Durban Information

About Durban

Welcome to the Zulu Kingdom!

Durban is found within the eThekweni region of Natal. It is a city that enjoys year round good weather, temperate warm waters of the Indian Ocean, golden beaches and tropical vegetation. Durbs, as it is fondly called by the locals, has something to offer everyone. If your ideal holiday is lying on the beach, then pick your spot of sand on any of the 6kms of beaches along the Golden Mile. This starts just 2Kms down from Honeycomb Guest House.

If golf is your game, book a round at the world renowned golf courses of the Durban Country Club or at Mount Edgecomb. The city is sports crazy, and hosts various international contests, including test cricket at the Kingsmead cricket Stadium and rugby matches at the Kingspark Stadium - home of the Sharks. Soccer can be found at the Moses Mahbida stadium which was originally built for the 2010 Soccer world cup.

Don't forget to shop! Gateway Theatre of Shopping is located just outside Umhlanga. The mall has a wide variety of shops, restaurants, theatres and an iMax cinema. It should keep you entertained for hours. The Pavilion sgopping mall is just 15 minutes up the Road in the other direction.

Durban is an ideal base from which to explore the game reserves and the Drakensberg Mountains. Both destinations are only a few hours drive away. Hluhluwe Game Reserve is a relatively short 3 hour drive up the North Coast. Established in 1895, and set in the heartland of Zululand, it is the oldest reserve in Africa and boasts the big five. Or you can visit the Ukhahlamba Drakensberg Park. Set in the majestic mountain range, this World Heritage Site is also one of South Africa's prime eco-tourist destinations. Take your hiking boots with you and enjoy the spectacular scenery as you walk the well laid out paths from the all the major camps.

The Durban Intenational Convention Centre - ICC is also the venue for the annual Tourist Indaba as well as many other Exhibitions, music concerts and Events. The ICC is in the same road as our Guest House.

Durban is a melting pot of Eastern, Western and different African Cultures, Traditions, Religions and Languages. Each one living in harmony, with an overall goal of ensuring the continued existence of the New South Africa. Here you will see the true South African interaction of the Rainbow Nation.

Just North of the Durban Metropolis, over the Umgeni River lies the playground of Honeycomb Guest House, in the upmarket suburb of Durban North. This area lies a short distance between the bustling city of Durban and Umhlanga Rocks, the start of the North Coast regions and a prime destination for holiday makers, tourists, Businessmen and those eloping. Durban North is one of the most sought after suburbs in Natal due to its location and proximity to a large number of venues and places of interest, which include shopping malls, beaches, museums, gardens and parks, casino's, business centres, conference centres and facilities, sporting activities, stadiums and golf courses to name a few attractions and reasons for being here in this part of the World. Other interesting visits in the Durban area would include the Umgeni Bird Park, Ushaka Marine World, The Snake Park, the Butterfly Park, the Crocodile Park, Raptor displays. Play with water at the Waterworld, Gateways Wavepool, Beach Pools, KingsPark Swimming Pool, Surf in great waves, Kitesurf, Jetski, Canoe up the Umgeni, Paddleski in great waters and then go diving with the sharks. Go deep sea fishing or just stay on the shore, take a trip round the harbour or out to sea. Visit the Game Parks at Hluhluwe or Imfalozi or the nature reserves at Kloof, The Bluff, Paradise Valley, Palmiet, New Germany, North Park, The Hawaan Forest, and Durban Norths own Beachwood Mangrove swamps or stay fishy and visit the Sharks Board for an educational and interesting time or take in a dolphin and whale watching expedition. Take to sky's on a helicopter tour, a microlight adventure or a paragliding experience. Plan your trip from Durban North. Having arrived in Durban and seen some of the many attractions, you can now explore inland and encounter the 1000 Hills experience, Albert Falls Amble, The battlefields of Natal, Have a Drakensberg Mountaion experience, Midlands meander route, Rainbow route,

The southern explorer, the brew route, and the Zulu Cultural and heritage trail. Organise a Golf Tour Many excellent courses to select from and all can be centred around Honeycomb Guest House. Courses just in the immediate area include, Durban Country Club (3Kms), Beachwood Country Club (3Kms), Mt Edgecomb Country Club (10Km's), Royal Durban Country Club (3Kms) Kloof Country Club (15Kms), Zimbali Country Club ( 30Km's). check us out for where to stay in Durban - Join us for a Durban North bed and breakfast experience in one of the best Durban Guesthouses - for business accommodation, business travel and executive accommodation - you'll be glad you did it!

