Durban’s Lesser Known Cool Spots
Durban’s Lesser Known Cool Spots
Sometimes the best treasures are right here on your doorstep – if you’re a Durbanite, that is. If you’re planning to visit Durban, you should know there is a whole lot more to this city than just beautiful beaches. Here are five places we think are amazing, and also not too far off the beaten track.
About a 30-minute drive from Durban central, Inanda Mountain is an epic spot with cliffs plummeting down to the shores of Inanda Dam. The views are simply staggering, making this arguably the best lookout point anywhere in Durban. The top of Inanda Mountain is also an amazing bird-watching site, especially in the late mornings when birds of prey catch the thermals off the cliff face and glide up right in front of you. This is the sort of place you can just sit and take in the view for hours. While in the area, why not also visit the Ohlange Institute and see where Nelson Mandela cast his first vote in a democratic South Africa? Or take a guided urban walk and absorb the rich culture, vibe and history of this amazing area?
The magnificent Mzinyathi Falls are less than a 20-minute drive from uMhlanga. Yes, that’s right, so close – yet hardly anyone even knows these falls exist. The Mzinyathi River plunges down the side of a beautiful sandstone amphitheatre, over 100 m into the Mzinyathi Gorge below. Towering cliffs and thick forests make for an incredible day out. This is also a popular rock-climbing
spot and after heavy rains, the falls are a truly impressive sight. Guided hiking trails down into the gorge can also be arranged through Durban Green Corridor.
The Mzinyathi Gorge is also home to the “Rastafarian Caves” – home to a community of Rastafarians, many of whom have normal jobs and commute back to the caves for worship on weekends. The caves can only be accessed using a tricky hidden path, and have well-constructed little stone rooms within made using natural rock from the area. Visiting the caves is strictly by prior arrangement and with a guide, but it’s well worth making the effort to learn more about this fascinating culture and site.
Deep in the Valley of a Thousand Hills, about a 30-minute drive from Hillcrest, is the most beautiful little spot you’ll ever find, Mfula Store. This old trading store still operates and has great overnight accommodation facilities in a deep, lush forested valley. Just down the road from Mfula Store, where the Umgeni and Mqeku rivers meet, is one of the most scenic and tranquil picnic spots in KwaZuluNatal. Managed and maintained by local community members, this site is great for a day out to relax and enjoy the river. The picnic site also has an amazing set of rock formations that form a natural waterslide in the river. The store is conveniently situated close to iSithumba Adventure Centre where you can hire mountain bikes or enjoy an extraordinary cultural experience in this quiet community.
Right at the Umgeni Mouth, near the Durban Green Corridor Green Hub, you’ll find the Beachwood Mangroves. This 76-hectare reserve, a mere five minutes from the city centre, is a national monument and consists of rare mangrove swamp forest and an important estuarine habitat at the mouth of the Umgeni River. There is a beautiful boardwalk into the mangrove forest from which you can see crabs and other mangrove critters going about their day, and the area generally offers an amazing escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Guided walks and canoeing can be arranged through the Durban Green Corridor.
THE DURBAN GREEN CORRIDOR
To experience any of these amazing offthe-beaten-track attractions, give the Durban Green Corridor a shout. Everything you do through Durban Green Corridors benefits young people, helps protect nature’s open spaces, and supports local job creation. Durban Green Corridors, a not-for-profit organisation, addresses three pressing needs: youth development, economic upliftment, and environmental stewardship.
Their initiatives facilitate healthy recreational activities and nature-aligned career paths among children and young people. For marginalised and economically excluded communities, they facilitate poverty reduction efforts grounded in ecotourism and environmental stewardship. And to promote socially inclusive and cohesive societies, they bridge cultural boundaries by introducing local and international visitors to the culturally diverse heart of Durban, its ecologically rich heritage, and the breathtaking beauty that belongs to all of its citizens.
So for you as a tourist, as a backpacker, as a volunteer, Durban Green Corridors is so much more than just a good holiday – you’re helping make our city a better place.
For Durban Green Corridor Reservations, contact +27 31 322 6026/7, +27 73 088 9874, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.durbangreencorridor.co.za.
The beautiful Mzinyathi Falls
The Beachwood Mangroves are only five minutes from the Durban CBD
Explore the Rastafarian Caves
Visit Mfula Store with the Durban Green Corridor