Equal measures of sunshine, seaside, culture and great cuisine make Durban on South Africa’s balmy east coast an unforgettable destination. And with British Airways flying direct from London, a visit has never been easier. The city offers a fantastic programme of events and activities to appeal to all tastes, and The Oyster Box is an ideal base from which to enjoy it all. From cricket to culture, here’s what we’re most looking forward to in Durban in 2019.
For sports enthusiasts
Cricket fans will find themselves in great company in Durban at the start of 2019, as South Africa goes bat to ball with Pakistan (22nd January) and Sri Lanka (13th February and 10th March) at its Kingsmead stadium.
Those with a passion for contact sports should join the lively crowds at Kings Park Stadium’s rugby pitch to cheer South Africa as it tackles global heavyweights in a clutch of hotly anticipated Super Rugby Fixtures between February and June. It’s a great time to visit: the atmosphere is electric, the games are gripping and the drinks are served icy cold.
Giant wheels and monster trucks take to Moses Mabhida Stadium over the Easter weekend for the USA’s touring Monster Jam. It’s bouncing, stunt-filled, adrenaline-pumping entertainment that’ll keep families on the edge of their seats.
Between May and July, billions of sardines swarm the waters along South Africa’s east coast to spawn, creating one of Durban’s most celebrated spectacles. And where there are sardines, there are also plenty of sharks, dolphins, seals and whales, not to mention clouds of sea birds swooping in for a catch. Divers can join safe expeditions to witness the immense silver-strobed phenomenon first hand, while those who prefer to stay dry can watch from above aboard a charter boat.
For culture lovers
A highlight in Durban’s 2019 cultural diary is the 40th Durban International Film Festival, which rolls out the red carpet for an eclectic mixture of blockbusters and art-house movies between 18th – 28th July. Later, the South African Women’s Arts Festival focuses on extraordinary female talent with a strong menu of local music, dance and theatre during August, celebrated nationwide as Women’s Month.
Birthplace of hip-shaking kwaito and jazzy mbaqanga, South Africa is certainly not short of rhythm. One of the most exciting events on the music festival scene is Zakifo, from 24th May – 2nd June. It draws together a broad mix of local and world music artists, with this year’s line-up featuring musicians from Colombia, Kenya, Germany and Côte D’Ivoire alongside the legendary Oliver Mtukudzi from Zimbabwe.
While prime winelands may well be further south in the Cape, Umhlanga hosts The Mercury Wine Week during the last weekend in August for an opportunity to sample some of South Africa’s finest vintages. The exhibitor list corrals a diverse range of wines, from Graham Beck’s sparkling Méthode Cap Classiques to Cape Point Vineyards’ highly quaffable Sauvignon Blanc. Visit for a broad introduction to one of the country’s many national treasures.
Stay at Red Carnation Hotels’ The Oyster Box to enjoy an exciting programme of events in Durban during 2019.
Image credits: lead image © iStock/borchee. Cricket game © iStock/peepo. Sardines © iStock/AndamanSE. Trumpet player © iStock/B&M Noskowski.