10 Things you did not know about Durban
Our beautiful city of Durban’s popularity remains high amongst South African’s and international tourists too. Here are ten interesting facts you probably never knew.
1) Durban is one of the top surfing destinations in South Africa
2) The site of Durban was visited in 1497 by Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama, who named it Rio de Natal. Natal means “Christmas” in Portuguese.
3) British Colonization of the region started in 1824 and the settlement was first called Port Natal. In 1835 the city was renamed to Durban (named after then Cape Colony governor Sir Benjamin d’Urban).
4) Durban harbor is the home of the 9th largest harbor in the. Today Durban has the busiest container port in Africa.
5) Did you know that our City Hall in Durban is over 100 years old and houses our Mayor’s parlour, a library and a museum?
6) Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban’s stunning contribution to the FIFA World Cup 2010 host venues, has a SkyCar (cable car) running through the arch above it. The view from the top of the arch gives tourists a 360-degree sight of the city, shoreline and sea from around 105m in the air.
7) Ushaka Marine World (in Durban) is the world’s 5th largest aquarium. The aquarium has 32 tanks which houses a total of 17,500 cubic meters of water.
8) The spiritual leader of the Indian independence movement, Mahatma Ghandi began his political journey in Durban.
9) The first steam railway in South Africa was opened in Durban in 1860. The line was only 8 km long (between the Point and Pine Terrace).
10) The first official horse race took place at Greyville Racecourse in 1844. The first Durban July (then called the Durban Turf Club handicap) took place in 1897 after the establishment of the Durban Turf Club.