Although not the capital of
KwaZulu-Natal - that is Pietermaritzburg - Durban is by far the biggest
and most well-known city in the region.
It is extremely cosmopolitan,
with South Africa's white population mingling with Zulus and a large contingent
from the Indian sub-continent. The result is a busy, bustling, and very
A major local crop is sugar,
so refineries, storage facilities and breweries abound. Cargo boats (and
the occasional cruise ship) continually move in and out of the harbour.
The climate comes as a shock
as it is hot and sticky. Even in October (Spring) when we were there,
it felt like we had entered a shower-room as the ground steamed in the
aftermath of one of the tropical storms that occur most afternons.
We arrived in Durban during
the afternoon and left the next morning, so we had no time for exploration.
In fact, the manager of our city centre hotel advised us not to venture
outside at all during the evening.
Our party, however, had guided tours
of the Botanical Gardens and the Indian Market (see Places to Visit in
KwaZulu-Natal), and some time seeing the city from our coach.