Durban / Umhlanga
With its subtropical coastal climate, rich cultural diversity, warm seas, safe swimming beaches, its variety of restaurants and nightlife and many sporting facilities, Durban has always been a holiday city, popular amongst both domestic and international visitors. Home to King Shaka International Airport, Durban has great transport infrastructure and a variety of accommodation to suit all tastes and pockets.
The different cultural experiences can be explored in the markets, in art galleries and theatres, on the streets where vendors sell Zulu and African crafts and curios, and in the many townships that surround the city. Spectacular food, ceremonies and festivals of the city's Indian residents have enriched Durban's cultural landscape, as well as the architecture and stunning gardens, established by the city's early European settlers.
Durban is renowned for its lifeguard-protected swimming beaches, its entertaining pedestrian promenades, the iconic Moses Mabhida stadium, Busy but beautiful Umhlanga, the uShaka Marine World aquarium -the 5th largest in the world, and great surf. Many world-renown surfing champions grew up in Durban and there is an enormously successful surfboard manufacturing and related industry based here. Surfing lessons are also offered along Durban’s beautiful, busy beachfront. Or, you can simply enjoy a relaxing day on the beach, swimming, building sandcastles or playing beach volleyball. Take a peaceful stroll, or take a rickshaw ride, out onto one of the six piers between Blue Lagoon and the Moyo Pier - a perfect place to enjoy a sundowner cocktail. Hire a bicycle and enjoy a ride to one of the laid-back outdoor coffee shops along the promenade from where you can enjoy watching the lively beachfront activities such as Durban's famous sand sculptures.
And the beach is not your only attraction, venture more inland and find the many natural, green parks and gardens such as the Botanic Gardens, Mitchell Park and Zoo, the Beachwood Mangroves, and nature reserves such as Shongweni and Kenneth Stainbank within easy walking and driving distance.
Durban’s gem, Umhlanga, is jam-packed with gorgeous coffee shops, unique boutiques, festive bars and clubs, trendy restaurants and of course, The Oyster Box Hotel, providing you with an unforgettable stay filled with unbelievable cocktails, lunches and breakfasts with the best view in Durban, not to mention great service and immediate access to Umhlanga’s renowned promenade.
The largest shopping mall in the Southern Hemisphere, The Gateway Theatre of Shopping, is situated in Umhlanga. Umhlanga has many luxury hotels and apartments situated right on the beach, including the Cabana Beach Hotel, the Umhlanga Sands Hotel, the Beverly Hills Hotel and of course, the one and only Oyster Box Hotel. Many of these have views of the landmark lighthouse.