 

Durban Weather
Weather

Durban  enjoys sunshine all year round. The seemingly endless humid summers (December till March) are hot and winters are warm and sunny. Light rain falls throughout the year, although summer is the wettest season. For most people the best time to visit is between autumn and spring when there's less humidity and temperatures are lower.

DURBAN NORTH WEATHER

Things to Do
Sky Walk
Moses Mahbida Stadium

https://www.mmstadium.com/attractions/adventure-walk/

Accross the stadium for a view of Durban

Botanical Gardens
Greyville

https://durbanbotanicgardens.org.za/

Wlak around the gardens that contain all sorts of wonderful plant life for you to investigate

Japanese Gardens
Durban North

http://www.durban.gov.za/City_Services/ParksRecreation/pnature/Pages/japanese.aspx

Great picnic spot while communing with nature

Ushaka Marine World
South Beach

http://ushakamarineworld.co.za/

See all the marine life in a world class aquarium with other fun stuff to do

Tourist Tips
Tourist Tips

CLIMATE

The region can be classified as warm-hot in that temperatures though out winter are mild with night times temperatures between 12-18 deg. c and day time temperatures averaging between 20 and 28 deg.c with 85% sunshine, yes, that's in winter.

Most regions have low rainfall, mostly in the summer (with the exception of the Western Cape) with late afternoon showers quite common. temperatures in summer will vary between 28-38 deg.c on average during the day time and dropping to 15-25 deg. c at night. Moderate and extremely comfortable almost the whole year round with the exception of an occasional colder spell during winter, particularly in the highland areas.

Sunny South Africa as it is often known has a climate that makes it one of the best year-round destinations in the world. Most areas enjoy a summer rainfall with occasional afternoon thunderstorms, these can be spectacular to see. Snow sometimes occurs, especially on the mountain peaks of Lesotho and the Drakensberg. Some areas have such mild winters, that visitors will never guess it's winter at all.

GETTING THERE

International access to South Africa is via air travel, with the O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg as the major airport, supported by the international airports  of Durban and Cape Town in South Africa and airports in Windhoek (Namibia); Gaberone (Botswana) and Maputo (Mozambique). South Africa is the hub for over 50 airlines from all 5 continents.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

For the majority of foreign nationals who travel to South Africa for vacation, entry is straightforward and hassle-free. All visitors to South Africa must be in possession of a valid passport, For visitors from many countries, visas are not required for visits of a limited period. A yellow fever inoculation and certificate from travelers over 1 year of age coming from an infected area, is an official requirement. This is not generally required if one's original departure is from Europe; the America's; North Africa or Asia.

TOURISM FACILITIES

South Africa boasts world-class transport infrastructure, telecommunications, banking, medical and tourism facilities. Accommodation caters for all needs and is accredited by the national Tourism Grading Council, which upholds very high standards. Cell phone service providers abound for either the short term hire of a local mobile phone and number or to assist with international roaming facilities.

ACCOMMODATION

This is made up of a combination of traditional Hotels; Bed and Breakfast or Guest House style accommodation and the rental of private holiday homes or villa's from private owners. Accommodation options can be broadened to include accommodation at various destinations such as Game Parks (Private and state operated) and the many camping; chalet; cottage and other self-catering accommodation. As a general guide, standards are higher than in most parts of the world with the South African three star grading being extremely comfortable and of adequate standard for most holidays, for a little luxury, go higher and to save on your budget you can safely go a little lower. We recommend further research on each selection and assure you of our best attempts at ensuring quality accommodation when using this site.

GETTING AROUND

BY CAR - We drive on the left hand side of the road. The region, and in particular South Africa, has an extremely good road infrastructure linking all major cities on good tar roads. Secondary tar roads between smaller areas support the main roads, these are usually tar but in some cases gravel based, suitable for all normal vehicles. Vehicle travel in all South African game parks is sufficient for normal vehicles, if you are planning to visit parks in the surroindingh states it is suggested you find out more information as an off-road vehicle might be required. All international car hire companies are represented.

BY AIR - From the major airports (above), the whole region is serviced by an efficient airline infrastructure to airports at Bloemfontein; East London; Kimberly; Port Elizabeth and George in South Africa and Maun (Botswana); Walvis Bay (Namibia). Vehicle hire can be arranged at all the airports. Advance booking is recommended for both car hire and or travel, advance discounts also apply.

