Durban is South Africa’s version of Miami Beach (beautiful beach, towering ocean-front hotels, and nighttime techno beats), minus some of the bling, most of the plastic, and all of the Latin food. It sits on the bath-water-warm Indian Ocean, and unless you are from the Southeast or unless you visit during their winter you may find Durban’s heat and humidity moderately to extremely unbearable. If that’s the case, you can always help the local economy by taking up residence in the air-conditioned Suncoast Casino.
The demographics in Durban are notably different than in Jo-burg—it houses the largest Indian population outside of India. Indians were brought over by the British in the latter 19th century to man the sugarcane fields, and their influence is visible in the city’s architecture (lots of mosques), skin colors, and cuisine. (Side note: You know that scene from “Along Came Polly” when Ben Stiller agrees to go the Moroccan restaurant and reacts horribly to the spicy food? Yeah, that’s me.)