When you are planning to visit any foreign destination, it’s important to do some research online about the country or city you are traveling to and ensure your trip will be an enjoyable and safe one. If you are in Durban for a business trip, you can easily explore this coastal city of KwaZulu Natal Province in between your meetings. Below are some pro-tips for business travelers in Durban.
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Humidity of Durban
Durban is known for its humid weather all year round. The humidity ranges from 50% to 70% and you can expect 8 hours of sunshine daily or sudden rain here and there.
In such a condition, you are likely to sweat a lot. Hence, it’s highly recommended that you pack more undergarments than usual. And, for the outfit, you must need fabrics that allow air as much as possible, like cotton and linen. Make sure your outfits are in loose-fitting style and don’t cling to your body.
But, most importantly, keep hydrated. Humidity sucks up your energy, leaving you dehydrated faster than usual, so, keep up on water and herbal tea throughout the day.
Durban is a well-developed city with plenty of transportation routes in and around the city. If you are likely to hire a vehicle, make sure your GPS is active always. Alternatively, you can hire a private meter taxi, which you can book in advance, for getting around in the city.
South Africa has 11 official languages, but most business, services, and tourism are conducted in English.
Tour de city
Even if you are traveling for business purposes, don’t miss the golden opportunity to explore the city you are visiting within the limited time available. The city boasts a seafront promenade that runs from the uShaka Marine World, a massive theme park of marine creatures, to the futuristic Moses Mabhida Stadium. Umgeni River Park is another tourist favorite of Durban. The park will amaze you with natural aviaries, green vegetation, rocky waterfalls, and hundred kinds of birds perching on the branches in their comfort zone.
You can also visit the KwaMuhle Museum to know the history of South Africa well—from black migration and apartheid to ‘green-street’ efforts in Cato Manor Township. The courage and victory of South Africans over racist policies are well-portrayed here.
But, Durban is famous for its beaches and your trip would be incomplete if you don’t hit any. Just because you are on a business trip, Golden Mile beaches, closest to the city center, will be more convenient for you.
Try the Curry
When you are in Durban, make sure to take a walking tour of the Indian quarter to indulge in the city’s Indian history, heritage, and food. Durban is well known for its delicious curries and spicy foods and the Indian quarter is the place where you will get to sample most of them. In fact, you will get extraordinary souvenirs and gifts from traditional markets here— Kurtas, Sarees, Ornately embroidered fabrics, jewelry, and aromatic spices.
Tip: If you are not habituated to spicy foods, ask the waiter to point you to some milder option instead, so you don’t upset your stomach in the lead-up to an important meeting.
Tips and Gratuities
In South Africa, most people’s livelihood depends on the job of a waiter at restaurants and bars. If a gratuity is not included in your bill, a tip of 10% of the service you have received is a common practice.
You will also notice ‘car guards’ in parking lots or street parking. They will help you find a parking space and ensure your car is safe. It is customary to tip the guard for his assistance and R2 to R5 is the average tip.
Safety and Security
Like most major cities around the world, Durban is not free of crime and criminals. It is very important to be careful and vigilant while traveling to Durban and take precautions to ensure that you don’t become a victim.
- Keep your valuables like camera, phone, or money out of sight—whether you are in a vehicle, public place, or hotel room.
- Don’t roam around in isolated areas, especially at night, and try to be in a group.
- Carry a charged mobile phone with you always and note down the list of important numbers in case of emergency. (see below)
- Stick to the main streets and only go to the areas you know or have recommended by a trusted source.
- When driving, make sure the doors and windows are properly locked and only drive on the well-lit streets. Do not drive in the city center at night or in townships, unless you are on a tour with an experienced tourist guide.
Here is the list of some important contact:
- Police and Flying Squad: 10111
- Metro Police: 031 361 0000
- Ambulance: 10177
- Netcare Medical Response: 082 911
- EMRS Medical Response: 10177