BY BUS - An efficient inner-city bus grid exists between the main centres and along key routes. The smaller towns are not adequately or comfortably serviced by bus.

BY TRAIN - Not as efficient a system as can be found in a lot of countries. between the main cities this could be described as adequate. We do not recommend this for tourists with the exception of travelers on a limited budget and recommend you conduct fiurther research.

ELECTRICITY

The electricity supply is 220/230 volts AC 50 HZ, with the exception of Pretoria (230 V) and Port Elizabeth (200/250 V). Most plugs have 3-pin or 2-pin. Adapters can be purchased, but may be in short supply. US-made appliances may need a transformer. Most hotel rooms have 110 volt outlets for electric shavers and appliances. This is not common in smaller establishments or private villa accommodation.

Adapters can generally be purchased at your point of departure

DRIVING

Non-residents are permitted to drive with a driving license issued and valid in their own country, provided it bears the photograph and signature of the holder and is in English. If your drivers license does not meet these requirements, an international driver's license is required. Driving is on the left and the wearing of seatbelts is compulsory.

PEOPLE & LANGUAGE

English is commonly understood throughout the region and Portuguese in Mozambique and German in Namibia is often spoken.

In South Africa, diverse people and cultures combine to make the Rainbow Nation. Population groups include the majority Nguni (incl. Zulu, Xhosa, Swazi); Sotho-Tswana; Tsonga; Venda; Afrikaners; English; Coloureds; Indians; Khoi and San; and immigrants from Africa, Europe and Asia. The majority religion is Christian, but freedom of worship is guaranteed by the Constitution. There are 11 official languages, including English. Most South Africans are multi-lingual and English is fairly widely spoken, notably in urban centres. 

Afrikaans, a unique South African language derives from a combination of the Dutch; German and French languages. It is not dissimilar to the Flemmish (Flams) spoken in Belgium. For more information on each country kindly refer to our other information sections.

HEALTH

Malaria is found in Mozambique; Botswana; Northern Namibia. In South Africa it is only in the Lowveld of Mpumalanga (incl. the Kruger National Park) and Limpopo (north-eastern areas and near the Zimbabwean and Mozambican borders) and on the Maputaland coast of KwaZulu-Natal (north-east as far south as the Tugela River). Malaria risk is highest October-May. Although the incidence of malaria is rare, it would be best to take adequate precautions if you choose to visit these areas. In addition to malaria prophylaxis, insect repellents and mosquito nets can be effective. Medical facilities equal the best in the world and in many medical disciplines, South Africa is a global leader. A large network of hospitals offer excellent service, but make sure you have adequate health insurance. 

SAFETY

Most parts of South and Southern Africa can be described as very safe provided that basic, common sense, good practice is applied, this will include the rules that should apply when one travels in any unknown country.

These include obtaining related information from local people, not going or walking alone to strange and isolated areas after dark, not flashing photographic equipment or jewellery to the public eye in crowded areas, in traffic, maintaining a safe following distance. Most major cities run organized crime prevention programmes and Basic Safety Tip guidelines are available at hotels and tourism information offices.

SHOPPING

Modern shopping malls, arts & crafts routes and markets, flea markets and informal vendors provide a wide variety of goods, curios, and shopping experiences. South Africa's fashion, gold and diamond jewellery, and art are sought-after. As are the traditional handcrafted items such as Zulu beadwork; carved chessboards; painted ostrich eggs; colourful woven baskets, handbags and soft furnishings; mohair or sisal rugs; traditional wooden masks and carvings; pottery and leather items. And don't forget the world-renowned Cape wines, exotic fruit liqueurs, brandy, rooibos tea, dried fruit, biltong (dried meat snacks) and chutney. Most major shopping centres and malls operate 7 days a week, but small town shops are often closed on Sunday.

MONEY

The local currency is the South African Rand (R1=100 cents), which exchanges favourably with the major international currencies. This makes South Africa an affordable (if not very low cost destination) where five-star luxury, and many items such as food, wine and lager, can be purchased at a much lesser cost than in many global cities.Most international traveler's cheques are accepted, however, it is advised that you bring them in a hard currency, such as US dollars or British Pounds. Currency can be exchanged at banks, forex bureaus and sometimes at hotels. Foreign tourists can have their VAT  refunded at the point of departure, provided they present their original tax invoices. Most major international credit cards such as American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are widely accepted.

