Durban Deals, Specials & Catalogues
Durban is one of South Africa’s largest cities, and the largest within the province of KwaZulu-Natal.
The Durban Metropolitan Area is also the second most populous after Johannesburg, and is more or less on par with Cape Town. The city is also a major industrial and economic hub of the nation, being the busiest port in South Africa. Its subtropical climate and extensive beachfront also make it a popular tourist destination. Durban forms part of the eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality (from the Zulu word itheku, meaning bay or lagoon).
Archeological evidence suggests that humans have inhabited the Durban area for over a hundred thousand years. The first documented history of the region begins with the account of Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama, who recorded a sighting of the area around Christmastime in 1497 as he sailed parallel to the coast on a search for a route from Europe to India. It was da Gama who named the region Natal, after the Portuguese word for Christmas.
The city of Durban was founded in 1842 by a group of British settlers under Lieutenant F.G. Farewell. Henry Francis Fynn, a noted adventurer of the time, was a member of this party, and befriended King Shaka Zulu by treating a stab wound he had received in battle. In return, Shaka gave Fynn a stretch of coastline. In 1835, it was decided that a town should be established, and the name of ‘d’Urban’ was chosen, after the governor of the Cape Colony at that time.
Over the next few decades, Durban came under the control of the Voortrekkers as part of the newly established Republic of Natalia, and was later retaken by the British. In the 1860s, large quantities of sugarcane were planted in the area. To support this growing industry, the British began bringing in thousands of indentured workers from India. This influx of immigrants formed the basis of what is now the largest Indian population outside of India itself.
Durban is located on the East Coast of South Africa, on the edge of the Indian Ocean. The geography of the area is quite hilly, with the humid climate contributing to an abundance of tropical vegetation and lush grasslands. Tropical storms are also not uncommon during the summer months.
An old and important city, Durban is home to a number of significant landmarks. Long stretches of beachfront (most notably uMhlanga Beach) are prominent visitor attractions, while the Durban Botanical Gardens display the abundant local flora. The Moses Mabhida Stadium, built for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, offers a 360-degree view of the city, as well as the world’s highest bungee swing from its central arch. uShaka Marine World is also a main tourist attraction.
The Durban city center is home to around 595,061 people at a density of 2600 per square kilometer.
The majority of the population is Black African, with English being the most widely spoken first language.
Durban’s annual GDP amounts to 63.9 billion US dollars.