It’s no secret that Durban is the warmest place to be, especially in winter when the rest of the country is donning boots, scarves and jackets.
This is a perfect time of year to take advantage of our Joburg-to-Durban specials, so why not plan a weekend getaway for the family?
As South Africa’s playground Durban has a lot to offer visitors, especially those with children.
A perennial favourite is uShaka Marine World, with its Wet ’n Wild water theme park featuring slides, rides and a heated kiddies’ pool.
At uShaka Sea World, the world’s fifth-largest aquarium, hundreds of marine species on display include sharks, rays, corals, lobsters, jellyfish, turtles, penguins, seals and dolphins. There’s also a dangerous creatures exhibit housing lizards, snakes, frogs and other fascinating creatures.
Dolphin and seal shows, feeding of the rays and sharks, and interactive exhibits such as the rays’ touch pool are most popular with youngsters. Lunch at one of many restaurants in the uShaka Marine complex is a nice way to end your visit.
Half an hour north of Durban, the Gateway shopping mall in Umhlanga houses a skate park, wave pool, putt-putt golf, movies, go-karting and a games arcade to keep kiddies entertained for hours.
Make use of the beachfront promenade by hiring bikes at the Bike & Bean and taking a leisurely ride to the Moses Mabhida Stadium, or up north to the Blue Lagoon. They also do great coffee and pre-packed snacks for your two-wheeler trip.
Soak up the winter sunshine with a visit to the Umgeni River Bird Park in Riverside Road, where brightly coloured parrots, macaws, owls, hornbills, cranes, flamingos and numerous other species captivate young and old.
Buying a dish of nectar to feed the parrots and pellets to feed the ducks, makes the experience more fun and interactive for children. Make sure you time your visit to coincide with free-flight bird shows at 11am and 2pm daily.
Antelope, art and activity is the theme at Waterberry Coffee Shoppe in Ballito, where the food menu was created with small appetites in mind. Once they’ve tired themselves out playing on the jungle gym, watching the animals and creating sand art, treat them to French toast or mac-and-cheese with a yummy milkshake.
If all else fails, there’s always the beach, kilometres of it to enjoy, building sandcastles, paddling in the shallows or learning to surf at uShaka Beach.
Written by Christine Marot