Every year my company shuts down for 3-4 weeks over Christmas and I often go away to family and am not in my hometown for the holiday season. For the last 2 years however I have been home and this year I decided to be a tourist in my own city and see it with new eyes.
Often when we live in a place we don’t go visit the attractions unless we are showing visitors around. We also tend to to be creatures of habit that go to our usual spots and miss out on wonderful new adventures. So these are just just a few of some of the things that seem simple and common but when you look at them through a “visitor’s” eyes they seem quite spectacular…
The most common picture of Durban you’ll see is some variation of the gorgeous Golden Mile. The promenade on Durban’s beachfront stretches 10km from The Moses Mabida Stadium with it’s famous Arch (Where you can take a sky car to the top and see the whole of Durban on a clear day, or if you’re brave do the Big Swing or take a Segway tour of the beachfront) to the tip of the uShaka Pier where you can visit uShaka Marine World with it’s huge aquarium and water park or have a drink at one of the most iconic Cocktail Bars in the City; Moyo on the Pier.
I started a new habit of waking up early and going for a walk on our Golden Mile. I’m not going to lie, I am not fit enough to walk the 10km from the stadium to the pier so I amble along at my own pace roughly 4-6km of the way from Bike & Bean (which serves the best Skinny Flat Whites and Lemon Meringue pie in Durban and where you can hire a bicycle for R50 an hour) to Moyo’s and treat yourself to one of their fabulous Cocktails or simply order a beer and a bowl of biltong (dried spiced meat…).
Along the route one of the most delightful things to see are the sand artists who create everything from personal adds for a fee to works of wildlife art and the South African sense of humour is often reflected in their interpretations of local news and topics. One of my favourite of these was this artists representation of Nkandla, the President’s home that is still causing a scandal…he even captured the much maligned “fire safety” pool…
There is always much debate around the Durban Beachfront during the summer holidays as the number of visitors to the beachfront can reach 3 million or more. Often the city has struggled to deal with the crowds, litter and safety of the visitors. This year as I walked almost daily at various times it became clear that the City was doing it’s best to keep the beaches safe and clean and I couldn’t be prouder of our favourite tourist spots. Yes if you walked early in the morning around 6am you would find litter and rubbish especially around boxing day and New Years, but by 9am the volunteer cleaners and DSW (Durban Solid Waste) had swept through and cleaned up beautifully. On one of the days of walking there was even a DSW training vehicle riding along the beachfront reminding visitors to use the bins provided and to recycle.
Other services were also visibly present to assist visitors e.g. Lifeguards, police and volunteers to help reunited lost children with their parents.
Along with visitors there is also always the lesser spotted wildlife…if you happen to see the monkeys on the promenade…please don’t feed them!
Durban is beautiful in summer, just remember the humidity is high and it is the rainy season so expect hot humid days with thunderstorms in the afternoon and evening. Drink lots of water and wear lots of sunscreen.
I fell in love with Durban this holiday. The beach, the people, the food and the holiday atmosphere made me happy to live here. If I was a tourist I’d be saying in the words of my friend Jenny…”if I lived here I would walk on the beach everyday before work” and so I do.
Posted on 15/01/2016, in Local Tourist, Uncategorized and tagged Durban, Inanda Dam, Lifeguards, Moses Mabida Stadium, Mounted Police, Moyo on the Pier, North Beach, Travel, Umhlanga, uShaka Marine World. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.