|Home|||||Tours|||||Safaris|||||Blog|||||About us|||||Contact us|
Durban (Zulu: eThekwini) is the third most populous city in South Africa, forming part of the eThekwini metropolitan municipality. It is the largest city in KwaZulu-Natal and is famous as the busiest port in Africa. It is also a major centre of tourism due to the city's warm subtropical climate and beaches.
According to the 2007 Community Survey, the city has a population of almost 3.5 million.Durban's land area of 2,292 square kilometres (884.9 sq mi) is comparatively larger than other South African cities, resulting in a somewhat lower population density of 1,513 inhabitants per square kilometre (3,918.7/sq mi).
Today, Durban is the busiest container port in Africa, and a popular tourist destination. The Golden Mile, developed as a welcoming tourist destination in the 1970s, as well as Durban at large, provide ample tourist attractions, particularly for people on holiday from Johannesburg. It lost its international holiday pre-eminence to Cape Town in the 1990s, but remains more popular among domestic tourists. The City still has a large manufacturing economy
Durban is characterized by a mild sub-tropical climate with warm wet summers and mild moist to dry winters. Frost does not occur in the city. However, due to large altitude variations, some western suburbs get very chilly in the winter. Durban has an annual rainfall of 1,009 millimetres (39.7 in), with daytime maxima peaking from January to March at 28 °C (82 °F) and the minimum is 21 °C (70 °F), dropping to daytime highs from June to August of 23 °C (73 °F) and the minimum is 11 °C (52 °F).
The metropolitan area is topographically hilly, with very few flat areas, except in the immediate vicinity of the central business district and the harbor. The western suburbs off Hillcrest and Kloof are significantly higher above sea-level, reaching up to 850 metres (2,789 ft) in the community of Botha's Hill. Many gorges and ravines are found within the metropolitan area. There is almost no true coastal plain.
Durban International Airport services both domestic and international flights, with regularly-scheduled service to Swaziland, Mozambique, and Mauritius. The airport handled four million passengers in 2005, up over 15 percent from 2004. Plans are at an advanced stage for the construction of a new airport, to be known as King Shaka International Airport, at La Mercy, about 36 kilometres north of the Central Business District, and 15 kilometers north of Umhlanga Rocks.
The airport serves as a major gateway for travelers to KwaZulu-Natal and the Drakensberg.
One national road starts in Durban and one passes through it: The N3, the busiest national road in South Africa, which links Durban with Johannesburg; and the N2, which links Durban with East London, and Port Elizabeth before ending in Cape Town. The N3 is particularly important as goods are moved by truck from Johannesburg to be shipped out of the Port of Durban. The N3 starts in the Central Business District, and interchanges with the N2 at the Westville Four-Level Interchange, officially known as the E. B. Cloete Interchange, which is informally nicknamed the Spaghetti Junction due to the complicated nature of the interchange. The N2 runs through the entire city from north to south, and is known locally as the "Outer Ring Road".
Durban also has a system of freeway and dual carriageway M-roads, which connect different parts of the city. The M4 exists in two segments: The northern segment starts as an undivided highway at Ballito—where it separates from the N2—passing through Umhlanga Rocks, becoming a dual carriageway just south of that town, and ending at the northern edge of the Durban CBD. The southern segment of the M4 starts at the southern edge of the CBD, connecting it with Durban International Airport, where it reconnects with the N2. The M7 connects the N2 and the Durban South Industrial Basin with the N3 and Pinetown via Queensburgh. The M19 connects the N2 with Pinetown via Westville. The M13 acts as an alternative to the N3, which is tolled at Mariannhill, as well as feeds traffic through Gillitts, Kloof, and Westville.
Durban has a long tradition as a port city. The Port of Durban, which was formerly known as the Port of Natal, is one of the few natural harbours between Port Elizabeth and Maputo, and is also located at the beginning of a particular weather phenomenon which can cause extremely violent seas. These two features made Durban an extremely busy port of call for ship repairs when the port was opened in the 1840s. The Port of Durban is now the busiest port in South Africa, as well as the busiest container port in the Southern Hemisphere.
The modern Port of Durban grew around trade from Johannesburg, as the industrial and mining capital of South Africa is not located on any navigable body of water. Thus, products being shipped from Johannesburg outside of South Africa have to be loaded onto trucks or railways and transported to Durban. The Port of Maputo was unavailable for use until the early 1990s due to civil war and an embargo against South African products. There is now an intense rivalry between Durban and Maputo for shipping business.
Salisbury Island, now joined to the mainland and part of the Port of Durban, was formerly a full naval base until it was downgraded in 2002. It now contains a naval station and other military facilities. The future of the base, however, is uncertain, as there is increasing demand to use Salisbury Island as part of the port facilities.
Durban is well-served by railways due to its role as the largest trans-shipment point for goods from the interior of South Africa. Shosholoza Meyl, the passenger rail service of Spoornet, operates two long-distance passenger rail services from Durban: a daily service to and from Johannesburg via Pietermaritzburg, and a weekly service to and from Cape Town via Kimberley and Bloemfontein. These trains terminate at Durban Railway Station.
Metrorail operates a commuter rail service in Durban and the surrounding area. The Metrorail network runs from Durban Station outwards as far as Stanger on the north coast, Kelso on the south coast, and Cato Ridge inland.
Black Africans account for 68.30 percent of the population, followed by Asians or Indians at 19.90 percent, Whites at 8.98 percent and Coloureds at 2.89 percent. 48.9 percent of the population is under the age of 24, while 4.2 percent are over the age of 65. The median age in the city is 25 years old, and for every 100 females, there are 92.5 males. 27.9 percent of city residents are unemployed. 88.6 percent of the unemployed are black, 18.3 percent are Coloureds, 8.2 percent are Asians or Indians, and 4.4 percent are White.
63.04 percent of Durban residents speak Zulu at home, 29.96 percent speak English (roughly representing the Indian, Coloured and White populations), 3.43 percent speak Xhosa, 1.44 percent speak Afrikaans, 0.7 percent speak Sotho, 0.2 percent speak Ndebele, 0.1 percent speaks Northern Sotho, and 0.93 percent of the population speaks a non-official language at home. 68.0 percent of residents are Christian, 15.5 percent have no religion, 11.3 percent are Hindu, 3.2 percent are Muslim, and 0.1 percent are Jewish. 1.9 percent have other or undetermined beliefs.
10.0 percent of residents aged 20 and over have received no schooling, 13.3 percent have had some primary school, 5.7 percent have completed only primary school, 34.6 percent have had some high school education, 26.8 percent have finished only high school, and 9.6 percent have an education higher than the high school level. Overall, 36.4 percent of residents have completed high school. The median annual income of working adults aged 15-65 is ZAR 20,695. Males have a median annual income of ZAR 24,851 versus ZAR 16,927 for females.
Browse by Departure Cities: [ Cape Town ][ Durban ][ Hazyview ][ Johannesburg ][ Port Elizabeth ][ Pretoria ][ Windhoek ]
Browse by Durations - Tours: [ Half Day ][ 1- Day ][ 2 - 7 Days ][ 8 - 14 Days ][ 15+ Days ]
Browse by Special Interests: [ Mozambique Islands ][ Townships ][ Train Journeys ][ Victoria Falls ][ Wine Tours ]