Durban South Africa

Reply

Oct 8th, 1999, 07:29 PM
  #1
Joy in Virginia
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Durban South Africa

I am weighing pros & cons of traveling from Virginia, US, to Durban SA in July 2000 for a work-related meeting. I would be bringing my husband and 2 kids ages 6 & 12 along if I decide to go, and they would sightsee while I go back & forth by myself to meetings for part of the time. Any advice, experience appreciated. Are there lots of family-friendly things to do in Durban? How about traveling to other South African cities? Thank you!
 
Reply With Quote
Oct 8th, 1999, 10:02 PM
  #2
Roger Vineall
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Durban is a holiday city, so there will be plenty for your husband and kids to do. Although July is mid-winter, the climate is mild and you can still go swimming in the sea. (In fact the country's premier surfing event - the Gunston 500 is held in Durban in July.) The Drakensberg area (mountain range) is about 2 hours drive from Durban is well worth a visit and might be a good weekend break. The South Coast has many resort towns which will keep the kids (and husband) happy. Suggest you try Margate or Scottburgh or the Wild Coast Sun. North of Durban is the famous Hluhluwe game park, well worth a visit if you have a few days to do it. (If you do plan to travel north of the Tugela river, please speak to your doctor about malaria tablets before you go as I think you have to start taking them a couple of weeks beforehand.)

Other citiies: Top of the list would be Cape Town, though at that time of the year you'd be taking a chance with the weather. It's a two-hour flight from Durban. Having a good time in Cape Town does not depend on the weather though and if you're coming all this way, then I'd recommend the trip down here. There are wine tours, the Waterfront, Table Mountain and a host of other things that I'm sure the guidebooks would tell you about.

Closer to Durban are Johannesburg and Pretoria. You'll probably find that your plane arrives in Johannesburg so you could spend time there on the way in or out. In 3 weeks time we're going to Warmbaths - a mineral baths town about 90 minutes north of Jo'burg (well that's what the brochure says!). There's an Aventura resort there which sounds quite a lot of fun for a family - this chain seem to have a good reputation, but I haven't been there yet. (Tel: +27147362200 - central reservations +27 12 3462277)

I hope these are enough pros to get you to come out here in July. Please don't hesitate to e-mail me if you want any more info.

Roger
 
Reply With Quote
Oct 11th, 1999, 01:43 AM
  #3
Jo
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I spend two weeks in Durban visiting friends last year. I had a great time, and wouldn't think you'd really have to travel too far to keep occupied. Definitely go to Hluhluwe/Umfolozi. Hilltop Camp is a high quality one, but there are plenty of more basic ones around. Contact the Parks Board for more information - do a search. I saw loads of rhino, buck, crocs, wildebeast, buffalo... etc, etc. The Drakensberg is lovely. Have a look at the Cathedral Peak website - thats a high quality hotel (easy enough to find if you do a search under Yahoo). There are also cheaper camps around. Drakensberg is perfect for walking, horseriding, relaxing and enjoying. I also went to the Wild Coast and enjoyed it. Stayed in a stunning guesthouse with our own private access to a beach, a lovely breakfast and luxurious rooms for about $20/night between us. Durban also has a beachfront area with markets containing African crafts and other stuff. There are some good shopping centres - sorry the names escape me, but your hotel in Durban would be able to help. The Umhlango Rocks area of Durban was a lovely place to stay. South African drivers can take a bit of getting use to. Recommend you don't leave Durban without trying a curry (particularly a bunny chow, uniquely SA Indian dish). The curry is probably the best you'll find outside India (even better than Londons!). Make sure you try some game restaurants. Also some Amarula cream to drink is a must. If theres a rugby game on, it would be a great experience to see at Kings Park Stadium - really good atmosphere before hand everybody has a braai (BBQ) outside the grounds. The list goes on an on... do not miss this opportunity! South Africa is a wonderful place, the crime rate can be a bit intimidating, but its easy to keep yourself safe. Just be alert. Do not venture into places until you KNOW they are safe. If you're driving, don't stop your car for any reason. Not even a half dead person on the side of the road. Carrying a cellphone is a good idea. I think thats about it. If you need more specific help let me know. I have many good friends there (and in fact will be staying with them for 3 months next year).
Enjoy!
 
