US mag tips Durban as SA’s secret jewel

1 November 2013

Durban instead of Cape Town, New York Magazine advises its readers in its winter travel 2013 special.

While the publication acknowledges that the world’s greatest cities “got their reputation for a reason”, they’ve decided to turn their attention to long-overshadowed cities such as Bourdeaux (not Paris), Birmingham (not London), Leipzig (not Berlin) – and Durban (not Cape Town).

“They may not sell as many guidebooks as their A-list counterparts, but they have just as much charm and excitement – with way, way fewer tourists.”

The weekly general interest magazine praises Durban’s “spectacular beaches” with their temperate Indian Ocean waters; the world-renowned aquarium at uShaka Marine World, “which is actually much larger than its Cape Town counterpart”; and the I Heart Market, which is held in the world-class Moses Mabhida stadium for its “hand-stitched leather iPad cases, tribal-print baseball caps, and mod vintage dresses by local artisans and collectors”.

The city’s “vibrant blend” of Zulu, Indian and British influences means that the cuisine is more eclectic than Cape Town’s. Durban is well known locally for its curry – and the magazine urges visitors to try bunny chow, which is “messy curry served in a hollowed-out loaf of bread”.

Other top spots highlighted by the magazine are the chic Oyster Box Hotel; Ile Maurice, where the crepes Suzettes are apparently unmissable; and Teremok Marine hotel in Umhlanga, which overlooks the harbour.

Cape Town was recently named in the top three best destinations in the world to visit by Lonely Planet, the global travel publishers.

SAinfo reporter