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.

From Durban: Sani Pass and Lesotho by 4WD Vehicle

4. 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.

Sani Pass: Day Tour from Durban

5. Sani Pass: Day Tour from Durban

Beginning early at 6:00AM from the coastal city of Durban, your professional driver will collect you from your hotel in a well maintained vehicle, before you head out of the city towards the mountains. After passing the historical city of Pietermaritsburg, your tour will turn towards the Southern Drakensberg Mountain Range. For the next hour you will pass through mountains and valleys, which are dotted with small rural villages steeped in traditions. At approximately 9:00AM, you will arrive at the tiny mountain town of Underberg, which lies at the base of the Sani Pass. Here you will transfer to a comfortable 4-wheel-drive vehicle. Without a doubt, the Sani Pass is one of the most spectacular and scenic mountain passes in Africa. It lies between the Southern Drakensburg Mountains and the landlocked country of Lesotho, and your highly experienced and professional guide will take you through the South African border control. For the next 8 kilometers, the gravel road winds steeply up the pass towards the summit of the Drakensberg to the Lesotho border post. The sharp bends and panoramic mountains make this a photographer's paradise, in an area which has been described as "Southern Africa's Switzerland". Once there you will visit a local living Basotho village where you can learn about their customs and traditions. This village was originally built to care for the shepherds in the mountains, who tend flocks the year round, you may even be lucky to catch a glimpse of these tough blanket-clad men. Following this you will head towards the "highest pub in Africa" for some well earned refreshments, and perhaps even a taste of the local Maluti Beer if so inclined. Following your adventure is a gentle drive back to Durban, which will will see you at your destination at approximately 6:30PM depending on weather and traffic conditions.

Durban: Gondola Ride

6. 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.

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.

Durban: Waterfront Canals Pedal Boat Rental

8. 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. 

Durban: Boat-Based Whale and Dolphin Watching Experience

9. 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: Top 10 City Sights Tour

10. Durban: Top 10 City Sights Tour

The tour starts at the Golden Mile where you will visit Durban's famous beaches and proceeds to Moses Mabhida Stadium to see one of Africa's beautiful stadiums. The tour will then head to Durban Botanic Gardens to see the city's beautiful garden with different plant species from around the world before visiting the Victoria Street Market to see Durban's exotic spices and Indian cuisines. You will then proceed to one of the largest mosques in Southern Africa which is the Juma Masjid Mosque before visitng the neo-baroque style architecture City Hall which was built in the early 1900s. The tour will proceed to the University of KwaZulu-Natal and have the opportunity to see the beautiful view of the harbor from the University's tower before visiting the Hare Krishna Temple in Chatsworth. You will then visit Umlazi township and have lunch (at your own expense) before lastly visiting Ushaka Marine World which has the largest aquarium in Southern Africa.

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

Want to discover all there is to do in Durban? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Durban

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 554 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 so much fun...we really enjoyed the experience...will definitely do it again....

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

Value for money. Harbour trip was so interesting and staff were very friendly

Excellent tour from knowledgable guides who really knew the city.