Reply With Quote
Oct 17th, 1999, 09:43 AM
  #4
Joy in Virginia
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Thanks for the information. We are looking at the family budget to see if anyway we can afford the trip. I know it would be a wonderful experience for my kids.
 
Reply With Quote
Oct 17th, 1999, 06:28 PM
  #5
sam
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Joy,
You should definitely go. Not only is it the beautiful place everyone else has told you about, it is also among the most affordable. Your biggest expense will be the airfare. Trust me. Give us a trip report when you return.
 
Reply With Quote
Nov 6th, 1999, 02:25 PM
  #6
ricardamundo
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Joy, you may want to see my post in response to the question about 'safety.'

I was in Durban in July and decided against taking the family due to the level of crime and violence. I have teenage children and wanted them to to but I'm glad I didn't bring them along. I don't think South Africa is suitable for travel with children and certainly would be wary of you travelling anywhere on your own, even to meetings. Our group were victims of crime on more than one occasion and there are more dangerous places to inadvertently wander into than safe ones. I hate to bad mouth any place but from my experience South Africa is going through a very difficult time and until things are stabilized, I wouldn't travel there, especially with children.
Think twice about the trip, think twice about taking your children and if you do go, for God's sake be careful.

 
Reply With Quote
Nov 8th, 1999, 08:36 AM
  #7
sam
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Joy,
Beware of Chicken Little "the sky is falling" advice. Majority of opinions you will hear is that Durban is a lovely and safe place to visit for the whole family. I would go there again (with my family) in a New York minute -- oh wait, New York is "dangerous" too...
 
Reply With Quote
Nov 8th, 1999, 04:27 PM
  #8
ricardamundo
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
OK Sam, tell that to the folks who were confronted at knifepoint. One was simply threatened with 'do you want to die' before being relieved of all valuables and then pushed into a stairwell. If you ask him I guess he might say the sky was falling. New York is no longer as dangerous as it once was and South Africa currently has one of the highest crime rates in the world, far surpassing New York. Ignore my advice as fear mongering if you will, play the odds and you just might be lucky and come out OK. But to simply ignore the obvious seems to me to be a little 'unrealistic.' My best wishes to all who decide to travel there and may you come home safe and sound. I still wouldn't go back.
 
Reply With Quote
Nov 8th, 1999, 07:33 PM
  #9
sam
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Ok, I will ignore your advice as fear mongering...
 
Reply With Quote
Nov 9th, 1999, 04:43 AM
  #10
ricardamundo
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Hah! At least you've got a sense of humour Sam. Let's agree to disagree.
 
Reply With Quote
Nov 10th, 1999, 02:57 PM
  #11
whitesouthafrican
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
SA is basically safe with the exception of Johannesburg, the black townships and any of the cities at night. Durban is becoming pretty unpleasant, because, like with the rest of the country, our new affirmative action police force has lost control.
I would suggest you vist now, in 5 years SA will have been completely destroyed by our current ANC government. It is a tragedy what is happening to the country-it used to be paradise but now, due to Mandela and Mbeki's incompetence the country is becoming the laughing stock of the world. Enjoy it while you still can.
 
Reply With Quote
Nov 10th, 1999, 04:18 PM
  #12
black south african
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Welcome back, David. You know, your racist diatribes are really getting old.
 
Reply With Quote
Nov 11th, 1999, 02:49 PM
  #13
whitesouthafrican
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Who is David?
 
Reply With Quote
Nov 13th, 1999, 05:23 PM
  #14
xxx
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
David is a white racist asshole spreading untrue propaganda just like you.
 
Reply With Quote
Nov 14th, 1999, 10:16 AM
  #15
Kruger
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Hey you stupid black idiot-where is the propoganda-SA is unsafe due to the incompetence of the ANC-just look at the crime statistics. Apparently, SA has the worst crime rate in the world for countries not at war. Looking forward to your reponse.
 
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:30 AM.