The Zulu name for Durban is eThekwini, from itheku meaning 'bay'.
Durban is the largest city in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal and probably the third largest city in the country.
Durban is famous for being the busiest port in South Africa. It is also seen as one of the major centres of tourism because of the warm subtropical climate and extensive beaches.
The municipality, which includes the neighbouring towns, has a population of almost 4.5 million, making the combined municipality the biggest city on the east coast of the African continent.
Today, Durban is the busiest container port in Africa and a popular tourist destination.
The Golden Mile, developed as a welcoming tourist destination in the 1970s, as well as Durban at large, provide ample tourist attractions, particularly for people on holiday from Johannesburg.
It lost its international holiday pre-eminence to Cape Town in the 1990s, but remains more popular among domestic tourists.
The city is also a gateway to the national parks and historic sites of Zululand and the Drakensberg.
Because of the high volume of tourists flocking to Durban, as well as many holidaymakers throughout the year, Durban has many B&B accommodation establishments suitable for holidaymakers, tourists and businessmen and women.
Because of the attraction of the white sandy beaches and warm Indian Ocean, campsites, caravan parks, holiday resorts and backpackers abound.
For those with more exclusive tastes, the many 5 star hotels in Durban cater to one's every desire.
Durban Guest Houses, Durban Self Catering units and Lodges range from budget accommodation, making it affordable for everyone, to exclusive and luxurious holiday apartment blocks.
In keeping with the prevailing holiday atmosphere in Durban, there is a wide variety of activities and things to do in and around Durban.
From swimming and surfing to windsailing and scuba diving ... you name it, Durban can provide it.
You the inclination is more towards museums and art galleries, bird watching or golf, just brouse through the Things to Do page and take your pick
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The Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama, who sailed parallel to the KwaZulu-Natal coast at Christmastide in 1497 while searching for a route from Europe to India, named the area "Natal", or Christmas in Portuguese.
Archaeological evidence from the Drakensberg mountains suggests that the Durban area has been inhabited by communities of hunter-gatherers since 100,000 BC.
These people lived throughout the area of present day KwaZulu-Natal until the expansion of Bantu farmers and pastoralists from the north saw their gradual displacement, incorporation or extermination.
The modern city of Durban dates from 1824, when a party of 25 men under British Lieutenant F. G. Farewell arrived from the Cape Colony and established a settlement on the northern shore of the Bay of Natal, near today's Farewell Square.
Accompanying Farewell was an adventurer named Henry Francis Fynn.
Fynn was able to befriend the Zulu King Shaka by helping him to recover from a stab wound he suffered in battle. As a token of Shaka's gratitude, he granted Fynn a "30-mile strip of coast a hundred miles in depth."
During a meeting of 35 European residents in Fynn's territory on 23 June 1835, it was decided to build a capital town and name it "d'Urban" after Sir Benjamin d'Urban, then governor of the Cape Colony.
The Voortrekkers established the Republic of Natalia in 1838, with its capital at Pietermaritzburg.
Reports of mistreatment of the Zulu by the Voortrekkers filtered back to the Cape Colony.
The governor of the Cape Colony dispatched a force under Captain Charlton Smith to re-establish British rule in Port Natal. The force arrived on 4 May 1842 and built a fortification that was later to be The Old Fort. On the night of 23/24 May 1842 the British attacked the Voortrekker camp at Congella. The attack failed, and the British had to withdraw to their camp which was put under siege.
A local trader Dick King and his servant Ndongeni were able to escape the blockade and rode to Grahamstown, a distance of 600 km (372.82 mi) in fourteen days to raise reinforcements. The reinforcements arrived in Durban 20 days later; the Voortrekkers retreated, and the siege was raised.
Fierce conflict with the Zulu population led to the evacuation of Durban, and eventually the Afrikaners accepted British annexation in 1844 under military pressure.
OH WOW. WHO REMEBERS THIS?
1960s to 1970 Beachfront
The old Boating Pond next to the Paddling Pool
British colonial rule
A British governor was appointed to the region and many settlers emigrated from Europe and the Cape Colony. The British established a sugar cane industry in the 1860s.
Farm owners had a difficult time attracting Zulu labourers to work on their plantations, so the British brought thousands of indentured labourers from India on twenty five-year contracts.
As a result of the importation of Indian labourers, Durban has the largest Asian community in South Africa and the African continent.
The Little Top
Durban is characterised by a mild subtropical climate with warm wet summers and mild moist to dry winters, which are frost-free.
Durban has an annual rainfall of 1,009 millimetres (39.7 in)
The average annual temperature is 21 °C (70 °F), with daytime maxima peaking from January to March at 28 °C (82 °F) and the minimum is 21 °C (70 °F), dropping to daytime highs from June to August of 23 °C (73 °F) and the minimum is 11 °C (52 °F).
Durban and its suburbs are hilly, with very few flat areas, except for locations in and around the central business district and the harbour.
The western suburbs off Hillcrest and Kloof are significantly higher above sea-level, reaching up to 850 metres (2,789 ft) in the community of Botha's Hill.
Many gorges and ravines are found within the metropolitan area.
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