Why Durban is the best in winter
Forget the slopes of the Drakensberg or the freezing heights of the Cedarberg – there’s only one place to be these next few months if you’re not a fan of cold weather: Yes, we’re talking about Durban, the city that somehow forgets every year to actually have a winter.
We think everyone should try Durban during the winter months at least once, and here’s why.
Not too hot, not too wet
With a temperature of around between 15 and 25 degrees between June and August, there’s no better place for warm-weather lovers to escape the Gauteng chill or Cape Town’s icy winds. Not only is it T-shirt weather, it’s also mercifully free of the overbearing summer humidity so you can walk, cycle or hike any time of the day.
The other plus that Durban winters have over summers is that there’s little rainfall. That means you can enjoy all the best that the city has to offer – sun, surf and swim – without fear of your plans getting washed out.
The crowds are non-existent
The beauty of a Durban winter is that it still offers holiday vibes without masses of sunburnt holiday-goers gathering on the beach like a horde from The Walking Dead. You can enjoy the typical must-dos of a Durban visit – getting wet and wild in uShaka, Segwaying through Moses Mabhida Stadium or simply strolling along the Golden Mile – without crowds of visiting Vaalies doing the same.
Not only are the queues shorter and the beaches less claustrophobic, but the prices are also much more reasonable. Many hotels and backpackers offer off-peak rates and specials that makes it incredibly affordable to just drop by for a weekend.
(Image credit: ChrisVanLennepPhoto/Shutterstock.com)
The sporting life
For sports fundis, there’s plenty of events to get the adrenalin running. The biggest is the Comrades Marathon, which finishes in Durban this year. There’s no better place to watch the exhilaration of runners completing the race than right there at the finish line.
If you’re into watching beautiful guys and girls in wetsuits perform incredible feats of athleticism (and who isn’t?), there’s the Ballito Pro surfing festival taking place at the end of June. And while the PSL season may be sadly over, there’s still some incredible stadium action to be had watching the Sharks (with the returning Pat Lambie) play their brand of running rugby.
(Image Credit: Icswart/Shutterstock.com)
Nothing gets put on hold
Some holiday destinations are truly dead in the off season. Not so for Durbs, offering loads to do even as the rest of the country enters hibernation. You can enjoy any of Durban’s amazing activities – from picnicking at one of the many parks and reserves to the archetypical bunny chow on the pier.
On top of the usual fare, there are plenty of events to draw everyone from arts lovers to foodies. The South Africa Music Awards head to Durban for the first time, celebrating artists like Black Coffee and Cassper Nyovest. If movies are more your bag, the Durban International Film Festival brings together the best of Africa’s movie industry.
If you do find yourself irresistibly drawn to Durban during this time, you’ll be in good company. The Sardine Run sees millions of sardines (and trailing sharks and birds) travel along the east coast in what is one of the coolest ocean phenomenon you’ll ever see.
So pack your flip-flops and discover just why Durbanites never seem to pack a jacket.