaurants, bars, and pubs tend to be clustered in certain streets and neighbourhoods, so there are always alternatives if you aren't satisfied.

The most famous nightlife district in Durban is Florida Road in Morningside, which has a busy atmosphere every night of the week. It has a wide selection of restaurants, bars, pubs, and nightclubs to choose from, but due to municipal noise restrictions you won't find live music. The Davenport District of Glenwood is another cluster, offering a neighbourhood feel with small, independent restaurants and bars. Both areas have limited parking on the street, with car guards standing by for a tip of two to five rand. A bit further north, Umhlanga Rocks has its own main street in Chartwell Drive, with a pedestrian-friendly strip of restaurants, pubs, and bars spilling out onto the pavement.

Durban has a burgeoning live music community, with great local bands in every genre, from rock and jazz to hip hop and electronica. Burn Nightclub in Stamfordhill is the destination for hard rock enthusiasts, whereas the Jazzy Rainbow offers a blend of jazz, hip hop, and live poetry. City Hall hosts concerts by the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra every Thursday night in season, and bigger concerts are held at the International Convention Centre.

For clubbers, Durban has quite a few mainstream house venues, including Eighties Nightclub, The Clapham Grand, and Club Sasha. For alternative dance music, Origin hosts international deejays and packed parties every Friday and Saturday night. The Lounge in Stamfordhill is Durban's only major gay nightclub, and Cool Runnings offers a reggae-and-rasta poolhall with drum circles on Thursday nights.

Late-night entertainment doesn't have as many options in Durban, but the watering-hole for the city's creative crowd is Bean Bag Bohemia, with its massive cocktail menu and artistic atmosphere.

Most Durban clubs and bars will accept credit cards (except American Express). Travellers should take extra care when going home late at night, as drunk driving is a serious problem and hijackings are common in some areas. For comprehensive event listings, look in the Sunday Tribune's Sunday Mag Diary section.


Durban is home to several of the largest shopping malls in the southern hemisphere as well as a plethora of traditional markets, boutiques, craft fairs and independent stores, ensuring a wide variety of experiences for visitors looking for gifts, souvenirs, and mementos of their Durban holiday.

For those who crave a breadth of choice, the nearby coastal town of Umhlanga boasts the Gateway Theatre of Shopping, with over 420 stores offering everything from designer clothing and jewellery to furniture, electronics, music and books. It's also home to the Kizo Gallery, which specialises in local art. Gateway is a great family excursion as well, with dozens of restaurants, an IMAX movie theatre, a wavehouse, a skate park designed by Tony Hawk, and a new indoor funfair with go-karts and other rides.

The Pavilion, just inland in the suburb of Westville, is another popular Durban shopping destination. In addition to stores, it has a miniature golf course, movie theatres, skate ramp, and a great selection of restaurants.

The more adventurous shopper might head to the Victoria Street Market in Durban's central business district to catch the scent of herbs and spices and traditional muti (medicine) sold by traditional Zulu healers. You can bargain your way to a great deal on many handcrafted local items, including elephant hair bracelets, soapstone carvings, wooden drums, and tribal masks. Other distinctive Durban souvenirs include hand-woven baskets made of wire, colourful saris, traditional Zulu "shwe-shwe" fabric, and Indian spices. It's a must-see, but be careful not to show expensive cell phones, cameras, jewellery, or cash, and keep a watchful eye for pick-pockets.

Other markets to visit include the weekday Workshop market, which surrounds a local shopping centre in the central business district set inside an old train workshop; Essenwood Market, which offers fashion, art, music and food beneath the trees in a park in centrally-located Musgrave on Saturday mornings; and the hawkers at the beachfront, who offer many traditional Durban things to buy, including popular souvenirs like miniature Zulu shields and knobkerries, paintings, wire sculptures and Ndebele beaded jewellery.

Stores in Durban close early, at 5pm on weekdays, 6pm on Fridays, and 3pm on weekends, but major shopping centres tend to stay open longer in the evening, particularly on Saturdays and Sundays. While nearly all stores and shopping centres accept credit cards (Visa, but not American Express), markets and less formal traders will only take cash.


Durban's beautiful subtropical climate means the city enjoys a relaxed outdoor lifestyle that makes it a great destination to visit at any time of the year. Renovations for the FIFA World Cup in 2010 have given its tourist infrastructure a sparkling new finish, and ensure that there's always plenty to see and do in Durban.

