A Classic Melting Pot City ~ Durban, SA

A classic melting pot city, Durban was the home of the famous Zulu king Shaka Zulu. Then the Dutch formed a colony here that eventually fell into British hands, who turned Durban into a busy port town, becoming the center of the country’s sugar cane trade. The British brought in tens of thousands of laborers from India to work in the area’s sugar cane fields.

As a result, Durban today has the largest Indian population of any city outside of India. It also was the home of Mahatma Gandhi for twenty years during his early career as an attorney. The Indian influence is felt even today in the food, the colorful street markets full of spices, saris and jewelry and mosques and temples.

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Durban is South Africa’s self-styled playground, where year-round sub-tropical warm weather invites visitors. The city is also known for its magnificent bathing and surfing beaches.

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Explorer Vasco da Gama, who came ashore on Christmas Day in 1497, originally established this area. The Vasco da Gama clock located in the harbor area memorializes his contribution.

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The Durban Botanic Garden is the oldest botanical garden in Africa, built in 1849, and features an orchid house and a rare collection of cycads (a plant species that dates back to prehistoric times). The gardens and local flora were lovely.

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 Tall, straight trees used for shipbuilding

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Eucalyptus trees with their colorful bark

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The park is a popular place. While we were there, little girls were having a birthday party and newlyweds were having their wedding pictures taken.

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The Zuma Mosque is reputed to be the largest in the Southern Hemisphere and famous for its massive golden dome and turrets.

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The Victoria Street Market commonly known as the India market can be an overload to the senses. Delicately fashioned ornaments and other exotic objects, as well as the  Eastern and African aromas enveloped visitors as they wandered past herb and spice stalls or sort through baskets of delightful woodcarvings and beautiful beaded jewelry and accessories.

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3 Responses to “A Classic Melting Pot City ~ Durban, SA”

  1. This took my breath away with the colors!

  2. Christopher is taking some more pictures to school to share with classmates!

  3. Beautiful!

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