After experiencing nature like never before – sliding through the forest canopy and enjoying a unique birds-eye view on the world around us in the Drakensberg, we set out on a two-hour journey to South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province – Durban was our exact destination.

Durban is a coastal city in eastern South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province, known for its African, Indian and colonial influences. The blend of cultures and architecture positions Durban as one of the unique spots in South Africa. Apart from Durban’s Golden Mile which is a destination for surfers, families and fisherman, due to its blend of natural beauty and modern resort, there are several major-city attractions making the city a good destination for families and couples alike.

We were welcomed to Durban by the African plant species showcased at the Durban Botanical Gardens, which was quite a refreshing sight. Due to the weather on the day, we had to abandon our first activity in Durban – bungee swing at Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium. Though filled with disappointment, some of us opted to experience first-hand the logistics at the ‘futuristic facility’.  

The Big Swing (as it is popularly called) at Moses Mabhida Stadium can best be described as the envy of thrill-seeking adventure travellers the world over. Not only is this extreme Durban attraction the only stadium swing on earth, it also holds the Guinness Record for the World’s Tallest Swing. Also known as the Big Rush, the Moses Mabhida Stadium swing has been giving new meaning to ‘Durban flights’ since 2010.

The adventure begins on your arrival at Moses Mabhida Stadium where you will report to the Big Rush Stadium Shop. There, you will sign an indemnity waiver form before being taken through the basic safety precautions.  You are fitted into a full body harness that will allow you to try a quick technique demonstration in the practice area. A short walk to the stadium arch and your harness will be attached to the safety line. Your jump will take place at ‘ladder rung 4’ – you will be assisted down the ladder onto the platform by the Big Rush Jump Crew, who will also ensure that you are ready to go, that is not having second thoughts. As a jumper, you are secured by ropes and harnesses, before taking the plunge into the huge void over the pitch, and then swinging out up to 220 metres under the famous arch of the Moses Mabhida Stadium.

The rest of the post-jump time is spent reliving the experience – jumps are recorded and screened at the Base Café that is situated within the Big Rush Stadium Shop and you can get a copy of the recording to watch again later once the rush has worn off.

From the Moses Mabhida Stadium, the entire team went to the Gateway Mall to have lunch and then explore the shopping centre.  Voted as the best shopping centre by the Daily News Your Choice awards in 2014 and 2015, the Gateway Theatre of Shopping is the ultimate retail and entertainment destination in Durban. Find everything under one roof in this super regional shopping centre that hosts some of the most elite retail stores in South Africa.

With over 390 stores, 70 eateries and a host of exciting entertainment, visitors are spoilt for choice. At Gateway you will find local South African retail as well as popular international brands such as Zara, Forever New, Cotton On, Super dry, Gant, and everything in between.

We checked into the Protea Hotel where we spent the night. After breakfast the next morning, we headed out to the uShaka Marine World, a 16-hectare theme park where we spent the entire day. Opened on 30 April 2004, the uShaka Marine World comprises of five sections: uShaka Sea World, uShaka Wet ‘n’ Wild, uShaka Beach, uShaka Village Walk and, uShaka Kids World. Durban is famous for its beaches and that is exactly what you will discover at the uShaka Marine world.

It really is an adventure at uShaka Sea World with dolphin shows, seal shows, penguin presentations, shark dives, ray feeds and so much more! Sea World boasts of an impressive Dolphin Stadium, seating over 1 200 spectators, who are thrilled and delighted with two dolphins show presentations each day. Separate interactive pools, known as the Dolphin Lagoon, allow up close and personal encounters with these amazing creatures. Alongside the Dolphin Stadium, is the Seal Stadium which hosts a fun-filled seal shows, as well as the Penguin rockery, home to over 63 African Penguins

uShaka’s Wet ‘n’ Wild caters for the adrenaline junkie and those less adventurous with a fun freshwater world of slides and pools. You will get blown away with uShaka’s newest and fastest slide as you take a deep breathe, holding onto your cozzie and get ready to speed through the tunnel before spiralling around the tornado bowl and down into a pool below.

Another experience you cannot miss at the uShaka Marine World is Durban’s ultra-thrilling, new rope adventure park – with the longest continuous belay system in Africa. Test your limits and challenge yourself at uShaka Marine World’s Chimp & Zee Rope Adventure Park. You could opt for either the introductory journey, intermediate journey or both.    

Adding to the fun and excitement at the uShaka Marine World is the unique shopping experience, offering shoppers paradise in an open-air environment, affording guests a world of entertainment, family fun, shopping and dining.

Before our departure to Johannesburg, we had dinner at the legendary exclusive revolving restaurant which was officially opened in February 1973. The Roma was born from a concept pioneered by Bartholomeo Ribero, Comiso Turi and Gino Leopardi. Now owned by Reelin Group and managed by the Leopardi brothers, it is the only genuine revolving restaurant in the southern hemisphere and the third of its kind in the world.

The Roma Revolving Restaurant also boasts the unique feature as two others do, of a revolving window and floor area. The restaurant is situated on the 32nd level of John Ross House overlooking the whole of Durban and surrounding areas with excellent Sea and Bay views. It has a speed control mechanism which allows a revolution of anything between 60 and 90 minutes.

 

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