The first place to start for Durban sightseeing is definitely the beach, with its famed Golden Mile stretching four miles (6km) from the neon-lit Suncoast Casino in the north to uShaka Marine World in the south. The Golden Mile is famous for its mild water temperatures, great surfing, and beautiful setting. There are plenty of beach bars and restaurants to choose from when enjoying a sundowner cocktail or local beer. The beaches are patrolled by colourful Zulu rickshaw pullers, who will give you the royal treatment and a ride over the short distance of the promenade.

uShaka Marine World in South Beach is Durban's newest major tourist attraction, with massive aquariums displaying fish and marine life from all over the world, and a Wet n' Wild Waterpark with eight water rides ranging from gentle to extreme. You can even go shark diving or snorkelling for an up close and personal experience. It's a relatively short walk from the Golden Mile, and opens right onto the beach.

Durban's Botanic Gardens, centrally located in Greyville and accessible by bus or taxi, are beautifully-maintained, and have one of the best collections of plants in the world. They host regular Sunday afternoon concerts, and are a great place to take the kids for a relaxed picnic. The Gardens are popular for wedding pictures as well, and bridal parties of all cultures can be spotted there on Saturdays.

More adventurous travellers will want to take advantage of the plethora of water sports available in Durban, including surfing, swimming and kiteboarding from the Golden Mile; snorkelling and scuba diving among the shipwrecks at Aliwal Shoal; or just going for a boat cruise in the harbour. Those more comfortable on land can enjoy hikes through the Mangrove Swamp or spotting zebras, rhinos, hippos, and other game in the Kenneth Steinbank Reserve or Tala Valley.

Most attractions in Durban are relatively safe, as long as travellers refrain from wearing expensive jewellery and clothing and showing expensive cameras. It is always best to stay in a group when walking around in urban areas.

Local time is GMT +2.

The jagged peaks of the Drakensberg (Dragon Mountains) tower over the eastern border of Kwa-Zulu Natal with Lesotho, providing a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. The mountains abound with hiking trails, climbing routes, 4x4 trails, pony treks and adventure pursuits, all accessible from numerous resorts in the lower reaches. Some of the more popular resorts are Champagne Castle, Cathkin Peak and Cathedral Peak, while Giant's Castle and its game reserve are famed for the more than 500 rock paintings left behind by the San people on cave walls. Eagles soar around the peaks in the Royal Natal National Park in the north, where the dramatic scenery includes the Amphitheatre, a five-mile long (8km) curved basalt wall. The region is largely untamed, and criss-crossed by lengths of rugged dirt roads. The only road that breaches the mountain range and crosses the border to Lesotho is the hair-raising Sani Pass, which is topped by the highest pub in Africa.

Durban's Botanic Gardens are renowned for having the finest collection of plantlife anywhere in Africa. Established in 1851, the gardens, on Sydenham Hill Road west of the Greyville Race Track, are the city's oldest natural attraction, providing a relaxing spot to stroll among huge indigenous and exotic trees, and the stunning orchid house display. The gardens are also abuzz with birdlife and boast a lovely tea garden. Go for a picnic under the trees or by the pond, but leave the sports equipment behind as frisbee and ball games are not allowed. The gardens are a popular spot for wedding photos on Saturdays, and once a month they host a Sunday afternoon concert that attracts thousands of Durbanites. The gardens are in a nice area of Durban to walk in, or there are several bus routes that go past. There's no entrance fee, but if you drive you are expected to tip the car guard two to five rand.

The Durban Natural Science Museum is of the old school of museums, with diorama displays and stuffed specimens of extinct animals rather than interactive experiences. There's a dusty replica of a Tyrannosaurus Rex, and plasma screens showing natural history scenery. Still, the museum is incredibly popular with local families and school groups, attracting up to 300,000 visitors annually. It's a great alternative for kids to visit while adults take in the exhibits at the upstairs Durban Art Gallery. Located in the beautiful City Hall, the museum is on a main bus and taxi route. The area is busy during the day, and tourists should take care not to show expensive cameras and cell phones that attract pickpockets.

This historic square in the middle of Durban is the spot where the city originated as a tiny settlement of itinerant traders and hunters in the early 19th century. It is named for Henry Francis Flynn, one of the prominent inhabitants of the time. Around the square are some interesting sights, particularly the 1910 City Hall on the south side, which is an exact replica of the City Hall of Belfast, Ireland. On the first floor of the City Hall is the Natural Science Museum with an interesting insect section; on the second floor is the renowned Durban Art Gallery. Various musical, song and dance performances are held on the City Hall steps every Wednesday at 1pm. Alongside the City Hall is Durban's local history museum housed in the Old Court House, which was the first public building ever erected in Durban, in 1866. The Square is easily accessible by bus or taxi, and is a great place to take photos, but be careful with expensive cameras as the city centre is rife with pickpockets.

