Written by Will Bendix
Summer in sub-tropical Durban is glorious. By mid-January most of the tourist rush is over, and you will only be sharing the city’s world-class beaches and restaurants with locals.
Base yourself in Umhlanga village, 15 minutes from Durban’s central business district and set apart from the bustle. There are dozens of high-end hotels and holiday apartments to choose from, but nothing can touch The Oyster Box hotel. With its spectacular setting on the promenade and sumptuous décor, it personifies a laid-back seaside holiday without compromising on luxury. Don’t miss its legendary traditional High Tea.
Light winds mean mornings are the best time to enjoy the beaches in Durban. Keep it local in Umhlanga, or head to the Durban beachfront where you can hire a bicycle to take in the full sweep of the ‘Golden Mile’ from the promenade – with pit stops for swimming and coffee along the way.
Golfers should not miss the Durban Country Club’s 18-hole course. Built on sand dunes with spectacular views of the Indian Ocean, it is rated among South Africa’s best.
Street Sceneoffers a multitude of ways to get to know the city better: from three-hour walking tours to in-depth cultural tours. Then put your feet up at the delightfully quirky Teremok Spa, an urban apothecary which provides a genuinely bespoke experience.
For dinner try one of the restaurants on trendy Mackeurtan Avenue in Durban North, or head to the award-winning 9th Avenue Bistro for a modern, unpretentious fine-dining experience. Wind down your evening at The Chairman jazz lounge in the historic Point Precinct, a sophisticated setting in which to take in some of the country’s finest acts.
Durban’s floating restaurant
Get a different perspective on the city aboard La Vue, a 26m luxury catamaran which offers four-course lunch and dinner cruises from the Durban harbour and along the seafront. La Vue’s events diary is A-list only, featuring South Africa’s hottest musicians from the likes of Mi Casa to DJ Kent. The evening cruise boards at 6pm and sets sail at 7.30pm. Custom charters are also available.
Durban, South Africa
Distance: 6,392 km
Flight Time: 10 hours, 50 minutes
Frequency: Four flights a week