Things to do in Durban

Our most recommended things to do in Durban

Durban: 30-Minute Harbor Boat Cruise

1. Durban: 30-Minute Harbor Boat Cruise

This tour will take you on an unforgettable trip around Durban. Durban Harbor is the biggest and busiest harbor in the southern hemisphere. The harbor tours are especially educational for kids, as the boat takes them to points of interest in Africa’s largest harbor and shows them the route through which ships enter the harbor, discharge cargo, and exit. The skipper will teach the passengers about the port and its operation. If the weather conditions are favourable, the boat may go further out from the shore. The skipper is in close contact with the passengers and will give you a comprehensive guided tour. The trip will either take you down the Maydon Wharf Channel or to the City and Cor Container terminal.

Durban: 1-Hour Boat Cruise from Wilson's Wharf

2. Durban: 1-Hour Boat Cruise from Wilson's Wharf

Spend a day touring Durban from a vantage point on the Indian Ocean. Check out the sights and look out for pods of dolphins along the route. Pass by enormous container and cruise ships at the port. See the beautiful beachfront from a new perspective out on the water, and Wilson's Wharf; a lovely hidden gem filled with restaurants and entertainment. Enjoy protection from the sun with a semi-covered boat so you can see the sights comfortably.

From Durban: Half-Day Safari Tour

3. From Durban: Half-Day Safari Tour

Your first stop is Natal Lion Park which is home to a variety of wildlife including African and Asian Elephants, Rhinos and lions. After a drive around the park you will enter the Lion’s enclosure to marvel at size and beauty of these great cats. Finally visit Tala Game Reserve, a wildlife sanctuary spanning over 3000 hectares. It features over 380 bird species and a variety of wildlife that includes Rhino, Giraffe, Kudu, Hippo and Eland in a beautiful, relaxing setting. You will then be returned to your preferred drop-off location in Durban.

Durban: Canal Cruise

4. Durban: Canal Cruise

Marvel at the iconic Durban skyline from a unique perspective on a 30 minutes circular journey around Durban point canals. Relax aboard a luxury pontoon boat, which features comfortable luxury seating and a professional tour guide. Pass by Durban’s historic and impressive attractions from the comfort of your boat. Cruise and sail through the canals and take in a unique atmosphere. See historic, impressive, like uShaka and Ithala Trade Centre. Enjoy a relaxing way to do sightseeing in Durban and escape the traffic noise and congestion. Explore the open decks that allow you to feel the cooling river breeze and see the city from many points that offer perfect photo opportunities.

Durban: Durban: Whale and Dolphin Watching Boat Tour

5. Durban: Durban: Whale and Dolphin Watching Boat Tour

Take an exhilarating 2-hour cruise into the Indian Ocean and encounter one of the world's most magnificent mammals, the humpback whale, at close range. Admire the inquisitive whales in their natural habitat, and learn about them and other local marine life with a qualified whale tour guide. After greeting your guide at the meeting point, board your 11-passenger semi-rigid inflatable boat, registered with SAMSA as a suitable Whale and Dolphin Watching boat since 2012 and holder of one of the limited whale watching permits in Durban. Head out onto the deep blue ocean toward the Mozambican current, and enjoy the views from your front-facing seats with the skipper/crew behind you. From June to November every year, look out for the spectacular breaches of the whales above the water as they travel on their migratory route from the Southern Oceans to warmer tropical waters for mating and giving birth, and on their return toward the nutrient-rich waters of Antarctica. If you're lucky, delight in the mesmerizing experience of a mother feeding or playing with her calf, or older calves jumping and teasing one another, seeking the attention of the adults. As well as whales, this tour offers the opportunity to watch dolphins frolicking in the swells and, on occasion, see turtles come out of the awesome clear depths to feed on what's on the surface. Marvel at the local wildlife big and small, from birds and fish to the enormous humpback whales themselves, which reach approximately 15 meters (49 feet) in length and weigh about 30 tons. Occasionally there are orca, manta rays, and killer sharks too.

From Durban: Sani Pass and Lesotho by 4WD Vehicle

6. From Durban: Sani Pass and Lesotho by 4WD Vehicle

Benefit from pickup at a location of your choice in Durban, and then make your way to the historic city of Pietermaritzburg, capital of KwaZulu Natal. Take a short sightseeing tour to see the statue of Mahatma Gandhi by City Hall. Then, venture into the Drakensberg Mountains on the amazing Sani Pass into Lesotho. Travel along the 33-kilometer gravel road that straddles the sheer cliffs in a series of tight zig-zag curves. Marvel at the dramatic landscape as you head from the Sani Pass Hotel, 1,566 meters above sea level. Be amazed as your 4WD Land Rover navigates the narrow road across the border post with Lesotho. Get spectacular views of the rolling hills and endless sky. Reach the top of the Sani Pass, 3,240 meters above sea level. Enjoy a hot lunch at the highest pub in Africa, and then meet the native Basotho people in a local village to learn about their everyday lives. Make your way back down the mountain to cross the boarder back into South Africa.

