WHERE: DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA
EATING: SEV AND NUTS ON THE BEACHFRONT
COMPANION: MY SISTER FROM ANOTHER MISTER, KEZ
I have recently had the opportunity to go to Durban for work. Well, I made sure I had work to do in Durban. Because #durban.
Coming from Cape Town, I tend to be pretty judgy when it comes to other cities- this being that I think Cape Town is the best city in the world and I am not biased. It has everything. Whenever I recommend South Africa to people from overseas it’s always Cape Town I rave about… Durban, however, is our best-kept secret. It is a colourful mecca of flavours, good people, excellent weather and surprisingly good restaurants.
Here is a list of my top 5 things to do in Durban.
HIT THE BEACHFRONT
Go to the beachfront. It’s the best place to see Durbanites in their natural habitat. They are a very active bunch of people…either surfing, cycling, skating or jogging. The weather is bound to be good regardless of what time of the year you go. Grab a snack (we opted for Sev and Nuts on the go) and take a walk. If you feel up for it, rent a bike or hop on a Rickshaw. You can start at Ushaka Marine world and end up at the lagoon. Warning: it is a 14km round route and you have to hope and pray the wind doesn’t change otherwise it’s a nightmare cycling back.
Durban is practically little India. You can’t visit without stock up on spices (and while you are at it, treat yourself to a Bunny chow-curry sauce inside half a loaf of bread!). While there are plenty of markets to visit, I prefer getting my spices from Gorima’s as my family has been going there for years. They always have everything I need, no matter how exotic.
STOCK UP ON LOCAL JEWELLERY/LEATHER
I love collecting artisan crafted jewellery and accessories. Firstly, supporting local is lekker. Secondly, it’s unlikely that anyone else will have anything similar if you opt for a custom design. Again, Cape Town is full of talented, creative individuals- don’t get me wrong. But Durban really has a lot to offer if you know where to look and who to ask. I met with a local jewellery designer, Lauren Batchelor, who followed her father into the industry. She crafted a few custom made pieces for me in silver. Her work is simple and elegant. Can’t wait to head back and get some more pieces for my collection.
Next, I needed a bag. You can never have too many! I had met Lucky from Lucky Leatherworks about a year ago and I was dying to get one of his totes. He was also so happy to custom make something for me and after a few conversations, I had the perfect bag. He uses a variety of leathers and is very knowledgeable.
HAVE A SURFBOARD SHAPED BY SPIDER AT SAFARI SURF
If you are in Durban, you should be surfing. The surf community are the friendliest and most welcoming people even if you don’t surf and just have questions. My day job was actually the reason we ended up at Safari Surf. So we were there on a completely unrelated matter but by the time we left, Spider had convinced me exactly which board I should have and where I should visit for some ‘beginner’ waves. I am not sure whether I’ll ever get there without embarrassing myself but his boards are all amazing. Each one is tailored to suit the rider and it is a pretty safe bet you won’t see another board like yours when you are in the water.
SPEND AN AFTERNOON AT KHAYA RECORDS
This is a picture of my friend Ryan. You may know him as DJ Fuego Heat. He runs Khaya records at the bottom of Florida road. It’s more than just a store, it is an experience. Ryan is happy to play anything you might find and will also help you source something specific if they don’t have it in store. They also host live music evenings. The best.