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Living in Durban

A comprehensive guide about living well in Durban

Durban is a sunny seaside city, rich in diversity and warm not only because of its favorable climate, but especially for its welcoming people. Living in Durban guarantees top quality service and a wide range of opportunities all year round. Find out more in our Relocation Guide!

Need to move abroad? Organizing an international relocation is not something you should do on your own. As expats, we understand what you need, and offer the the essential services to help you move and live abroad easily. Contact us today to jump start your move, and begin the preparations with our free relocation checklist.

Life in Durban

Culture and Leisure

Durban got a new, state-of-the-art stadium for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and the city as a whole benefited from the tournament. The refurbished Golden Mile beachfront area is now a social focus for the city.

Durban Art Gallery is housed under an impressive dome at City Hall, and there are some good museums including the Natural Science Museum and the Campbell Collections, containing unique records of early Natal and Zulu culture.

There is plenty to do outdoors for expats living in Durban, with the Botanical Gardens of particular note, and hiking, surfing, and fishing opportunities, as well as diving instruction at the Calypso Dive & Adventure Centre. A tour with Natal Sharks Board Boat Tour gives the opportunity to see sharks being tagged for conservation. Life in Durban comes with plenty of sporting opportunities, both playing and watching, at low cost. Also worth visiting, the uShaka Marine World is a huge theme park with an aquarium.

Durban market is a food lover’s dream, while the largest Indian community outside of India contributes to vibrant diversity. The downtown area has grand old colonial buildings mixed with art-deco architecture.

Healthcare in Durban

There is a large gap in quality between public and private healthcare in South Africa. The public healthcare system suffers from a lack of facilities and over-crowding. Expats should only consider taking out insurance for private healthcare, as the standards are significantly higher and the cost is cheaper than in many parts of the world (although this is rising). Private medical facilities in Durban are of standards comparable to Europe or North America.

To avoid large, sudden costs, private insurance should be comprehensive, to include both primary care and hospital care. Please note that some private insurers within South African require advanced notice of hospital treatment in order to pay the full bill. St. Augustine’s Hospital and Westville Hospital are among the best private facilities in Durban.

Emergency numbers are: Ambulance Durban 10177. Cell phone 112. National 10111.

Transportation in Durban

Public transportation in Durban is not always safe or reliable. One exception is the tourist-focused People Mover bus system; this offers efficient, CCTV monitored buses on certain routes such as the central business district (CBD) to beachfront. People who are able to tend to drive, but during the day traffic in central Durban, including the CBD, can be congested. At night the streets are considered unsafe — doors should always be locked as car-jacking is a problem.

Commuters often use minibus taxis, also known as combis, but the drivers can be erratic and using this method alone at night is not advised. Metered taxi with one of Durban’s reputable operators (there are several) is a good option. They will be called for pick up rather than roving.

South Africans drive on the left-hand side of the road.

Do you want to relocate? If you have never moved abroad, the process will be overwhelming, and if you have, you know the burden that lies ahead. Whatever stage you are at, InterNations GO! can help you with a complete set of relocation services, such as home finding, school search, visa solutions, and even pet relocation. Our expert expat team is ready to get your relocation going, so why not jump-start your move abroad and contact us today? Best to start early!

Updated on: December 06, 2018
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