A short one hour plane ride from Johannesburg, Durban is a beach lover’s paradise. Unfortunately my visit to Durban wasn’t as great as I’m sure it could’ve been. It rained the ENTIRE time so I did not get a chance to enjoy the beach or the pool for that matter. Hopefully your arrival will be greeted with sunshine and blue skies.
Protea Hotel Umhlanga Ridge
So, let me start out by saying that I did NOT stay here, but ohhh how I wish I did. I originally booked this hotel but switched to Protea Hotel Edward
And while I totally LOVED the staff, the hotel could use some improvement. It’s an old Victorian style hotel (emphasis on old). The pool area is drab and I was often attacked by the smell of mildew. The few restaurants in walking distance weren’t anything to throw a parade over and a few blocks behind the hotel was a bit seedy. The plus side of it though is that it’s situated directly across from the warm Indian Ocean which is why I switched in the first place. So if you’re looking for convenience to the ocean, then this is your place, however I’m sure there are plenty of other nicer hotels along the strip that will offer the same.
Suggestion: Book your stay at the Protea Hotel Umhlanga Ridge. Uber it to the beach, but come back to your clean, comfortable, modern hotel in walking distance to one the of the BEST malls in South Africa, Gateway Mall, and a plethora of upscale and affordable dining options.
Victorian Street Market
Within a few hours of arriving in Durban, I noticed a surprisingly huge Indian population. With that being said, be sure to visit the Victoria Street Market where you’ll find everything Indian; spices, seasonings, clothing, food, oils and jewelry.
As already eluded to, this mall has it all. With over 400 stores and 70 eateries, you can spend an entire day here.
uShaka Marine World
Again, due to the inclement weather I didn’t get a chance to take full advantage of this amazing place. I really wanted to slip and slide at Wet N’ Wild water park. But it also offers an awesome aquarium, shopping mall, and some pretty decent restaurants.
Visit this strip for the nightlife. I spent my time in Durban during the week but from what I understand, this is the place to be on Friday and Saturday nights for live Zulu and traditional music.
Tasha’s at the Gateway Mall
I can’t say enough about Tasha’s! The ambience, the staff and the food all lend to one of the best dining experiences I had in South Africa.
Suggestion: Anything for breakfast, lunch and dinner (yes I ate there for all three).
This is another gem in walking distance to the Protea Hotel Umhlanga Ridge. Classy atmosphere, professional staff and fresh food.
Appetizer – grilled calamari and wood fired trio of snails
Entrée – T-bone steak with a side of grilled prawns, a baked potato and seasonal vegetables
If you missed Lesley’s Johannesburg travel guide click here. Don’t miss out on Lesley’s final trip in South Africa where she heads off to Cape Town.
Follow Lesley on Instagram @iamshaquillesunflower
Written by Lesley Sees founder of Http://setbackstosnapbacks.wix.com/southafrica