Awaiting Your Return From Shore
The great natural harbor
of Port Natal, on whose shores the city of Durban now stands, was presumed
by the early Portuguese navigators to be a lagoon at the mouth of a large
river which flowed down from the interior. They called the harbor Rio de
Natal (Christmas River) as it was discovered by Vasco da Gama on Christmas
Day in 1497. The name Durban was acquired in 1843 when Port Natal was
renamed for Sir Benjamin DíUrban, the Cape governor who had ordered the
British annexation of Natal.
Durban developed to become a municipality in 1854 and a city in 1935.
Today it is one of the principal cargo ports on the African continent, a
center of industry and a major holiday resort. With a population of almost
one million people, Durban is a bustling, subtropical city with a warm,
sometimes hot and sultry climate and an abundance of trees and luxuriant
gardens. It is considered to be the Asian capital of South Africa with a
massive Indian population. The most dominant landmark of Oriental Durban is
the handsome Grey Street Mosque, the largest in the southern hemisphere.
The downtown Asian culture is predominantly Moslem, while Hindu Durban
lies to the north of the city center. Here in the Phoenix Park Settlement
Mahatma Gandhi set up his retreat center in 1903. Despite Durbanís Asian
flavor and predominantly white beach culture, the city belongs to the Zulu.
Behind the Indian Bazaar on Victoria Street sprawls a huge African market
where anything from groceries and animal parts for witchcraft, to medicinal
herbs, electronics, clothes, beads and baskets is for sale.
Durbanís 21st-century economy is a result of the immense amount of cargo
passing through its huge port, as well as the thoUSAnds of Transvaal holiday
makers who, since the 1930s, have turned the cityís beachfront into a
Awaiting Your Return
Return to Your
Suite and Sail Away to The Next Adventure
and Dancing Await You