Durban is situated on the East coast of South Africa, and is well known for its Golden Mile of beaches. What are the things to do when you visit Durban?
I only spent a few days there, but it was still enough to get an impression of the city and find some favourite restaurants. Durban has an exciting food culture inspired by the African and the Indian kitchen!
Try the local speciality bunny chow
“You are going to Durban? You have to try the bunny chow!” was a common phrase from locals when I told them I was heading for Durban. They explained to me that a bunny chow is a hollowed-out loaf filled with spicy curry stew. There are several types, like curry beef, curry chicken or bean stew.
The first night we arrived in Durban, I was ready for the bunny chow. I didn´t quite get the excitement about this common fast-food special so exclusive to the Durban area. but I am always ready to try local food favourites!
Bunny chow became a favourite of mine. I loved the spicy bean curry stew, and I enjoyed eating it the local way – with my hands.
The golden mile
The seemingly endless stretch of beaches in Durban is known as the golden mile by locals, and is one if the main tourist attractions. Fresh ocean air, plenty of piers to walk out for a nice view, and people enjoying life day and night. My hotel was situated just next to the beach, so after breakfast I used to take a stroll to watch people and relax with a cup of coffee. Sunset at the beach is great, and you can a nice view of the city.
Visit the Victoria St. Market and herbal market
It´s a typical tourist market, but it is a good chance to see the different arts and crafts, some of them locally made. I loved the beautiful Zulu beadwork, and I went to stack up on spices.
I loved my visit here as I met a talkative Indian woman who told me a lot about her life and stories of how she came to Durban to settle with her husband. She told me she was a good cook, and she explained me about the different spices she used in her cooking – a fusion between authentic Indian and South African food (and she did not work in a spice shop).
If you go outside the market, and pass over the footbridge, you will reach the local herbal market. Here you can discover some of the mystery of the traditional medicine locally called mhuti. As you walk through the market, you will see the healers busy crushing, procession and mixing natural ingredients like dried roots, plants, crocodile teeth, snakeskins and different powders you probably never could guess what contains.
It was an interesting experience to walk through the market, but to be honest it was not a welcoming atmosphere encouraging to ask any questions or to have a closer look in the shops.
Delicious food at Moyo restaurant
One of my favourite restaurants during my travels was Moyo in South Africa. Although you can find vegetarian meals in any restaurant in SA, Moyo was my favourite. Their branch in Durban is unique for its location on the pier at uShaka. Since it was chilly, we had a table inside with the perfect view for the entertainment area where local dancers performed traditional dancing.
The vegetarian bobotie was my absolute favourite, and I enjoyed the Moroccan inspired vegetable bastille, filled with vegetables, cheese and served with mint tomato chutney.
Try chocolate pizza
I´m a pizza lover, and I have tried pizza in every country I visited. Not all of them are good memories and all though the chocolate marshmallows pizza was not a favourite of mine – it was my first time of trying sweet pizza. The chili bean and corn pizza was delicious though. Head over to Pizzetta to try their selection of gourmet pizza.
Stay in a hotel with a view
Spoil yourself with a room in a beach hotel with a wonderful view. I stayed in the Elangeni hotel with a room in one of the upper floor, and I had a wonderful view of the golden mile beaches. Their rooms are comfortable, and I loved the sunny breakfast terrace.
I visited Durban when I joined the campaign #MeetSouthAfrica brought to you by the South African Tourism board, supported and managed by iambassador. As usual, Taste of Slow maintains the full editorial control of the content published on this site, and all opinions are my own.
I´m an Oslo based web publisher with passion for communication, travel and a green lifestyle. When I travel, I prefer to go slow, sustainable, and “live like a local”. Why slow? It is about challenging the cult of speed, and to enjoy the small things in life and to live in the present.