Durban

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Durban has the pulse, the look, and the complex face of Africa. Then there's the summer heat, a clinging sauna that soaks you with sweat in minutes. If you wander into the Indian Quarter or drive through the Warwick Triangle—an area away from the sea around Julius Nyerere (Warwick) Avenue—the pulsating city rises up to meet you. Traditional healers closely guard animal organs for muti or medicine, vegetable and spice vendors crowd the sidewalks, and minibus taxis hoot incessantly as they trawl for business. It is by turns colorful, stimulating, and hypnotic.

It's also a place steeped in history and culture. Gandhi lived and practiced law here, and Winston Churchill visited as a young man. It's home to the largest number of Indians outside India; the massive Indian townships of Phoenix and Chatsworth stand as testimony to the harsh treatment Indians received during apartheid, though now thousands of Indians are professionals and businesspeople in Durban.

Street names have all been updated, but the old ones remain in brackets, as some maps and locals still refer to streets by the old names.

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Language

Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Sotho, Swazi, Tswana, Tsonga, Venda, Xhosa and Zulu

Electrical Outlets

220v and 230v/50 cycles; plugs have three round prongs

Currency

Rand, pegged with Lesotho loti, Swazi lilangeni and Namibian dollar

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