Sunshine, rickshaws, and surfers. This is South Africa’s playground
Durbanites don’t really know what winter is. They bask in a warm, humid climate year-round. That’s why one of the city’s most iconic landmarks is the Golden Mile. The six-kilometre promenade stretches out beside the Indian Ocean, extending from uShaka Marine World to Suncoast Casino. Attracting visitors from far and wide, this is where the city meets the sea and Durban’s diverse culture shines.
The day begins before sunrise. Joggers run across the walkway alongside brightly coloured rickshaws. These resplendent carriages have graced the promenade for centuries. Greeting the candyfloss and curio vendors on their route, the rickshaw drivers pass art nouveau apartment blocks, the Durban Funworld amusement park, and the Rachel Finlayson Swimming Pool at Marine Parade. At the Bay of Plenty, children building castles find inspiration from the sand sculptors and their larger than life creations.
Beside the promenade, the ocean is filled with activity. Dolphins leap out of the water as seagulls soar above. Here, waves attract surfers from across the world. Whether in the middle of winter or during a summer downpour, they’re always keen to tango with the salty swells. While beginners take to Addington’s gentle waves, it’s North Beach that draws the biggest crowd with its array of restaurants and ice cream shops. As the sun sets, the twinkling lights from passing ships keep the skyline alight. The harbour is one of Africa’s most active ports and sits near uShaka Marine World, the largest aquarium on the continent.
Durban is known as South Africa’s playground. This stretch is never without people napping under thatch umbrellas, popping wheelies at the Durban Beachfront Skatepark, riding segways around the Moses Mabhida Stadium, or sinking their toes in the sand. As locals and tourists mingle here, a humble truth emerges. The lively, meandering Golden Mile is the essence of Durban itself.