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Durban is KwaZulu Natal’s urban hub (although not its capital). It is a modern, cosmopolitan, African city that perfectly reflects South Africa’s cultural diversity with strong African, Indian and European influences. The city is lively, with a rich history and lots of activities. It has beautiful beaches, some of the best surfing in the world and many wining and dining options. Being set in the province of KwaZulu Natal means that Durban is blessed with Southern California-style weather year-round, and great safari experiences just a few hours drive away, including the Phinda and Thanda reserves.

Durban is a great place to spend a few days before or after a safari especially for younger travelers who want to get a feel for every day, urban South Africa. Be sure to make time to explore Durban Promenade, take a surf lesson and visit Moses Mabhida stadium, one of the sites of the 2010 World Cup. Some of our favorite hotels in Durban include the Oyster Box Hotel in the upmarket Umhlanga neighborhood and the Southern Sun Elangeni & Maharani which sits right on the Promenade.

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Elizabeth Gordon