FOOD & WATER

South Africa's tap water is potable and of the safest and cleanest in the world. In hotels, restaurants and nightspots, the standards of hygiene and food preparation is generally top-notch. It is safe to eat fresh fruit and salads and to put as much ice as you like in your drinks - a good thing, too, after a day on the beach or in the bush. Restaurants cover a wide variety of cuisines and visitors are normally very impressed with the food. The country's many cultures makes for varied traditional fare, which is worth exploring - especially the biltong.

Where can I smoke?

The law prohibits smoking in most public spaces, including airports and railway stations. Most restaurants have designated smoking and non-smoking areas.

South African time

South Africa does not change its clocks during the year, and there are no regional variations within the country. South African Standard Time is two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean (or Universal Standard) Time, one hour ahead of Central European Winter Time, and seven hours ahead of the USA's Eastern Standard Winter Time.

Tipping

Tipping is not generally a common practice in South Africa. There are certain functions that expect a tip but for the most part the only service that looks towards this practice is restaurant waitrons where the accepted standard is around 10% of the bill, although sometimes a gratuity will be included (often in the case of a large party). Barmen can tipped a similar percentage. Hotel porters expect a tip as do 'car attendants' - a South African made up job. You are under no obligation to tip these people.

The seasons

  • Summer - mid-October to mid-February
  • Autumn - February to April
  • Winter - May to July
  • Spring - August to October

Inoculations

If you're an adult, you won't need any inoculations unless you're traveling from a yellow-fever endemic area (the yellow fever belt of Africa or South America), in which case you will need certification to prove your inoculation status when you arrive in South Africa.

It is recommended that you have the required inoculations four to six weeks before you travel to South Africa (a yellow fever inoculation certificate only becomes valid 10 days after inoculation - after which it remains valid for 10 years).

Hepatitis B inoculations are recommended for children up to the age of 12 who have not completed the series of injections as infants. Booster doses for tetanus and measles can also be administered.

Medical facilities

Medical facilities in cities and larger towns are world-class, but you will find that in rural areas the clinics and hospitals deal with primary health needs, and therefore do not offer the range of medical care that the large metropolitan hospitals do. Trained medical caregivers are deployed round the country, so help is never far away.

The sun

We have a warm sunny climate and you should wear sunscreen and a hat whenever you are out of doors during the day, particularly between 10am and 4pm, regardless of whether there is cloud cover or not.

Even if you have a dark complexion, you can still get sunburned if you are from a cooler climate and have not had much exposure to the sun. Sunglasses are also recommended wear, as the glare of the African sun can be strong.

Can I drink the water?

High-quality tap (faucet) water is available almost everywhere in South Africa, treated so as to be free of harmful micro-organisms, and in any area other than informal or shack settlements, is both palatable and safe to drink straight from the tap.

In some areas, the water is mineral-rich, and you may experience a bit of gastric distress for a day or two until you get used to it. Bottled mineral water, both sparkling and still, is readily available in most places.

Drinking water straight from rivers and streams could put you at risk of waterborne diseases - especially downstream of human settlements. The water in mountain streams, however, is usually pure and wonderful.

Do I need to take malaria tablets?

Many of the main tourist areas are malaria-free, so you need not worry at all. However, the Kruger National Park, the Lowveld of Mpumalanga and Limpopo, and the northern part of KwaZulu-Natal do pose a malaria risk in the summer months.

Many local people and some travellers do not take malaria prophylaxis, but most health professionals recommend you do. Consult your doctor or a specialist travel clinic for the latest advice concerning malaria prophylaxis, as it changes regularly.

Whether you take oral prophylaxis or not, always use mosquito repellent, wear long pants, closed shoes and light long-sleeved shirts at night, and sleep under a mosquito net in endemic areas (the anopheles mosquito, which carries malaria, operates almost exclusively after dark). It is advisable to avoid malarial areas if you are pregnant.

HIV/Aids

As in other countries, always take precautions when having sex. South Africa has one of the highest rates of HIV in the world.

Other health issues

Bilharzia can be a problem in some of the east-flowing rivers, but it is easily detected and treated if it is caught early. Perhaps it would be a good idea to have a routine test a month or two after you get home - just to reassure yourself.

Ticks generally come out in the early spring and may carry tickbite fever, which is easily treated. You should also be aware of hepatitis, for which you can be inoculated.