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Durban Accommodation

Durban
South Africa
29° 51' 25.8156" S
31° 1' 30.4788" E
KwaZulu Natal
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Durban is an economic hub built around the busiest port in Africa. It is the gateway to the natural wonders of KwaZulu-Natal. From here the scenic Pietermaritzburg Midlands, the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park, a World Heritage Site, the game parks of Zululand and the Greater St Lucia Wetland Park, another World Heritage Site, famous battlefields, and the golf-courses of the North and South Coasts are within easy driving distance. Durban is a unique cultural mix of the colonial European, Indian, and Zulu communities, and this is reflected in the architecture, fashions, sights and sounds of the city. Brighton Beach on the seaward side of the Bluff has a tidal pool. Addington, South and North beaches along the main beach-front all have life-saving facilities, changing-rooms and refreshment facilities. Country Club Beach near Water Wonderland has life-saving facilities. All have shark nets.

uShaka Marine World has been developed out of a vision to create a world-class entertainment and tourism destination for Durban. uShaka Marine World incorporates fresh and sea water, natural materials and the re-creation of a wreck of a 1940s cargo ship, home to the fifth largest aquarium in the world by volume of water. This is coupled with indigenous African imagery, lush vegetation and maritime images of the Port of Durban. Treasure World comprises food and beverage outlets at a height of 10 metres above sea level, overlook much of the park and the Indian Ocean beyond. Sea World and Dolphin World comprise a salt-water aquarium with indoor and outdoor displays and exhibits and a 1200-seater dolphin stadium. Wet 'n Wild World is a fresh-water entertainment wonderland, featuring separate swimming-pools for kids and adults, relaxing river rides and high-speed chutes for the adrenaline junkies.

The Ricksha Stands are situated on Marine Parade. A ride in a rickshaw, drawn by a brightly dressed and beaded Zulu, is a must for every visitor. Durban City Hall, Smith Street, was opened in 1910 and is a replica of the Belfast City Hall in Northern Ireland. The formal gardens link the City Hall and the Post Office, which was originally built as the City Hall. The third floor houses the Durban Art Gallery, which has displays of South African and overseas works of art. On the second floor is the Durban Museum, which has displays from the natural history of KwaZulu/Natal and exhibits of birds and mammals including the most complete skeleton known of the dodo, extinct since 1650. Victoria Street Market has a magnificent array of exotic oriental items for sale as well as spices, curry powders, sweetmeats and tropical fruit.

The Botanic Gardens, Sydenham Road, Berea, incorporates a lovely wooded garden with many varieties of trees from all over the world, including a magnificent Jade vine. The Orchid House has more than 3 000 plants, including blooms from many other countries. The Sugar Terminal in Maydon Road offers daily conducted tours for the public. Large groups by appointment. The Old House, 31 St. Andrews Street, also known as the Natal Settlers Museum, is a replica of the house built by John Goodricke on the same site in 1849, which was later enlarged. Open daily. Minitown, Snell Parade, features a display of well-known buildings scaled down to 1/24th of their size. Miniature ships, aeroplanes, trains, buses and cars moving around the town create a lively atmosphere.

Umgeni River Bird Park is situated in attractive natural surroundings, including a spectacular 20m high waterfall and lush vegetation, 1,5 km from the Umgeni River Mouth, and 6 km from the city centre. The park houses some of the world's rarest birds such as macaws, parrots, Giant Asian hornbills, toucans, cranes, pheasants, flamingos and other species including indigenous birds. The free-flight bird-show, highly educational and loads of fun, is unique in Africa and displays endangered species in free, unrestricted flight.

The Amphitheatre, Snell Parade, is a sunken garden filled with subtropical flowers, pools and fountains. The Japanese Gardens, Durban North, are open daily. The Natal Maritime Museum is located at the Small Craft Basin at the end of Aliwal Street. There are three multi-ton exhibits: the “Ulundi” steam tug (1927) and “J R More” (1966) and minesweeper SAS “Durban” (1957). These exhibits provide an interesting window on Africa's largest port. The Kwa Muhle Museum, 130 Ordinance Road, focuses on Durban's twentieth century history. The International Convention Centre has hosted major international conventions, such as the World Economic Forum, the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting and the XIIIth World Aids Conference.

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