July 3, 2015

Know Your City: A weekend in Durban

Being in travel, nothing excites us more than getting to know a new place. Sometimes though, we can forget what awesome places are on our very doorstep.  After successful Know Your City days in Cape Town, Sure Travel Head Office staff were divided into groups of four and the first group headed off for a weekend in the warmest place to be – Durban! Here’s their story…

DAY 1, 5 June 2015:
After being dropped off at Cape Town International Airport, fairly early, we decided to grab something to eat before our flight at 13:50.  It seems we enjoyed our punctuality a little too much as we nearly missed the flight!  We made it though and arrived at King Shaka International Airport at about 15:45, grabbed our luggage and went straight to the car rentals.  There we were greeted by the friendly Avis staff.  It wasn’t long before we had our car and were ready to hit the road!



The first night we stayed at the Protea Hotel Umhlanga Ridge. What a fantastic hotel!  Vanessa Fraser, Marketing Plan Co-Ordinator, started with the site inspection; taking us through most of the room types, conference centre as well as the public areas of the hotel. After the site inspection, we went to our rooms to get ready for dinner, specially prepared for the Sure Travel VIP’S!  We were spoiled with some chocolates spelling out our initials on our beds.  The hotel also prepared a set menu for us which was very good although the service was a bit slow. By the end of the day, we were all super tired and so it was off to bed.



DAY 2, 6 June 2015:
On Saturday, we had an early start. We had breakfast at the Protea Hotel Umhlanga Ridge before leaving for their sister hotel, Protea Hotel Umhlanga for a site inspection.  When we arrived at PH Umhlanga, the Food & Beverage Manager took us on a tour of the whole property, also explaining what the future renovations hold for them.  Exciting changes happening there!  After this, we had breakfast… again!  We were treated to a buffet breakfast and after we thought we had way too much to eat, we were surprised by a whole plate of flapjacks! Needless to say, we rolled out of there.




After having a great morning, we decided to head to the Umhlanga Pier - a must see! We also saw the lighthouse.  We spent a few minutes there just soaking up the view and the fresh air!



Next, we were off to Durban City!  Of course we had to visit Durban Mini Town.  Mini Town is on Snell Parade. A great place to not only take young ones but also exciting for the young at heart wanting a different  or “smaller view” of Durban’s great landmarks and most interesting buildings. Entry is only R15.00 for adults and R10.00 for children under 12 years and this goes towards a worthy cause as Mini Town is a Non-Profit Organisation.




Nasheta & Charné then decided to go on a real Rickshaw ride.  Not for the faint-hearted! Shanaaz and Shoneeze opted to just take a picture with the rickshaw.




We then went to uShaka Marine World, the meeting point for our bus tour we did that afternoon. The Ricksha Bus Tour was a 3 hour bus tour, which is extremely informative.  This tour only costs R100 per person and is well worth the price.  The tour guide shared a wealth of information throughout the trip.  We passed the beautiful Moses Mabhida stadium, had a brief view of the Durban July racecourse and passed the presidential house where President Zuma resides when visiting Durban. As we went through the town, almost each building had its own little story, which was really awesome to hear about!



After this, we were on our way to The Protea Hotel Edward. Wow, where to begin! We were treated like royalty. Greeted by a very excited management team, we got welcome drinks and hand towels on arrival plus snacks and a handwritten note in our rooms! And let’s not forget the valet service! After that special welcome, we got ready for ladies night at the Sun Coast Casino!  We went for dinner, and went to go watch Pitch Perfect 2.




DAY 3, 7 June 2015:
Our last day and we could not waste any time waking up late so another early start. And we were celebrating Shoneeze’s birthday! We had a special Happy Birthday cake from the hotel for her at breakfast. After singing to the birthday girl, we departed for uShaka Marine World where we spent the rest of the day.



This is definitely one of Durban’s biggest tourist attractions and it is definitely worth a visit (you however need a full day as there is so much to see and do). Due to our time constraints we could only choose between visiting Sea World or Wet and Wild. We chose Sea World and this was so worth it. We took a walk down one of the largest aquariums in the south with a great array of sea life to view. We also got a chance to see how they feed their stingray and were in time for a penguin feed. We even got to watch a dolphin show.




uShaka has many facilities including a variety of restaurants and various gift shops.  Ideal for buying spices or on the go refreshments and souvenirs.  The 5D movie was an awesome experience. The animal encounters definitely add another element to your experience at this top tourism spot.   Lots to do and loads of fun.

Charné’s highlight was meeting a very special creature called Gambit!  Gambit is a 44 year old Bottlenose dolphin and also the largest Bottlenose dolphin in any oceanarium in the world!  Gambit was taken from the ocean sometime in the 70’s and has been at uShaka ever since.  Meeting a dolphin was on her bucket list and one of her dreams ever since she can remember.  It was truly a special experience and a memory to be treasured for the rest of her life!





Time flew by and before we knew it, it was time to head back to the airport for our flight back to Cape Town. We had a fabulous weekend and only wished that we had more time to spend in this lovely city!

We would like to thank Vanya and the Sure Travel Management Team for granting us this fabulous opportunity of getting to know Durban. We would also like to extend our gratitude and thanks to our suppliers who hosted us and added something special wherever we went.

Nasheta, Shanaaz, Charné and Shoneeze ~ Sure Travel Head Office

To book your weekend in Durban, including stays at any of these hotels, contact your nearest friendly Sure Travel consultant here

1 comments:

Aw de ja vu! Wish we could go back and experience it all over again!

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