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Durban’s Oldest Market

Durban’s Oldest Market

The Victoria Street Market is often listed as a can’t miss experience for your visit to Durban, as it gives you a bit of an insight to the cultures that live side by side in this unique city. You’re guaranteed to find yourself some nice little souvenirs, as well as delicious snacks when you visit. The market is open from 8am to 5pm throughout the week, with slightly shorter hours on the weekend.

explore SHAW / Australia

Shop At Victoria Street Market

Shop At Victoria Street Market

The famous Indian Market, on which the current Victoria Street Market sits, started back in 1910. After being destroyed by a fire, it reinvented itself in 1973, and now attracts scores of residents and travelers to its indoor bazaar. Have your own concoction of curry powder prepared at any of the spice stores, browse garment shops, and try on Indian and Zulu jewelry. You’ll find men and women in traditional kurtas and saris speaking Zulu, Hindi and English, selling spices, scarves and other treasures. On the ground floor, you’ll find a food market offering fresh seafood, meat and produce.
Lavanya Sunkara / Forbes

Celebrate Diwali & Indian Culture In Durban

Celebrate Diwali & Indian Culture In Durban

Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, is perhaps the most well-known Indian celebration.
Lavanya Sunkara / Forbes

With Hindus living nearly in every corner of the world, this holiday honoring the triumph of light over darkness and good over evil is widely celebrated in Autumn in the Northern Hemisphere and during spring in the Southern Hemisphere. The South African city of Durban is no exception. In fact, this bustling port city has the largest population of Indians outside of the subcontinent, making it an Afro-Indian melting pot with its own vibrant culture.

Located on the shores of the Indian Ocean in the KwaZulu-Natal Province, Durban is famous for its sun-kissed golden beaches lining the Golden Mile and the famed Victoria Street Market. Crossing the Indian Ocean to work as contract laborers on sugarcane fields in the 1860s, many Indians stayed in Durban, putting down roots, continuing with traditions and shaping the culture of the second largest city in South Africa.

It was in sunny Durban that Mahatma Gandhi, who came to South Africa as a young lawyer, spent his formative years. Here, he developed his political views, mainly “Satyagraha,” a form of peaceful resistance to injustice, that he later brought to India’s fight for freedom. It was also here in 1994 that Nelson Mandela cast his first vote in a democratic South Africa.

On a visit to Durban, you can pay tribute to these heroes, get a taste of the famous Bunny Chow and, while you are at it, celebrate Diwali alongside the city’s residents.

Durban Diwali Festival

Durban Diwali Festival

In its 21st year, the Durban Diwali Festival (October 18-20), will take place at the Durban Old Drive. Hosted by the South African Hindu Maha Sabha, this free festival has everything you’d expect: delicious food, a spirited atmosphere, entertainment, rich tapestries and a colorful display of fashion and furnishings. Enjoy local entertainment, sample Indian street food and splurge on handmade souvenirs. There’s a temple onsite to offer prayers and a float procession.
Lavanya Sunkara / Forbes