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Things to do in

Durban

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.

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.

From Durban: Half-Day Safari Tour

6. From Durban: Half-Day Safari Tour

Your first stop is Natal Lion Park which is home to a variety of wildlife including African and Asian Elephants, Rhinos and lions. After a drive around the park you will enter the Lion’s enclosure to marvel at size and beauty of these great cats. Finally visit Tala Game Reserve, a wildlife sanctuary spanning over 3000 hectares. It features over 380 bird species and a variety of wildlife that includes Rhino, Giraffe, Kudu, Hippo and Eland in a beautiful, relaxing setting. You will then be returned to your preferred drop-off location in Durban.

From Durban: Sani Pass and Lesotho by 4WD Vehicle

7. 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.

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

8. 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: Gondola Ride

9. 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: Half Day City Tour

10. Durban: Half Day City 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?

The must-see attractions in Durban are:

What are the best day trips and excursions from Durban?

The best day trips and excursions from Durban are:

Pietermaritzburg

What are the best tours and things to do in Durban with kids?

Other Sightseeing Options in Durban

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What people are saying about Durban

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 609 reviews

It was breath taking ,we were even allowed to dance while the boat driver played some very nice tunes,and he was informative cos he showed us some of the things and different ships and what they used for not only did we have fun but also learned ,a very good combination

Well worth the experience. My wife has a phobia against open water, but thoroughly enjoyed the ride.

It was nice ,we enjoyed the cruise and the skipper was very friendly

The guide gave a lot of interesting information about the harbour.

Is was a very interesting experience, nice and safe