The largest city in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban is ethnically diverse, with a cultural affluence of varied beliefs and traditions. International travellers, who wish to learn about the history and traditions of the region, should head to Durban right away! This hotspot will never fail to amaze you. Below, we have mentioned few historical and cultural attractions that must be included in your travel itinerary to make your visit an amazing one!
The Indian District
Tourists wishing to have an Indian experience in Durban should explore different corners of the Indian District. You can have vegetarian fare, haggle for goods, buy fabrics, and take a look at countless old shops that have existed here for decades! Foodies can treat their taste buds to spicy cuisines and snacks at the Victoria Street Market. Incense sticks and beautifully carved Indian scented candles are available here.
Killie Campbell Africana Library
This famous library has a huge collection of books, manuscripts and photographs that offer information about the Southeast African region and its natives. For example, the Manuscripts Collection is an important record on the early history of contact between the Nguni-speaking people of the KwaZulu Natal region and the British colonists. Other than these, the library has pre-Union government publications. Visitors can check out the wide collection of newspapers, most of which were circulated in the 19th century.
The KwaMuhle Museum
The KwaMuhle Museum is dedicated to the history and fight against apartheid and its effect on Durban in modern times. Its major exhibits include large black and white prints portraying township life, and a depiction of the history of black political trade union and cultural organisations. This double-storey building was once the headquarters of the City’s Native Administration Department and the centre of the city’s notorious system of labour control.
Established by Mahatma Gandhi in 1904, the Phoenix Settlement is located some 20 kilometres north of Durban and played an essential spiritual and political role throughout the history. The ‘communal experimental farm’ was set up to signify the values of justice, peace and equality. On this spot, Mahatma Gandhi gave each family two acres of land which they could use as per their requirements. Also, dairies were set up to manufacture butter and ghee for household use.
St Thomas’ Church
Situated in the suburb of Musgrave up on the Berea, St Thomas’ Church is over hundred years old and is housed in a grand old stone building. It is a late Victorian era church, raised in a discrete gothic revival style. The church organ was constructed in 1905 by British pipe organ manufacturers of the time, Henry Willis & Sons. The graveyard of St Thomas’ Church has often been termed as the prettiest in Durban due to the remarkable examples of stonemasonry!