Travel

HELICOPTER OVER DURBAN

posted by Dan Carter May 22, 2017 0 comments

The End Of Our Road Trip

The final few days of our road trip couldn’t have been more perfect: a few nights at The Oyster Box, right beside the beach and a helicopter ride over Durban. Staying near Umhlanga Rocks made me feel really nostalgic since I hadn’t been back to Durban since Comrades last year. I recognised a few places; memories that once seemed dream-like started to come back to me.

Durban is an underrated beauty. It’s one of the warmest, friendliest cities I have visited in South Africa and the large Indian population has made Durban home to some of the tastiest food in the country. Umhlanga in particular is dense with dark green foliage, where monkeys swing from tree to tree and fisherman line the endless golden coastline where the water is warm and the waves are profound. Durban feels somewhat tropical compared to Cape Town.

The Oyster Box is just a few steps from the beach, easily spotted by it’s close proximity to the lighthouse. It’s a remarkable old building that has been a hotel for over 70 years so it comes as no surprise that the Oyster Box is now one of South Africa’s favourite, most distinguished hotels. The interior is delightfully designed with traditional, majestic beams and grand high ceilings. Their true level of excellence was continued through the many dining options on offer; we were fortunate enough to try a delicious curry buffet as well as the majority of the breakfast menu: from waffles and pancakes to oysters. The Oyster Box offers gourmet food at an incredibly high level whether that’s breakfast, lunch or dinner.

There were three places that took priority on our visit to Durban: Colombo Coffee, Noble Coffee and Counter Culture. On our exploration of Durban’s fast-growing coffee scene, we soon learnt that a car was an essential part of Durban life. Durban is pretty spread out! Counter Culture for example, is a café situated in Ballito, about 30 minutes drive from Durban centre. Colombo and Noble Coffee were a little closer, situated nearer to Durban north: a really cool area, predominantly residential but also home to some beautiful beaches. If you have a short time in Durban and there’s only one café you can visit, I would highly recommend Noble. Not only is it run by great people, it is a beautifully creative space, tucked away in a reformed art gallery serving some of Durban’s best coffee.

We spent our last morning in Durban with @kirzican who took us flying over the city and up into the mountains around Maphephetha. I couldn’t believe that just a few kilometers out of Durban there are these truly rural towns and villagers that line the river banks. Our helicopter flight was such a surreal experience. Flying over a city not only gives you a new perspective but I can’t help but think it actually puts things into perspective. We are so, so small and yet we have the power to bring so much positive change if we make it a priority.

A huge thank you to The Oyster Box, Kirsten and Britz 4×4 for making the final leg of our road trip so perfect. This trip exceeded all my expectations and went to prove yet again, how vast and beautiful South Africa really is.

Sobonana kungekudala – I will see you again soon

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