A place of nostalgia for the parents who bring their children here, the Fun World Amusement Park situated on Durban's bustling beachfront provides safe and secure family entertainment that kids of all ages will enjoy. Take the gondola ride to enjoy a scenic view of the beachfront from the air, let the older kids enjoy carnival rides such as the Breakdance, Hully Gully, Tilt-a-Whirl or Swingboat, while the tiny tots can get their thrill on in the Elephant Ride or the Carousel. The nearby paddling pools, recently renovated, are a great place for smaller children who are too young for the ocean waves, and kids of all ages can find something to enjoy in the underground arcade. Fun World is relatively safe during the day, but tourists should not walk around in the area after dark. It's close to bus and taxi routes, and nearby to some of Durban's most popular beachfront hotels.

In the far north of Kwa-Zulu Natal are a string of nature reserves and game parks, of which the largest and most exciting is the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park, dominated by the fascinating St Lucia estuary and lake system. It covers five distinct ecosystems varying from dry thorn scrub to tropical forest and is bordered by giant dunes, beaches and tropical reefs. Big Five game viewing is on offer, and this is the only place in the world where you will see hippos, crocodiles and sharks co-habiting in the same lagoon. There are comfortable rest camps in the park. The Wetland Park has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The grand Juma Masjid Mosque was the first mosque to be built in KwaZulu-Natal, starting construction in 1881 and continuing with renovations and improvements until 1943. One of the largest in the Southern Hemisphere, its minarets dominate the central Indian district of downtown Durban, and the muezzin that calls the faithful to prayer from its tower can be heard from many parts of the city. Around the mosque is a bustling neighbourhood with takeaway curry restaurants that offer the distinctly Durban 'bunny chow', a hollowed-out loaf of bread filled with curry; the exotic and busy Victoria Street Market; as well as many small shops selling fabric, saris, jewellery, and more. The area is easily accessible by bus or taxi, but visitors should be wary of pickpockets and travel in groups.

The KwaMuhle Museum is dedicated to the history of race laws in KwaZulu-Natal, showing through multimedia presentations the experiences of local people during Apartheid. It is housed in the building that was once the Department of Native Affairs, from which the infamous labour system was administrated. KwaMuhle means 'place of the good one' in honour of a white man who ran the department, but did his best to fight the system from within. A fascinating and very personal look at the diverse and difficult cultural history of the region. It's open Monday to Saturday from 8:30am to 4pm, and Sundays and public holidays from 11am to 4pm. The KwaMuhle is near the centre of Durban, close to several bus and taxi routes.

North-west of Durban in the Midlands of KwaZulu-Natal is the Midmar Public Resort Nature Reserve, offering accommodation, picnic sites and recreational opportunities around the huge Midmar Dam. At the main entrance is the Midmar Historical Village, a reproduction of a 19th century redbrick village with tree-lined streets, a village church and Hindu Temple. Many of the buildings are originals that have been relocated to the site from towns and villages elsewhere in the province. There are also vintage steam train rides on offer and Shire horse carriage rides, as well as several shops, restaurants and exhibition halls. Midmar is also the centre of the Midlands Meander arts and crafts route, which winds through the Midlands along the R103 road, taking in more than 65 participating attractions dotted across the countryside, ranging from herb farms to antique shops and artists working with stained glass. The huge dam stages the annual Midmar Mile, the world's largest open water swim.

This knee-high miniature replica of Durban makes a great outing for families and kids of all ages. Located on Durban's beachfront, Mini town is a popular and well-loved tourist attraction for kids and adults alike. It features moving models of planes and trains, a circus complete with gorilla, a movable bridge which makes way for passing ships, landmark buildings, and even a tug boat that makes its way around its very own miniature dock. All models and buildings have been created on a 1:24 scale. Mini Town is owned by the Quadriplegic Association of KwaZulu-Natal and is used as a method of raising funds for their organisation while providing employment for some of their members. It's located on a main bus line, and is within easy walking distance of Suncoast Casino and many popular beachfront hotels.

The Moses Mabhida Stadium was built for the 2010 FIFA World Cup and is one of South Africa's most picturesque stadiums. With its iconic 'arch of triumph', the waves of the Indian Ocean crashing in the background, and an amazing view of Durban's Beachfront, the stadium offers a few attractions of its own. Adventurous visitors will be able to enjoy the rush of the Big Swing, the world's only stadium swing and the largest of any kind, facilitating a jump from the stadium's arch 348 feet (106 m) above the pitch where people will swing out over the pitch and 80,000 seats below. The Sky Car is perhaps the stadium's most notable attraction which ferries up to 20 people to the stadium arch's highest point, from where they can enjoy incredible panoramic views of the city, while the Skywalk takes visitors up 550 steps of the arch and back down again. Tours of the stadium are also available.

