Accommodation / KwaZulu Natal / Ten (10) to Inspire

Durban Gems You May Not Know About

Updated Monday, 18 April 2022

The city of Durban is one of South Africa’s hottest destinations and we’re not (just) talking about the curry.

It is famous for its gorgeous beaches, bustling city centre, vibrant markets, awesome restaurants, and its rich, distinct Zulu culture.

There’s so much variety that even locals and regular visitors to Durban still have plenty to see and explore in this multifaceted metropolis.


7 Spots in Durban That You May Not Have Visited Before

1. Mzinyathi Falls

These falls tumble more than 100 metres down breath-taking sandstone into the lush gorge below. All of this natural beauty is only 20 minutes’ drive from Gateway. There are hiking trails down into the gorge and a very cool rock climbing spot right at the falls.

Dense forests give the whole area a magical quality. This is also home to the Rastafarian Caves, where local Rastafarians meet in cool caves to worship and to interact with visitors.

2. Beachwood Mangroves

This rare mangrove swamp forest is right at the mouth of the Umgeni River Mouth, just a few minutes from the city. Visit this national monument and watch the little animals from the winding boardwalk. Visitors can arrange canoe trips up the river or guided walks through the reserve.

Beachwood Mangroves

3. Visit Inchanga

Take a steam train through the Valley of 1000 Hills to the charming little village of Inchanga with its sweet Victorian station.

The area is lush and beautiful, making this an especially scenic train ride. These trips take place on the first and last Sunday of every month and need to be booked well in advance. They’re romantic for couples and a real adventure for the family.


4. The Chairman

Afro-chic meets sophisticated jazz in this quirky, vibrant bar in Mahatma Gandhi Road. The exceptional music is best enjoyed while indulging in some really unique culinary creations.

The overwhelming theme of The Chairman is an unwavering homage to all things African and contemporary.

The Chairman

5. Get Arty at the KwaZulu-Natal Society of the Arts

Immerse yourself in the exciting visions of South African and international artists.

This gallery has an impressive collection of art, showcasing up-and-coming artists who aren’t afraid to use colours, textures and different media to express, explore and experiment.

KwaZulu-Natal Society of the Arts

6. See the Rarest Plant in the World

Visit the Durban Botanical Gardens in Berea to stand in awe of the Wood’s cycad. Cycad are fascinating, and are believed to have survived three mass extinctions.

The botanical gardens in Durban are home to a variety of cycads, but Wood’s cycad is definitely one of the most exciting, since it is just so incredibly rare.


7. Take a Romantic Gondola Ride on the Canals

Enjoy spectacular views of Durban on a classic gondola at the Durban Point Waterfront Canal.

There are different packages available, including picnic rides, trips on the gondola with a musician, special experiences especially for children, and magic night rides for couples wanting a date with a difference. This is one for the memory bank.

Gondola Ride on the Canals

Stay in Durban

To experience these gems, book your stay in Durban. Here are some fab spots close to many of the best parts of KwaZulu-Natal:

The View Boutique Hotel & Spa

Indulge in 5-star luxury on the South Coast at this elegant getaway, where uninterrupted views of the Indian Ocean are the perfect beginning and end to every day.

Scrumptious breakfasts and dinners are served outside to make the most of this idyllic setting.

The View Boutique Hotel & Spa

Ocean Vista Boutique Guest House

Just 20 minutes from the city centre of Durban, this Umhlanga Rocks boutique guesthouse is modern and tasteful with unrivalled views of the Indian Ocean.

Its rooftop deck promises some breath-taking photo opportunities too.

Ocean Vista Boutique Guest House

Tala Private Game Reserve

Just 40 minutes from Durban, this gorgeous African retreat is in the Valley of 1000 Hills.

The lodges are beautifully appointed with plenty of spoils, and the game reserve is home to kudu, giraffe, hippo and hundreds of bird species.

Tala Private Game Reserve

Blue Waters Hotel

Beautiful 4-star suites are perched right on the Durban beachfront for guests that want to get the most out of this world-famous coastline.

Most rooms have views of the sea. There’s a bar, restaurant, pool and gym here too.

Blue Waters Hotel

Sugar Beach 4A

Relax at this beachfront apartment with its uninterrupted views of the Umdloti tidal pool. It has three bedrooms and two bathrooms, making it perfect for a family getaway.

The apartment has air-con and a spacious balcony.

Sugar Beach 4A

Mackaya Bella Guest House

This is an eco-friendly 4-star establishment in Glenwood, with exquisite indigenous gardens that attract many birds, and a swimming pool.

The six en-suite rooms all have air-con and the guest house is close to the CBD and the international airport.

Mackaya Bella Guest House

Kingfisher Lodge

Sip sundowners while you savour the views of Mount Edgecombe Golf Estate at this 4-star lodge.

Gourmet meals are prepared by the chef, and each room has luxurious extras to make your stay here a treat.

Kingfisher Lodge

uShaka Manor Guest House

This contemporary 5-star retreat has a tasteful African theme, a rock swimming pool, and a tropical garden for guests that want a real escape from the city.

The beaches and shops of Umhlanga Rocks are just a short walk away. Go deep-sea fishing, whale-watching or horse riding before heading back to your luxury suite.

uShaka Manor Guest House

Experience Durban with

We have hundreds of beautiful venues offering accommodation in Durban and its surrounding areas. Book and pay directly and in real time on our website. To find the perfect spot for your holiday, head to