Durban breaks through

15th Mar, 2016

In South Africa, Durban is clearly making headway with building a reputation in corporate meetings and incentive travel. During a visit to the Meetings Africa trade show in Joburg I went to explore a few highlights.

Report Marcel A.M.Vissers

More African than this is just not possible

Durban and Pietermaritzburg are two major hubs of the province of KwaZulu-Natal. This SouthAfrican province has an incredible cultural heritage. Known as ‘South Africa’s Miami’, Durban a favourite spot for local holidays but also for incentives, with loads of sun, sea and sand. The city has a host of fantastic restaurants, pubs, clubs and world-class hotels spread out across its Golden Mile and Durban’s Florida Road is the spot for fun and entertainment into the wee hours of the morning.

Heading away from the bright city lights of Durban along the North Coast you’ll find the Big 5 game reserves and wonders of the iSimangaliso Wetlands Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site).

Unforgettable Helicopter Flight

One of the magical flights starts with an adrenaline-filled low-level helicopter trip up the Umgeni River Valley to pop up over the Inanda Dam wall and climb up past Top’s Needle to the Valley of a Thousand Hills. Then you can enjoy a picnic in real style on top of the plateau with a 360° view of the city, the ocean, the stadium and the Valley of a Thousand Hills.

You can also explore the Durban coastline in spectacular style. This exciting tour takes in the beachfront from the Umhlanga Lighthouse to the vast Durban Harbour with a birds-eye view of Umhlanga Rocks, Virginia Airport, Blue Lagoon, Suncoast Casino, uShaka Marine World and the Golden Mile.

Warwick Market

Warwick Market is fascinating and good for many hours of sightseeing. It includes between 5,000 and 6,000 vendors trading in 9 distinct markets. Currently this is the only informally structured market in a public space. The products available vary from beadwork, traditional arts and crafts, traditional cuisine, fresh produce, music and entertainment merchandise, clothing, accessories and traditional medicine.

Moses Mambidha Stadium

There is a major appeal that emanates from Moses Mambidha Stadium, especially when you’re crossing the bridge together with hundreds of children. The adventure starts with a two-minute SkyCar ride up the stadium arch, before you step onto the platform and take in the unparalleled 360° views of Durban and beyond.

The SkyCar gives you the chance to discover Durban from a 106m-high vantage point. Look one way and take in the ocean views as far as the eye can see, look the other way and you’ll see the city living for miles.

uShaka Marine World

An incentive trip without an event in uShaka Marine World hardly stands a chance of success. Opened in 2004, uShaka has fast positioned itself as a key attraction on Durban’s Golden Mile.  Entertainment is non-stop, extending from the daytime operations of Sea World, Wet ‘n Wild, and uShaka Beach, to the night-time festivities of the Village Walk.  It’s definitely worth mentioning that there are several nice restaurants catering for groups: Cargo Hold is one of them. Havana Grill and Beluga Gateway are some of the other restaurants in Durban that welcome larger groups.

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