Durban: Half Day City Tour

7. Durban: Half Day City Tour

The 4-hour tour begins with a pick-up at your hotel, and you’ll then embark on a scenic tour of Durban to see a variety of landmarks that highlight the city's diverse history and culture. On Victoria Street you’ll see traditional Zulu attire and traditional healers offering different kinds of umothi (Zulu medicines). This is a popular area for local residents to meet for shopping and lunch. After, your tour guide will show you around the exterior of the Moses Mabhida Stadium and explain its history, use and significance. You will be given time to go to the sky platform by an elevator called the Sky Car for an additional fee. The tour also includes a visit to uShaka Marine World’s Village Walk on the famous Golden Mile Beachfront on Durban’s or Tambo parade. There you will be given time to shop and have lunch. Visit the Kwa-Muhle Museum and learn about the history of apartheid in Durban. It also houses a very interesting HIV / Aids exhibition which educates the public on the South African HIV/ Aids situation. Relax at the Botanical Garden and listen to the lovely melodies of different species of birds. Admire the many varieties of South African flowers as well. Afterwards you’ll be taken on a drive to the Durban’s City Hall, Durban Harbour and Umgeni Hindu temple. This is where your tour ends, and you will be transferred back to your hotel.

Durban: Top 10 City Sights Tour

8. Durban: Top 10 City Sights Tour

The tour starts at the Golden Mile where you will visit Durban's famous beaches and proceeds to Moses Mabhida Stadium to see one of Africa's beautiful stadiums. The tour will then head to Durban Botanic Gardens to see the city's beautiful garden with different plant species from around the world before visiting the Victoria Street Market to see Durban's exotic spices and Indian cuisines. You will then proceed to one of the largest mosques in Southern Africa which is the Juma Masjid Mosque before visitng the neo-baroque style architecture City Hall which was built in the early 1900s. The tour will proceed to the University of KwaZulu-Natal and have the opportunity to see the beautiful view of the harbor from the University's tower before visiting the Hare Krishna Temple in Chatsworth. You will then visit Umlazi township and have lunch (at your own expense) before lastly visiting Ushaka Marine World which has the largest aquarium in Southern Africa.

Durban: Waterfront Canals Pedal Boat Rental

9. Durban: Waterfront Canals Pedal Boat Rental

Rent a pedal boat and discover the Durban Point Waterfront Canals, a protected marine reserve with over 30 species of fish.  Sit back and relax as you make your way through the calm waters of the canals, keeping an eye out for the marine life below. With 11 pedal boats available, you can also enjoy this activity as a group. Come with family or friends and enjoy a fun outdoor activity in Durban. The pedal boats are easy to operate, and each boat can accommodate two adults and two children, so bring your kids along for a fun family outing. 

Durban Half-Day City Tour - Golden Mile, Botanical Gardens

10. Durban Half-Day City Tour - Golden Mile, Botanical Gardens

Spend a full day discovering the diverse culture and history of Durban and visiting the city’s sights. This is the ideal introductory tour of Durban, which has been shaped by the early Colonial settlers, the indigenous Zulus and the Indians who arrived as indentured laborers in the 19th Century. Travel along the Golden Mile, the revitalized beachfront promenade, viewing the upgraded Point Waterfront. The tour then travels through the City, viewing the majestic City Hall and the small craft harbor. Afterwards, drive past the sugar terminals and harbor warehouses on the way to the University of Natal for the view below. Then the tours visits the bustling African/Indian Markets at Warwick Triangle – home to 9 distinct markets developed around Durban’s largest public transport interchange. The tour ends with a visit to the peaceful Durban Botanic Gardens, founded in 1849 and the Moses Mabhida Stadium (Optional cable car ride for own account to the top of the Stadium for that phenomenal view of Durban).

Frequently asked questions about Durban

What top attractions are a must-see in Durban?

The must-see attractions in Durban are:

What are the best day trips and excursions from Durban?

The best day trips and excursions from Durban are:

Sani Pass

What are the best tours to do in Durban with kids?

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What are the most popular museums and exhibitions in Durban?

Other Sightseeing Options in Durban

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What people are saying about Durban

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 609 reviews

What an enjoyable experience! The music was a bit loud, but the skipper was funny, taught us so much and made the 30 minutes fantastic. I definitely recommend this ride if you want a quick adventure with the fam ❤️

We had great day,our Tour guide Siyabonga oh what a humble, discipline,well mannered guy, values his clients.Good news I'm coming back with my friends this weekend

The boat accommodated about 14 in total. It was such a wonderful experience. Nice music and we learned a lot from the guide offered by the boat driver

The experience was beautiful. Mind blowing especially for our 8 year old. The drive was quite nice and friendly.

The experience was awesome, we enjoyed each and every moment of our ride. We will be doing it again.