14 Best Things To Do In Durban with kids

Looking for the best things to do in Durban? Read on...

Durban is the largest city in the province of KwaZulu-Natal and the third largest city in South Africa. It is known for its beautiful beaches, warm weather, and vibrant culture. There are many things to do in Durban with children or without them, making it a great place to visit for a fun and relaxing vacation. We love the holiday ambience there.

Durban has a long and rich history dating back to the early days of the Zulu Kingdom. The city was founded in the early 19th century by British settlers and was named after Sir Benjamin D’Urban, the then Governor of the Cape Colony. Durban quickly developed into a thriving port city and was soon one of the busiest in the world.

Today, Durban is a modern and cosmopolitan city with a diverse population and one of South Africa’s most popular and family-friendly holiday destinations – with good reason too. It’s warm all year round, the people are friendly, it’s affordable for those on a budget and it’s got a great location along the shores of the Indian Ocean.

14 best things to do in Durban with your family

1. The beaches

Swim or surf in the warm Indian Ocean water, or just chill on Durban’s extensive coastline of golden beaches that form the Golden Mile.

palm trees on Durban promenade

Promenade

2. Craft markets

Buy beach toys from the craft markets and build sand castles or play with a frisbee on the beach.

Craft market in Durban

Craft market

3. Segways and rickshaw rides

Go on a Segway tour or a colourful rickshaw ride – or ride a bicycle - on the beachfront promenade.

Colourful rickshaw with driver in Durban

Colourful ricksha

4. The Promenade

Walk along the promenade and admire the work of the talented beach sand artists while enjoying a refreshing ice-cream. Take a walk on the piers. You may spot dolphins, whales or sharks. We saw a stingray!

Sand castle made on the beach in Durban

Beach art

5. Funworld

Take the children to Funworld, a beachfront amusement park where they can enjoy the rides and go on the cable car.

2023 Update: Funworld has closed down unfortunately.

Funworld Theme park in Durban

Durban Funworld

6. Mini Town

Mini Town is another must-visit attraction in Durban with kids. It is a Lilliputian version of Durban with miniature versions of prominent landmarks in the city. There are great (Godzilla-style) photo opportunities here and the kids will love running following the moving boat and train.

Miniature buildings at Mini town in Durban

Mini-town

7. Ushaka Marine World

Ushaka Marine World is Africa’s largest marine theme park housing the seventh largest aquarium in the world. Plan to spend the whole day here as the children will never get enough of the fun water slides and rides.

kids playing at Ushaka Marine World

Ushaka Marine World

8. Moses Mabhida Stadium

This one is for the older kids and the parents. The stadium was originally built for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. It is now cleverly used as a venue for adrenalin pumping activities like the Big Rush Big Swing, officially named the world’s tallest swing. You can also take the high-tech sky car up the grand arch to the viewing platform at the top where you can get panoramic views of Durban.

Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban

Moses Mabhida Stadium

9. Eat a bunny chow

Eat a bunny chow – hollowed out bread filled with a spicy curry filling. The humble bunny chow has its origins in Durban but its fame has spread the world over. In fact, I even saw a bunny chow restaurant in Soho, London. And yes, kids love bunny chow too.

bunny chow bread covered with curry

Bunny Chow

10. The Ricksha Bus

Johannesburg and Cape Town have the City Sightseeing Bus. Durban has the unique Ricksha bus. Hop on one with the kids and see Durban’s major attractions from the comfort of your bus on a scenic 3-hour tour.

Sightseeing Ricksha Bus in Durban

Ricksha Bus

11. Gateway Theatre of Shopping

Visit the Gateway Theatre of Shopping – one of the largest shopping malls in Africa. It doesn’t only offer retail therapy. Experience the XD Theatre , and go to Electric Avenue, a Family Entertainment Centre offering Ten Pin Bowling, Arcade Games, Dodgems, and Go Kart Racing.

Indoor fun area with neon lights in Durban

Electric Avenue (Photo: Gateway Theatre of Shopping)

12. Umgeni River Bird Park

Umgeni River Bird Park is a haven for bird lovers. Set in lush gardens it features some critically endangered birds and a free-flight bird show.

colourful bird in Umgeni River Bird Park

Umgeni River Bird Park (Photo: Umgeni River Bird Park )

13. Huletts Sugar Mill

For something totally different, visit The Huletts Sugar Mill for a sugar terminal tour. The terminal consists of three enormous arched silos housing more than half a million tons of sugar. You get a video presentation and a guided tour of the terminals. The “wow” moment is when you see the huge mountain of sugar. The children will be awestruck.

Huletts Sugar Terminal arched buildings

Huletts Sugar Terminal

14. Durban Botanic Gardens

The Durban Botanic Gardens are the oldest surviving botanical gardens in Africa and one of the most fascinating ones I've ever visited. They are home to the rarest cycad in the world, the tree that changes colour, the walking tree from India and several other fascinating treasures.

Durban Botanic Gardens

Durban’s slogan is “The Warmest Place to Be”. So head over there with your family and experience its warmth.

Looking to spend the night? Check out the best hotels in Durban or see more options here.

See the best weekend getaways from Durban.

See 25 tips for travelling with kids here.

Visit Cheapflights for great local and international flights to Durban.

What are your favourite things to do in Durban with kids?

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14 comments on “14 Best Things To Do In Durban with kids”

  1. Why isn't bunny chow a thing EVERYWHERE?? That is such a good idea for a dish! Your photo of the promenade is perfection - getting serious travel envy sitting here in 20 degree F weather wondering why I'm not in Durban!

  2. Wow looks like there is a lot to do in Durban! Minitown looks so fun and those sandcastles are amazing!
    I've never heard of bunny chow before but it looks delicious and I definitely want to try it!

  3. I can see why it's known as such a family friendly town. The beach and promenade look so inviting. I bet my kids would have loved those rides when they were little. And I would love to see the birds.

  4. I love bunny chow! South Africa is on my list of places to visit so much! I don't have kids but to be honest always end up doing the kids stuff myself, so I'd love the bird sanctuary and the marine world. What a great place to take your kids!

  5. I have been hearing a lot about Durban these days. Those colorful rickshaws remind me of rickshaws of Kolkata, India. I am surprised to see that those are also in use in Durban.

  6. My daughter would love Ushaka and also the bird park. She's sorted for Durban, I'd love to take her there for valentines day! The craft market is well stocked! Those are the products you'd expect to find in South Africa.

  7. Wow I didn't know Durban was such a holiday destination! It sounds fun to segway around the boulevard. Not sure if I would dare to try the Big Swing, my stomach is already churning round by the idea of it!

    1. Haha, a bunny chow is one thing you cannot leave out when doing a list of things to do in Durban, Enricoh. I love the sand castles too but I'm not at very good at them. I haven't been to the Waffle House yet but I've been hearing alot about it.

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