For something fun and educational, take the kids to the Natal Sharks Board, just 9 miles (15km) north of Durban in Umhlanga, to learn about the marine life that lives off the shores of Durban's 'golden mile' as well as the shark nets that provide protection against shark attacks across the Kwazulu-Natal coastline. There are daily presentations and shark dissections at the complex and kids will love visiting the display hall to view the variety of lifelike replicas of sharks, fish and rays, including that of a 1966-pound (892kg) great white shark. There are even boat trips running seven days a week to view the shark nets being serviced and to see and learn about the dolphins, seabirds and fish life that abound off Durban's coast. Boat trips must be booked in advance. The Sharks Board is near Gateway mall and the Umhlanga Rocks city centre, but isn't within walking distance of public transportation.

Tala Private Game Reserve, just a 45-minute drive inland of Durban, is a relaxed sanctuary where visitors can view zebra, hippos, rhinos, giraffe, kudu, antelope and other wildlife. Surrounded on all sides by farmland, you won't find predators like lions or cheetahs there, but Tala is a great day trip for those who can't rough it in the bigger parks like Umfolozi or Kruger. The restaurant is excellent, offering plated of buffet-style meals with African flair, and the various luxury accommodations are perfect for romantic getaways. It's also a popular venue for weddings and conferences. Tala allows self-drive safaris, which don't have to be booked in advance, or you can opt to be taken on a two-hour trips with a knowledgeable guide, either by 4x4 or on horseback.

On the Victoria Embankment beside the Durban harbour is a haven for artists and musicians known as the BAT Centre (an acronym for Bartle Arts Trust, the organisation that helped to found the centre). The centre features a studio where traditional artists can work; a hall that hosts concerts, conventions and festivals; exhibition galleries; a music store and drum shop where handcrafted wooden drums are made; and a restaurant serving authentic African dishes from all over the continent. There are stunning views of the harbour from the restaurant deck, which hosts live jazz music on Sundays. Nearby is the Maritime Museum, which details the history of the harbour and houses a restored tugboat and other interesting exhibits. The BAT Centre is close to bus and kombie routes, but going at night it is best to take a taxi or drive as the area isn't safe to walk in.

The Umgeni River Bird Park has had a dramatic history in recent years, closed down by its owners due to unprofitability, then rescued by the municipality after an uproar from the community. The park, tucked away near an industrial section of Durban North and the Umgeni River, houses over 400 species of birds, all displayed along shady winding paths. The park's free-flight bird show, which runs daily at 11am and 2pm, has been entertaining families and school groups for over a decade, featuring vultures, owls, cranes, and other impressive fowl. There is also an undercover cafe that offers sodas, sandwiches and chipsEntrance is only 30 rand for adults. The park is accessible by bus, but it doesn't run very often.

In January 2004 Sea World closed its doors to the public and reopened as uShaka Marine World, which has become the largest marine theme park in Africa. The park is tastefully themed with African imagery and has five zones offering entertainment, dining, a variety of shops, water slides and access to uShaka Beach. Wet 'n Wild offers eight water rides, ranging from heart-stopping, adrenalin-pumping rides to lazy activities for the less adventurous. Sea World has an aquarium with thousands of fish, reptiles, and aquatic mammals on display; a dolphinarium that performs regular musical shows; a penguin rookery, and interactive activities like snorkelling and the 'shark walk'. The Village Walk features the new Dangerous Creatures exhibit, with spiders, snakes, frogs, scorpions and other poisonous creatures. Rayz Kids World gives kids a place to burn off energy with massive jungle gyms and climbing structures. For adults, Moyo offers an oasis at the end of the pier with a brand-new double-story bar right over the water. uShaka is in South Beach, so you can walk there along the beach, or take a bus or kombie. The area can be dangerous, but once inside the park security is good and it's relatively safe.

Zululand, ancestral home of the Zulu people and site of many a bloody battle between the British, the Boers and the Zulus during the 19th century, is best explored as a self-drive adventure, although many tours are available from Durban. Every town in this area of northern KwaZulu-Natal has a story to tell or an event to commemorate and tourism offices throughout the region provide maps and guides to assist visitors in making the most of the history, culture, scenery and wildlife. The landscape varies from plains, to rolling hills, river valleys and lush forests. This land once encompassed the Zulu kingdom led by legendary Shaka Zulu, who clashed with the British and the Boers in many epic battles. Centre of the Zulu nation is the small town of Eshowe. King Shaka was born close to the town, and it was also the site of a 10-week siege during the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879. Other towns of note are Ladysmith and Dundee, near which were fought the historic battles of Rorke's Drift, Blood River and Isandlwana. There are numerous 'living museums' in the form of Zulu cultural villages open to visitors in the area.

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