Car rental in Durban
Rent a car in Durban

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Renting a car in Durban, South Africa is the best way to truly explore this city. Public transport is limited, and the city's main attractions are spread throughout the area. A rental car will enable you to trace the stunning Midlands Meander route that's just west from Durban, or drive up the North Coast to see the Big 5 at Hluhluwe Game Reserve. You can also explore the coastal towns of Umhlanga and Ballito just outside the city.

It's your choice: Where to go in Durban

The closest airport to Durban is King Shaka Airport, about 20 minutes by car from the city centre. A number of airlines offer direct international flights from London to Durban, including British Airways, Turkish Airways, and Emirates. Alternatively, you can fly into Johannesburg and catch one of many connecting flights to Durban. Durban is a large city with a population of about 3.5 million people. There are a number of excellent hotels in Durban located along the famous Golden Mile, a section of beachfront with golden sand and safe swimming beaches. The majority of hotels offer safe parking for your rental car in underground garages, so you can walk around and enjoy the action along the water.

Things to do in Durban

Visit uShaka Marine World for a fun day out for the whole family. Spend the day looking at sea life in the aquarium that's shaped like a shipwrecked boat, or test your bravery on Africa's highest water slide at the attached water park. Relax away from the crowds at the Botanic Gardens near the city centre. Entry is free and this is the perfect place for a picnic under the ancient trees. Go bungee jumping at Moses Mabhida Stadium and experience the thrill of the world's tallest swing. There is a 60m freefall before you swing in a big arc at 120km/h over a World Cup football pitch. Take a day trip along the Midlands Meander route to buy authentic arts and crafts, dine in unique restaurants, and take in the beautiful rural scenery.

Important info about Durban

Durban is a multicultural city with the largest ethnic Indian population of any city outside of India. Some of the best meals in Durban can be found in the city's many Indian restaurants. Durban is also home to various South Asian, Middle Eastern, Zulu, and European communities, with many community events and festivals reflecting this diversity. Durban's best-known feature is probably its coastline along the Indian Ocean, paired with a warm year-round climate. Plan to spend a few days of your holiday exploring the many beaches along this stretch of coast, especially in the areas around South Beach and Umhlanga. You're never far from nature wnen you rent a car in Durban. Just a short drive outside of the city you'll find Tala Private Game Reserve where you can self-drive your rental car to see some of Africa's unique wildlife. North of Durban is Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve where you will find the Big 5, amongst other animals. You can stay in a lodge at the reserve to truly experience this game park.

Weather in Durban
Country South Africa
Language English, Zulu, and Afrikaans
Currency Rand
Time-Zones SAST (GMT+2)
Country Code +27

Good to know

Car hire in Durban is available at the airport, and at most of the large hotel chains. South Africans drive on the left-hand side of the road. The speed limit in towns is 60km/h. Around Durban, the motorways have a speed limit of 120km/h.Traffic can be very heavy in Durban during congestion periods, so you should always leave plenty of time to get to your destination. Most petrol stations offer full service to drivers. You should tip your petrol attendant a few rand when they fill up your rental car. There are guards in most parking areas and it is customary to tip them. Make sure to always lock your car, and don't leave valuables inside.

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What to taste in Durban

Durban's most famous food item is bunny chow. The dish is available at many restaurants, and some of the best versions are found at roadside stalls. Bunny chow consists of a hollowed-out half loaf of bread that is filled with curry. The bread is used as a bowl and to soak up the sauce from the curry. No visit to Durban would be complete without trying Durban curry. This dish comes in many varieties including mutton, lamb, beef, fish, and chicken. The basic Durban curry consists of 12 spices and is hotter than most other Indian curries. You can pick up a spice mix and cook it at home, or try it at one of the many Indian restaurants in the city. While in South Africa, you can't miss out on a braai, which is Afrikaans for a barbecue. Braaivleis is any meat cooked over hot coals. In recent years people have started to braai vegetables as well. Braai is also known as shisa nyama in Zulu.

What to bring to your friends from Durban

Consider some of the many food options that South Africa has to offer. Buy a Durban curry spice mix for your friends so they can try cooking this local staple at home. Another option is biltong, a salted, dried meat similar to jerky. The local Zulu people are known for their beadwork. You can buy keyrings, necklaces, and earrings made from one of the many beadwork shops in the Durban area. Authentic wooden crafts made by local craftspeople are offered for sale in the craft markets around the city. If you're looking for something for the little ones, Hooligans makes locally-produced, fairtrade clothing for children with African themes. Visit one of their various retailers in the city to find great hoodies, shirts, or jackets, with your purchase supporting education and employment initiatives in South Africa.