The city of Durban, located on the east coast of South Africa, overlooking the Indian Ocean, was successful in its bid to host the 22nd edition of the Commonwealth Games, which has been given the name: Durban 2022.
The Games will be attended by 71 member territories which belong to the Commonwealth of Nations.
Durban was awarded the 2022 Commonwealth Games on 2 September, 2015.
Durban as a Sporting Event Arena
Previously, Durban, a coastal South African city, was (and perhaps still is) intent on bidding for the Summer Olympics of 2020 or 2024. However, it is now recognized as being the first host of the Commonwealth Games on the African continent.
Durban is home to two association football teams, professional Rugby Union, as well as many international cricketing events. It also previously held matches from the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the Rugby World Cup in 1995, the African Cup of Nations in 1996 and 2013, in addition to the Cricket World Cup in 2003.
The Durban City Scape
Durban, which literally means ‘bay’ or ‘lagoon’ in Zulu language, is the largest city within the province of KwaZulu-Natal. Ranking second in South Africa in terms of urban populous (together with Cape Town), the Durban Metropolitan achieves this accolade after Johannesburg.
The city is home to the busiest port in South Africa and is regarded as among the major centres of tourism on account of the warm subtropical climate and expansive beaches.
The municipality, including neighbouring towns, has a populace of around 3.5 million, though the population density is lower than most other South African cities given that the land area is particularly expansive.
The Golden Mile
Developed as a tourist destination during the 1970s, the Golden Mile, which took its name from the miles (as opposed to ‘mile’) of golden beaches that line the coastal waters at the city’s central business district, offers plenty of attractions. It was redeveloped in late 2009 just prior to the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
The most popular beaches in Durban are situated along the Golden Mile, which, though termed as a ‘mile’ extend for approximately four miles stretching from Blue Lagoon southwards to Durban Harbour and Addington Beach.
The wide, brick-paved promenade provides for walking, jogging, and biking along the route and takes various detours on to a number of piers where visitors can bear witness to kite boarders, surfers, and sand castle architects displaying their skills, or simply enjoy soaking in the pleasingly warm Indian Ocean breeze.
The Indian District
There was a couple of waves of Indian emigration that helped to make Durban, South Africa’s foremost multicultural city, the designation for the highest concentration of Indian peoples to reside outside India.
The first wave which began in the 1860s consisted of servants that were part of the British rule, while the latter wave which occurred from 1880 onwards, witnessed droves of Indian traders emerging to sell their wares.
To get a real insight into the ‘Indian quarter’ and immerse the senses within the city’s Indian history and heritage, it’s wise to join a walking tour around the districts of Bertha Mkhize (Victoria) Street and Dr. Yusuf Dadoo (Grey) Street.
The “Oriental Walk-About” which is provided by Tourism KwaZulu-Natal, includes stop-offs at the Victoria Street Market (the Vic) and Zulu Muti (Zulu medicine) Market. There you can witness dealers in their traditional saris and kurtas hawk ornately embroidered fabrics, incense, and aromatic spices.
uShaka Sea World
uShaka Sea World is renowned as one of the largest sea aquariums in the world, and is the centrepiece of the expansive 40-acre uShaka Marine World.
The aquarium promotes a sustainable approach to the marine environment, whereby you can enjoy the magnificent displays provided by manta rays and assorted pelagic fish, or take part in the Shark Dive Experience if you’re brave enough.
Top Hotels in Durban
Accommodation proliferates in Durban, but it’s always wise to book early when a big event such as the Commonwealth Games is due.
- Sylvester Ntuli Road, Durban
This 3 star accommodation is one of the cheaper options in Durban and yet one of the very best. The hotel provides an ideal location for family, business travellers, and leisure/ pleasure seekers alike.
With close proximity to the centre of the city, beaches, and the Durban International Conference & Exhibition Centre, it’s bound to be a popular choice.
- Walnut Road, Durban
The 5 star Hilton Durban is ideal for pleasure and business travellers, as you’d likely expect. And as you’d also expect, this hotel affords superior accommodation, facilities, and services, and yet, all at a very affordable price.
Every room offers exquisite, panoramic views and the hotel is conveniently located close to Durban’s central business district, as well as beaches and other tourist attractions.
Auberge Hollandaise Guest House
- Kenneth Kaunda Drive, Northway, Durban North
Another 5 star hotel or guesthouse if you will, which is situated within Durban North, a relatively tranquil and exclusive part of Durban City.
Nevertheless, irrespective of its tranquil locale, it’s within easy reach of the city center and Umhlanga. Local attractions include Moses Mabhida Stadium, the Gateway Theatre of Shopping, and uShaka Marine World.
Durban’s Best Restaurants
Durban is cooking, and that’s not only with respect to the sizzling temperatures in the summertime. From spicy Szechuan to Ethiopian and artisan charcuterie to bunny chow, there really is a cuisine to suit any and every palate.
- Café Abyssinia (Ethiopian)
The chef, Ethiopian-born Charity Asfaw, offers ever so tasty dishes with Ethiopian-style pancakes at her restaurant which is in fact a garage conversion. Thoroughly quaint, all the same!
- China Plate
- Umgeni Park
Although located within a shopping centre, the spicy Szechuan (Chinese) cuisines, exuberant lighting, and delicate red lanterns are all delightful.
- Chuck & Bob’s Charcuterie
The foundation of the menu at Chuck & Bob’s is all about the award-winning home-cured meats, where the dishes are simple but mightily tasty.
- Little Havana
All sorts of meats on offer at Little Havana so if you’re a meat lover, you know where to come. Sit out on the verandah and soak in the atmosphere of the Durban surroundings.
- Marco Paulo
- Mount Edgecombe
Marco Paulo serves up honest, but thoroughly flavourful cuisine. Pick from the specials board for pork neck and a variety of other rustic dishes.