Category Archives: Durban

D Is For Durban

When we were kids every holiday was spent in Durban. As landlocked Joburgers the annual beach holiday was something I looked forward to all the time. Once a year we packed our family of 5’s belongings into a VW Bettle and headed down to the coast. As we neared Durban, we played the game of ‘who can see the sea first’, which was accompanied by the briny smells of the ocean.

One of my favourite things to do was walk along the Marine Parade from the South to the North Beach, browsing all the vendor’s stalls. I was a child with no cash and convincing my folks to buy this and that was never successful 🙂

Durban South Beach
©2017 Regina Martins

These days I seldom go into the city, preferring instead the quietude and serenity of the small village of Umdloti Beach.

The smooth sand, ebb and flow of the waves, the winged clouds and the fire of life of the plants holding on to the slippery sands of the dunes
©2017 Regina Martins

The village has changed little over the years but the beach has changed significantly. The beautiful tidal pool most parents felt safe allowing their kids to frolick in is not so safe after all. The promenade has subsided in places because of soil erosion caused by severe storms over the years. When Che and I were last there, in August last year, the tidal beach was closed off for rehabilitation, with a huge bulldozer in the middle of the sand.

Storms have slowly eroded the dune, collapsing the pavement
©2017 Regina Martins

Away from the tidal pool, avid residents walk the beaches at sunset, wielding metal detectors – I wonder what they find…?

Metal detector on a beach
©2017 Regina Martins

Things to remember when holidaying in Durban:

  • It’s on the Indian Ocean coast so the waters are warm.
  • There are amazing dive sites further north, close to Sodwana Bay.
  • There are game reserves with the Big 5 just 2 hours to the north.
  • uShaka Marine World is a haven for kids – the waterpark is a lot of fun.
  • It has, in my humble opinion, the most beautiful aquarium in South Africa.
  • The Durban Botanical Gardens is one of the city’s best-kept secrets.
  • It boasts a large international airport, the King Shaka International Airport with daily domestic flights, and international flights from Istanbul, Doha, Dubai, Mauritius and other African destinations.

It’s a different experience to Cape Town. I don’t venture into Cape Town’s frigid waters but Durban is my happy beach swimming place. And it has great surfing too.

 

Hippos’ Daily Sightings Of People

Patience is required…

Look, can you see them…?
©2017 Regina Martins
Waiting for a sighting of hippos
©2017 Regina Martins

…to sight one of these river horses, better known as a hippopotamus or better yet, a whole herd of them – they wallow in the shallows with their feet rooted in the mud of the bottom of the lake.

He was this close…
©2017 Regina Martins

People waiting to see hippos, and hippos waiting to see people – boatloads of them!

 

Last Week’s Story in Instagram Photos

Last week Che and I were still in KZN and not able to blog daily, so I decided to post a daily photo telling a story about our day. All taken with my iPhone.

On our way out of the Hluhluwe Game Reserve, we got some good sightings in a short space of time. One of those sightings was this trio of zebras out for a leisurely walk. I think we startled them a bit as you see in the video below.

In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

Interesting rock formation in the Umdloti tidal pool.

Looking for hippos on a blue boat…

Boating St Lucia looking for hippos

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I love grass umbrellas, they remind me of tropical holidays.”

It had been a while since I’d been to the Durban beachfront. I remember many happy holidays strolling along it with my family, stopping at all the vendors wanting to buy all they had on offer and running towards the ice cream vendor before he cycled away in search of groups of kids tugging at their parents’ sleeves, a clear indication that no trip to the seaside was complete without this treat.

Today’s travel quote…

Last Week and a Bit of This One in Instagram Photos

Che and I spent last week at the beautiful Zimbali resort on the KwaZulu Natal north coast. We met up with my colleagues from around the world and their families to enjoy our annual innovation week and get together.

Note to my email subscribers: Sometimes the Instagram pics don’t come across on email. In that case, just click on the link above to see them on the site. I hope WordPress fixes this soon.

agile42 innovation week, amazing to be with my international colleagues again

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At the week’s end we bussed a few hours further north to Lake St. Lucia where we enjoyed a boat cruise encountering crocodiles and hippopotami in their natural habitat. And we ended off with a safari weekend at Bonamanzi Game Lodge and the Hluhluwe Game Reserve.

I love the pic below of Che with the setting sun behind him on Lake St. Lucia.

Cruising on Lake St Lucia with Che. Now the fun part of the coach camp begins with the @agile42 family

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Crocodile feeding at Bonamanzi…I stayed well away from the main action.

Watching crocodile feeding time at 🌅 #safarizululand #crocodilefeedingtime

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Sunset colours…my usual sunset photo.

We were treated to 4 out of the Big Five. We missed seeing the leopard, notoriously playing hard to get.  On our way out of the reserve, we got some good sightings in a short space of time. Check this video out…

You may remember that last year we all came together in Barcelona. This year our innovation week was here in sunny South Africa.

Che and I have extended this trip to Durban by spending an additional few days enjoying warm days at Umdloti Beach village before heading back to cool Johannesburg on Thursday.

View over the Indian Ocean from our Airbnb…

#viewfrommywindow #umdlotibeach #instagrammeronholiday

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In all the years I have been coming to Umdloti Beach I don’t remember this rock formation. Perhaps I never noticed it and perhaps the ocean has eroded it into its current shape.

Yesterday was a grey blustery day, good for walking but not good for swimming in the ocean – so we didn’t.

Today’s walkabout, blustery day it was #instagrammeronholiday #umdlotibeach #beachwalking #durbanrocks #durbanskies

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I was not active on this blog but I did post to Instagram (IG) regularly. Follow me on IG here.