South Africa has long been one of the great surfing nations of the world. Summertime in SA means boardshorts and killer beachbreaks along the Durban waterfront. As with other urban surf centres, expect crowds and super-high performance levels.
The waves Durban has miles of quality beachbreaks and some top reef setups too. To the north and south of the city lie more varied surf spots, but beware that this is shark country and only the city beaches are netted.
Hot spots New Pier in the Bay of Plenty is the breeding ground for many a South African pro – if you like sucky beachbreak pits, you’ll like it here. For those who fancy some reef action, check out the grinding right-hand tubes of Cave Rock. Outside the urban area are countless more good waves; South Africa is one of the most wave rich countries in the world.
Accommodation Durban offers the full range of accommodation, from millionaire’s hotels to cheap youth hostels and hotels. Check out the streets running off the Bay of Plenty for cheap surfer-friendly hotels (expect to pay £10 to £20 per night).
Food and drink Cosmopolitan restaurants of all types can be found in Durban. If you’re self-catering, fruit and veggies are cheap, and the choice of fish and seafood is incredible. If you get a chance go to a local braii (barbecue), try boerewors – a top sausage made of beef and mutton. As for drinks, Banks and Windhoek beers are world class, and the Cape wines are excellent value.
Nightlife All sorts of bars and clubs to choose from.
Don’t miss Try and get out and see a bit of the country, it’s stunningly scenic and there are heaps of things to do. The game parks and nature reserves are vast and incredibly beautiful; two of the best are the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park and the Kruger National Park.
Hazards Durban is no more dangerous than other big cities but has the usual problems of theft and urban violence. Ask the locals about the areas to avoid and take all the normal precautions. Surfing at spots without shark nets carries a real risk of you entering the food chain; again ask the locals to get the best advice.
How to get there Flights to Durban start from £659.