On the 1st floor of the magnificent Durban City hall, this trove of dinosaurs, fossils and taxidermied predators will enchant bath kids and grown-ups. If you’re exceptionally lucky and the timing is right you’ll catch the hundreds of dolphins tailing the sardine run. This bright space is brilliant for an all-day breakfast. Once the Native Administration Department, step through the copper-covered entrance doors to find a post-apartheid museum documenting the history experienced by all of Durban’s residents. The Durban Botanical Gardens boasts the rarest cycad collection in the world.Order their buttermilk pancake stack (R48), Pampoen koekie (R45) or Freedom Fry breakfast (R62). The photographs and artifacts on display portray a city in search of an identity within a new political context. Cycads, have been around before the dinosaurs and have survived three mass extinction events although they are in danger of extinction today.Tours cost R100 per person (or R70 per person for more than 8 people). The Golden Mile runs roughly from South Beach (u Shaka Marine World) to Suncoast Casino in the north in a perfect gilded stretch of sea and sun. Kids will love the Umgeni river bird park- they have 900 birds from 180 species in the park, a free-flight bird show, restaurant and playground. This market is Durban’s answer to the Biscuit Mill. Nearly every year between June and July billions of sardines travel along the east coast of South Africa attracting an abundance of dolphins, whales and sharks.Longer than a mile it’s the best place to do an early morning beach run, rollerblade or cycle à la Ipanema beach. Stop in at this Hawaiian-vibe beach-side restaurant for a beer among the palm trees. Tickets cost R50 per adult and R40 for children aged 4 to 12 years. You can find them at 15 Station Drive, in the Station Drive Precinct just off Umgeni Road. From the owners of the more swish 9th Avenue Bistro, the Boiler room is the newest place to lunch in Durban mid work-week. If you are lucky enough to see the sardine run while in Durban it will be worth renting a boat to get a closer look.It’s official the rest of the world finally woke up to what Durbanites knew all along- Durban is cool.
Tickets cost R60pp and R30 for kids under the age of 12.Visit Warwick Junction in central Durban for a closer look at her murals including life-like portraits of the traders on columns adjacent to the Early Morning Market.The Rivertown Beerhall is an e Thekwini Municipality initiative which started with the activation and naming of the area during the UIA 2014 Durban Architecture Congress.Find them at 102 Prince Alfred Street (Florence Nzama). Enjoy a cold drink and cheese cake in the gallery café which spills out into the garden. At Wilson’s Wharf there are many restaurants and fastfood spots to choose from and the flickering lights on the water at night are particularly atmospheric. In the Bovine market cow heads are collected by trolley operators from local butcheries, the traders then skin the head, utilising only the facial meat which is then boiled in large pots. The best thing about Durban is that winter, summer- it’s always a good idea to kick off your slops and leap into that beautifully warm sea.The cooked meat is then presented on wooden chopping boards with condiments for customers to eat. The Bay of Plenty, at the heart of the beach front also offers good surf conditions and beach volley ball.It was built in 1914, and opened again on 3rd August to 10th August 2014, 100 years on. Also read: The place to see Durban Harbour, the busiest port in Africa, in action. Take a guided-tour through the 9 markets in central Durban to get a feel for the pulse of the city.