Durban / iStock
This weekend the travel industry assembled for the World Travel Awards (WTA) Africa & Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony 2018, known as 'The Oscars' of travel awards at the Durban International Convention Centre to find out who among them would be crowned best of the best.
READ: How to have a sun-kissed mini-break in Durban
Winners at the red carpet reception included South Africa, voted ‘Africa’s Leading Destination’. Durban, which is enjoying a renaissance thanks to a series of landmark development projects, was named ‘Africa’s Leading City Destination’, whilst Cape Town’s captivating mix of cultures, cuisines and landscapes was acknowledged as it picked up ‘Africa’s Leading Festival & Event Destination’.
British Airways has revealed its annual travel predictions for the year ahead, selecting the top 19 must-see destinations for 2019. And Durban features on the list for the first time and as a must see for 2019.
Mercer’s 2017 Quality of Living Survey also named Durban as the top city for good living in South Africa. Ranked 83rd for best quality of living, followed by Cape Town and Johannesburg with 94 and 95 respectively. The city also won this year's award for Africa's Leading Cruise Port, which offers access to an array of luxury cruise liner options.
Aside from all the awards, Durban has been called the Miami of Africa, and has a lot to offer those seeking culture, the best beaches and foodie hot spots.
Here are a few reasons why we think Durban is one of the best cities to visit right now:
1. A drink at The Oyster Box
Set in the beautiful area of Umhlanga Rocks, be sure to swing by and indulge in the famous curry feast, high tea, a cocktail or visit its award-winning spa set amid tropical gardens.
2. Be awe-struck in the Valley of a 1000 hills
Sitting pretty between Pietermaritzburg and Durban, this is one valley you can't miss. With stunning tumbling hills, this is where the Umgeni River meets the Msunduzi River, and the Dusi Canoe Marathon is run through the area every year.
READ: Durban bests Cape Town and Johannesburg to top SA quality of life ranking
3. South Beach foodie hookups
Try some delicious chicken at the institution that is Afro's Chicken Shop, or indulge in a burger at Surf Riders Cafe.
Also chow down on pizza at the The Glenwood Bakery on jazz evenings, says Durban local, Jenna Kelly.
4. Moses Mabhida Stadium and Skycar
"Since the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the Moses Mabhida Stadium has been a prominent landmark of the Durban cityscape. The Skycar takes you up to the top of the stadium for astounding 360° views, and if you’re brave enough try out the 220m Big Swing: the tallest swing in the world according to the Guinness Book of Records," says @JaredInCPT.
5. Family fun at uShaka Marine World
This 16-hectare theme park comprises of 8 sections: uShaka Sea World, uShaka Wet 'n Wild, uShaka Sea Animal Encounters Island, uShaka Beach, uShaka Village Walk, uShaka Kids World, uShaka Dangerous Creatures and Chimp & Zee.
Also, if you're a water baby, visit the Sutton Park Swimming Pools for some summer refreshment.
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