Never heard of Durban? After this, you’ll never forget it

 
 
 

Durban doesn’t get enough credit. Despite its warm beaches, balmy climate, easy-going folks, and art nouveau architecture, the seaside metropolis seldom features among the country’s major attractions. Used to seeing it from every angle, local photographer Kierran Allen was surprised at how many others miss out on its beauty. “A lot of people come to South Africa and they shoot down to Cape Town or Johannesburg,” he says. “I’ve met people that don’t even know where Durban is.” To showcase the splendour of the city, Allen embarked on a grand project. “I decided to put everything aside, turn my camera on Durban, and create something I was passionate about,” he says. 

Using his own funds, Allen set about capturing the landscape with Warren Hill and Nathan Pellow-Jarman, his partners at Novos Digital Cinema. Their drone shots offer new perspectives of the environment, while time-lapses provide glimpses of the changing cityscape. “Not only is it refreshing to do what I love, but it’s also cool to see the world from a different light,” Allen says. Dedicating up to five hours of shooting to every sequence, the process of perfectly encapsulating Durban took two years to complete.

Allen collated his work into a three-minute film, and posted it on YouTube, Vimeo, and Facebook. “Enter Durban was a turning point in my career,” he says. The video received hundreds of thousands of views, an outpouring of appreciative messages, and phenomenal acclaim. Locals and visitors alike were entranced by the landscape’s unassuming charm. This year, Durban was voted Africa’s Leading City Destination by the World Travel Awards. Allen’s work reveals the beauty that lies right before us.

 
Nuraan Shaik