where to stay
This is a big one and unfortunately it doesn't have a small answer. The 3 priorities are safety, convenience and leisure and in that order. Durban is a bit different from most cities in that the further out of the city centre you go the better it is.
Recommended areas within eThekwini (The Bay) i.e. Durban:
- Morningside & Windermere
- Upper Glenwood & Upper Berea
- Musgrave & Essenwood
Traveller friendly beach areas in Greater Durban & North Coast:
- Glenashley & Durban North
- Umhlanga Rocks & La Lucia
- Ballito & Umdloti
If you're planning on moving to Durban for a few months : remember that it is not a legal requirement for landlords to sign a tenancy agreement for contracts shorter than 1 year. It is always a good idea to sit down with your landlord and draw up an agreement so that both parties know what they are signing up for and what to expect. If your landlord doesn't fancy that then find out his/her's expectations and the house rules. Knowing the HOUSE RULES is essential as landlords can have a tendency to include hidden fees.
I'm sure your apartment/hotel is great but believe it or not it's better outside. You're in Durban after all, you might as well take in as much of the weather as possible. Convinced? I guess your next question is what's the best way get around the city. One word. UBER! The app works great out here, we know it's not that big in Germany and France but it certainly is a safe and convenient option when in Durban.
If UBER isn't your thing, you have options. There are also a number of taxi cabs floating around the city, Mozzie Cabs is one that we recommend. For groups trips or if you need a long distance ride we can help. Minibus Taxis can get you pretty much anywhere, while they don't have the best reputation they offer an essential service to locals. If you do use a minibus taxi be street smart about it and travel with a local that you trust.
Don't judge us for making this number 3 on our Durban Essentials. Yes we know how important data, wifi and whatsapp is to you. The first thing you need to know is there are 4 main networks in South Africa for mobile phones: Vodacom, MTN, Cell C and Telkom. In our experience Vodacom has the best network coverage. So if safety is always having mobile phone reception (as it is for us) then we say stick to Vodacom. Their rates for data are reasonable too [1 gig = R149 | 2 gigs = R249 | 3 gigs = R299 | 5 gigs = R399].
If you're looking to buy large data bundles that's valid for 6 months to a year, Cell C do some incredible deals and their network is backed up by Vodacom so your coverage is pretty comprehensive with these guys too.
All countries have their go to grocery shops, we're no different. The stuff we sell inside might sometimes surprise you like chicken feet but let us break it down for you:
Checkers: This is the place where we get our stock items. You know those things that don't really matter where you buy it from like tuna or baked beans. They are known to be pretty cost effective and you can find one of their stores just about anywhere.
Woolworths: If you the owner of a "sophisticated palette", then this is the place for you. If you're all about organic, vegan, crazy good quality ingredients they won't let you down. Head to Woolworths for those little touches that give your pantry that little bit of Joie de vivre. It can be a bit pricey for the standard bits and bobs.
Something with a difference: Well it depends on what you need. You can find just about anything if you know where to look and we know where to look. If you're need something specific, let us know on our FB Page and we'll try to come up with the stuff.
Other Stores: Spar [similar to Checkers], Pick & Pay & Food Lovers Market