Durban is primarily a holiday town, with its mind set firmly on
the beach. That doesn''t mean the fun stops when the sun goes down,
but it lends Durban nightlife a relaxed atmosphere more focused on
fun than glamour.
A good place to start is at a beach bar on Golden Mile, perhaps
with a local beer at the neon-lit Joe Cools or gigantic strawberry
daiquiri from the more African-themed Moyo at uShaka Marine World.
Restaurants, bars, and pubs tend to be clustered in certain streets
and neighbourhoods, so there are always alternatives if you aren''t
The most famous nightlife district in Durban is Florida Road in
Morningside, which has a busy atmosphere every night of the week.
It has a wide selection of restaurants, bars, pubs, and nightclubs
to choose from, but due to municipal noise restrictions you won''t
find live music. The Davenport District of Glenwood is another
cluster, offering a neighbourhood feel with small, independent
restaurants and bars. Both areas have limited parking on the
street, with car guards standing by for a tip of two to five rand.
A bit further north, Umhlanga Rocks has its own main street in
Chartwell Drive, with a pedestrian-friendly strip of restaurants,
pubs, and bars spilling out onto the pavement.
Durban has a burgeoning live music community, with great local
bands in every genre, from rock and jazz to hip hop and
electronica. Burn Nightclub in Stamfordhill is the destination for
hard rock enthusiasts, whereas the Jazzy Rainbow offers a blend of
jazz, hip hop, and live poetry. City Hall hosts concerts by the
KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra every Thursday night in
season, and bigger concerts are held at the International
For clubbers, Durban has quite a few mainstream house venues,
including Eighties Nightclub, The Clapham Grand, and Club Sasha.
For alternative dance music, Origin hosts international deejays and
packed parties every Friday and Saturday night. The Lounge in
Stamfordhill is Durban''s only major gay nightclub, and Cool
Runnings offers a reggae-and-rasta poolhall with drum circles on
Late-night entertainment doesn''t have as many options in Durban,
but the watering-hole for the city''s creative crowd is Hai.bo, with
its massive cocktail menu and artistic atmosphere.
Most Durban clubs and bars will accept credit cards (except
American Express). Travellers should take extra care when going
home late at night, as drunk driving is a serious problem and
hijackings are common in some areas. For comprehensive event
listings, look in the Sunday Tribune''s Sunday Mag Diary