Pick up your hire car at Durban airport and explore South Africa's Miami, the gateway to the wild and rugged KwaZulu-Natal region and the ideal 2010 World Cup base.
"We're one of the world's most wildly eclectic cities with some of the finest beaches on the planet!"
Beaches and seaside resorts make Durban a great place to visit at the best of times. And with the World Cup on its way, it'll be party time in the city's funky bars and excellent restaurants.
Durban is a vibrant place and its locals are keenly anticipating the World Cup. It has had problems in the past, but these days it's a friendly city with a strong sense of identity.
The strong flavour of the subcontinent is down to the fact that it has the largest concentration of people of Indian descent in South Africa.
Don't forget your flip-flops: the temperatures rarely drop below the late 20s, even in winter.
Bunny chow, a hollowed-out loaf of bread filled with curry, is one of Durban's favourite dishes.
Virginia Wade, the last British tennis player to win a Wimbledon singles title, was brought up here before she moved back to England at the age of 15.
Durban is the busiest container port in Africa.
"Durban contains such a vast spectrum of cultures, beliefs and physical and economic landscapes that it is indeed difficult to encapsulate the place in a well-worded phrase." - eThekwini Online
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This magnificent 2010 World Cup stadium will boast a world-first tourist attraction, thanks to a high-tech cable car designed to transport visitors to the highest point of the grand centre arch.
There is an on-site underground car park for 10,000 cars.
Sun, surf and big screens are to be found on the vibrant beachfront. World Cup fans can enjoy live games and entertainment; non-fans can enjoy traditional Durban rickshaw rides or a swim in the warm Indian Ocean.
Make for the underground car park at the beach end of West Street.
Catch some of the best sea and city views from one of the many pavement restaurants in this leafy suburb. The fashionable Florida Road is a hive of art galleries, eateries and boutiques, housed in beautiful colonial buildings.
On-street parking can be found across the suburb, look out for signposted restrictions and meters.
This colourful arts Mecca is a hip hang-out for Durban's boho types. There's usually a free music show or exhibition on, and it has a lively bar-cum-restaurant.
The car park is on Maritime Place.
Built in 1910, this Edwardian, neo-Baroque classic has an art gallery, a natural-science museum and the civic library under its roof.
You should find a spot on West and Smith Street.
This Indian Ocean beach resort north of Durban is great for swimming, walking through estuarine and dune forests and bird-watching. Don't forget your binoculars!
It's a ten-mile, half-hour drive north on the M4.
This 532-hectare haven has become a popular destination for rock climbers and hikers. But if such energetic pursuits aren't your cup of rooibos, just sit back and enjoy the spectacular views.
It's a 45-minute drive. The reserve is two-and-a-half miles from Kloof, a suburb of Durban 15 miles inland from the city centre.
If messing about in boats is your thing, head to the Inanda Dam, where the highly competitive Dusi Canoe Marathon takes place every year. And if the mood grabs you, drop a line overboard and wait for a bass to bite.
It's a 45-minute, 21-mile drive inland near the town of Hillcrest.
The Valley of a Thousand Hills, which runs between Durban and Pietermaritzburg, is where the Umgeni and Msunduzi rivers meet. The best way to enjoy its many attractions is by taking a steam train from Kloof to Inchanga on the Umgeni Steam Railway.
Kloof is a 15-mile, half-hour drive inland from the city centre.
" It's relatively safe to drive in and around Durban, as long as you take precautions. First, get a GPS so you don't need to ask for directions, and keep all valuables out of sight. It's probably best to avoid the Victoria Embankment area at night and watch out for taxis that randomly stop anywhere without indicating. You can walk from the beach to the city centre, but with the humid weather, it's better to drive and get the air-con on! "