I have visited a couple of cities in neighbouring South Africa, but I had always wanted to go to Durban. I had heard about the city’s golden beaches and the warm reception of the Zulus and the Indians, but due to financial constraints I could not visit that coastal city.
However through the invitation from a local traveling agency TRL Travel my wish was granted.
I left the country at 13.30hr last Friday with three other journalists for a two day visit to Ethekwini (one testes bull) as Durban is called in Zulu.
Aboard the much more reliable Africa Chartered Airline we were at the OR Tambo International Airport, Jo’burg in just 35 minutes and connected to the British Airways for a one hour flight to King Shaka International Airport in Durban.
We were whisked away to the magnificent Fairmont Zimbali resort in an up-market suburb courtesy of Syavaya Travel & Tours, for a taste of real luxury. For an apartment that is said to be priced at R10 000 a night, with two plasma screens and unlimited access to movies, the party had started for the fun starved quartet from Botswana.
Mind you, by movies I mean even adult content, and I swear I did not watch a single of those nasty productions.
Like one of my colleagues, GabzFM’s Comfort Ramatebele aka Big-Fish hilariously put it, the resources were just too much for one person to handle.
“There is an abundance of resources provided here; the only thing lacking is human resource. I’m afraid to sleep in here alone,” he said with his usual humour.
After refreshing for sometime and having ample time to admire the landscaping around the resort, and marveling at the sheer presence of the ocean at one’s door step, it was time for dinner and for that a table for six was set up at Butcher Boys; a side street diner along Florida Road. The restaurant offers a la carte menu with an array of drinks to choose from. It is located a stone throw away from Della Sol Club where Dubarnites party the night away.
At around 11pm we proceeded to the club, where we were supposed to fill our bellies with drinks of our choice, the imbibers were ecstatic.
It however turned out that we had arrived too early to find the club in its usually vibrant mood.
“It gets busy around 1am in the morning,” explained our guide Bongani Motaung.
This was another shocker for us. In Botswana night clubs usually get busy at around 11 as most bars would be closed by 1am and the few that try to buy extra time would be forcefully closed by the police assisted by AK47 armed soldiers.
A unanimous decision was then taken that we should move to another club, and Motaung suggested The Wheel where one contact of DJ Sly, called DJ Kabila was performing.
The club is frequented by youth and plays nothing but house music. I’m not a great fan of the genre as I find it too noisy; but Sly would have killed me had I suggested that we should find another club. He started nodding his head as we made our way up through the stairway.
“This is what I’m talking about. This music has not even reached our country,” he said as he starred at the turntables. It wasn’t’ long before he was at the DJ box with Kabila nodding his head wildly. After more flirting, getting acquainted and more drinks we finally headed for the hotel at around 2 am, the flight fatigue had caught up with us.
I woke up to the wild but refreshing sounds of the ocean on Saturday morning, and took a couple of shots through the window of my 8th floor apartment.
After a hearty breakfast we headed for the city centre where we marveled at the beautiful infrastructure. We were shown houses with prices as high as R40million. Later we made it to Ushaka Marine World where we spent the entire afternoon. It is a breathtaking place offering world entertainment, excitement, fun and uniqueness. It boasts a non-stop entertainment, extending from the day-time operations of Sea World, Wet n Wild, and uShaka Beach, to the night time festivities of the village walk.
It was here that I took my first plunge into the ocean, and if the myth that it washes away bad omen I’m pretty certain of a salary hike next year.
Durban city is proud of its night life, as well put by Syavaya Managing Director Sonto Mbonambi.
“In Durban we sell the city’s night life and shopping. We have people as far as Nigeria coming here, and unlike Europeans they don’t come here to see wild animals, they want big malls, posh clubs and hotels,” Mbonambi said.
The Saturday night was spent at Max Place; a trendy and popular township tavern that has hosted among others Jacob Zuma and Julius Malema.
As we drank the night away I silently watched patrons having fun and wished we still had that priviledge to dance and drink the nights away.
But if you think fun was no more, get in touch with TRL travel and Durban will be in your reach. You need to go and see what I saw .