If you choose to travel to South Africa, then Durban must be in the top 5 destinations of your visit there. Most people come here for the lovely beaches, the subtropical heat and the large selection of night clubs. The heavenly port located on the east coast is a booming tourist attraction and a city in full development that has recently been ranked as the third largest city in the country. Here are just a few fun facts about Durban that you might not know.
When Vasco da Gama reached this area in 1497, he dubbed it “Rio de Natal”, which in Portuguese means The Christmas River. The famous explorer chose that name because it was Christmas time when he arrived on the coast, right where the Umgeni River meets the Ocean.
The actual name of the city comes from a British general, who most likely never set foot in there. Benjamin d’Urban was the governor of the Cape Colony in South Africa in the first half of the 19th century. His acts of bravery in the wars against the Zulu tribes determined the local authorities to change the name of the colony from Rio de Natal to Durban in 1935.
Durban is the busiest harbor in South Africa and the ninth largest port in the world. However, these are not the only superlatives gained by this vibrating African city. Here you will find The Gateway Shopping Centre, which is the biggest of its kind on the entire continent, sporting more than 300 stores, 70 restaurants and a skating park designed by the legend of this sport, Tony Hawk.
Durban is the first South African city to develop a steam railway network in 1860. To this day, there are many places left on the continent where this 19th century technology has not yet reached.
In 1893, a young Indian student began his political career and social initiative in Durban. His name was Mahatma Gandhi, and his spiritual leadership eventually led to the independence of his home country.
Durban Local History