South Africa

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Located on the east coast of South Africa, Durban in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, is the third biggest city in the country, and a major holiday resort. It is in the centre of a lush sub-tropical zone, with high-rise hotels crowded along a length of beachfront known as the Golden Mile, and has long been a favourite holiday resort for the residents of Pretoria and Johannesburg. Durban is designated as a high crime area, and care should be taken in the market areas and along the promenade, where pick pocketing is rife. As in most areas of South Africa, extra care should be taken after dark.

Durban,  is one of South Africa's leading seaports and a major importer of both raw materials and manufactured products. Only a short drive from the city is Durban International Airport. And the city boasts an International Convention Centre, which is centrally located, and can cater for conferences of up to 5000 people.

Durban's soft sand beaches are edged with palm trees, and washed by the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. The main beaches have changing and shower facilities, and for bathers safety, are equipped with shark nets and patrolled by trained lifeguards. As you might expect, there is a vast range of bars and restaurants.

The City Hall, located in Smith Street, was completed in 1910 to a design by Stanley Hudson. The building faces onto Francis Farewell Square, named after the man who in 1824 established Durban's first white settlement. Near the eastern steps, is a plaque commemorating a speech made by Sir Winston Churchill in 1899, when still a young war correspondent. Inside, is the Natural Science Museum with an extensive display of stuffed animals, plus a skeleton of a dodo. Upstairs is the eThekeini art gallery with an interesting collection of contemporary South African art.

The remains of an old fort where the British were besieged by Boer forces in 1842. A part of the building known as Warrior's Gate, which was once a powder magazine, is now home to a war museum, and the headquarters for MOTH (Memorable Order of Tin Hats). There is also a war memorial and the small chapel of St. Peter in Chains, which has been developed into a popular wedding venue. What was left of the old barracks have been converted into a home for war veterans.

Grey Street, situated north west of the city centre, is home to Durban’s Indian community. Here, you will find the gilt-domed Mosque, Juma Musjid. Built in 1927, it can accommodate approximately 4500 worshippers, and claims to be the largest mosque in the southern hemisphere. This is a good place for shopping if you are looking for fabrics, clothes, shoes, and leather goods. Check out Victoria Street Market if you are wanting to buy Indian spices, such as cumin, saffron, and many variations of curry mixtures.

Located at the end of Durban's Golden Mile is Africa's largest Marine Theme park, uShaka Marine World. It is the fifth largest aquarium in the world by volume of water, and covers an area of approximately 15 hectares. To reach uShaka Marine World from the centre of Durban, take Point Road in a southerly direction from West Street or the Victoria Embankment, turn left into Southampton, and left again into Albert Terrace.