It’s the holidays again, and while the North celebrates their festivities in icy cold temperatures and snow – the South celebrates during the hot, sunny days. Having lived in Durban, South Africa, most of my life – you become accustomed to expats and tourists flocking to Durban over the festive season – an approximate of 1.3 million visitors! All those who have relocated, visit home for the holidays and those who want to escape the winter wilderness, take a hot break from it here.
The beaches, parks and malls are constantly buzzing with crowds the entire festive season – so what is it that Durbanites do during this time? Well, we find alternatives of course!
Umhlanga Summer Festival
The Umhlanga Summer Festival takes place from 14 – 23 December at Umhlanga Beach with people taking part in activities on the Umhlanga Millenium Stage and around the main beach between 10:00 – 14:00 daily. The Miss Umhlanga Pageant is also hosted here at 11:30 on 16 December. On the 17th of December, the Umhlanga Trail Run/Walk takes place at Sibaya Casino and and Carols under the Stars at Granada Square at 18:00 on 20 December. Tickets range from R100 – R400. Check out uMhlanga Tourism Facebook page or call 031 561 4257 for more information.
Festive Trail of Lights
The Durban Botanical Gardens comes alive with lights and festivities including an Activity Garden for children and Christmas carols by the Umlazi Children’s Gospel Choir. It takes place from 17 – 24 December between 18:30 – 21:30. Tickets are R40 pp online and R50 at the gate. For more information visit www.trailoflights.co.za or contact email@example.com
Durban loves markets…and these free!
I Heart Market Festive Season Markets: Every Saturday from 2 – 16 December 2017 and 6 January 2018 at Moses Mabhida Stadium from 09:00 – 14:00.
Shongweni Christmas Extravaganza Market: 2 – 30 December 2017 in Hillcrest from 08:00 – 18:00.
The Sky Car/ Big Swing
The Moses Mabhida Stadium gets adrenaline pumping with its amazing Sky Car and fearless Big Swing! The Sky Car travels along steel tracks to the top of the stadium where a viewing deck allows you to take in Durban’s coast and city! Tickets are R60 pp and R30 for kids under 12. There is also the Big Sky Walk which allows you to walk along the arch of the stadium!
The Big Swing – the world’s tallest swing allows you to swing from the stadium’s arch much like bungee jumping. It costs R695pp – a bit steep, but not bad for a once off experience!
Inchanga Choo Choo
The Umgeni Steam Railway offers the Inchanga Choo Choo which departs from Stokers Arms in Kloof and returns to Stokers Arms in Kloof. The train stops at Inchanga where the Inchanga conservancy organise a Craft Market, picnic area with food stalls. A craft market with food stalls is available at Inchanga and a refreshment bar is on the train. It costs R240pp and R170 pp for kids. For schedule and booking info you can visit http://umgenisteamrailway.com/ .