durban north accommodation

YOUR GUIDE TO TRAVEL, TOURISM AND LIVING IN AND AROUND DURBAN NORTH  




This section contains a detailed guide for travel and tourism in South Africa, with important information on the country, local conditions, important regulations and everything you should need to plan hassle-free business travel, inland travel or coastal vacations.

If you need any additional travel information not mentioned on this site, please feel free to email us for complimentary assistance.




 

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Travel And Tourism Information

Also look at all the things there are to do in and around Durban North

Quick links to specific Tourist and Travel information

| travel agents | accommodation | climate and clothing | doing business | general standards | going out |
| smoking policies | driving | local travel | car hire | money matters | official language |
| religion | safety and security | shopping | staying in touch | television | time zones | tourist assistance |
| things to do | visa information | more information |




South Africa is probably one of the most hospitable and friendly nations in the world, happy to welcome visitors and introduce them to everything that this amazing country has to offer. An ideal travel and holiday (vacation) destination, the land offers something of everything for everyone.

No matter how friendly the people are though, it can still be enormously frustrating to arrive in a foreign place with no idea of how things work. This section is aimed at avoiding that and making your stay a pleasure from the very moment that you arrive.


Accommodation

The accommodation establishments listed on this website are limited to those who are NAA members. What this means is that by choosing any one of them you are assured of high quality accommodation (a number of which are star graded) where you will get no nasty surprises.

All of these establishments are committed to ensuring that guests have an enjoyable and safe experience, and that the only memories you will leave with are good ones. They are all owner-run, where your hosts are doing what they do because they love it. This means that you get personal service to a high standard, in a quality assured establishment, where the hosts are there to assist you in any way possible.

Small enough to give this personal service, yet astute enough to respect your privacy, these are all bed and breakfasts and guesthouses, many of which offer self-catering facilities as well.

To browse through the various recommended accommodation establishments (more than 25), please visit our accommodation section. The left column of the first accommodation page will also outline the major facilities and places that are in close proximity to every one of these establishments.

Climate and clothing

The KZN coastal area is sub tropical, humid and warm most of the year. The sun can be particularly harsh and a high factor suntan lotion (SP30+) should be worn outdoors at all times. Even on an apparently cool and overcast day, it is likely that you would get seriously sunburned without this protection.

Clothing should be casual and lightweight, made of fabric that allows the skin to breathe. Light cardigans or jackets may be needed for the evenings and a light water resistant jacket or windbreaker for the odd rainy days. Generally the coastal area is consistently warm and days can be brutally hot. In summer and even in late spring and early autumn it is a good idea to drink lots of liquids to avoid heatstroke.

The Indian ocean is known for its consistently warm temperatures, where bathing and other ocean activities are possible throughout most of the year.

Doing Business

Business hours do vary slightly, but in general, businesses are open from 8:30 to 17:00 Monday to Friday and 8:30 to 13:00 on Saturdays. Most shopping malls have extended trading hours which also includes Sundays. If all else fails, there are numerous smaller stores called cafés, as well as basic supply stores at service stations, which are open until late at night, if not 24 hours. Basic supplies are therefore always attainable.

Banking hours are from 9:00 to 15:30 Monday to Friday and 8:00 to 11:00 on Saturdays.

Driving

You will need an international driving license in order to drive on South African roads and this should be obtained before leaving your country.

South Africans drive on the left hand side of the road and our vehicles are left hand drive.

Speed limits within city limits and urban areas are 60 kilometers per hour (roughly 37.5 mph) and 120kph on freeways. Limits are clearly signposted, but in the absence of a sign, lower limits should apply (when in doubt, don't).
South Africa is strict in enforcing its speed limits and this is done mainly by means of hidden cameras.
Driving under the influence of alcohol is a criminal offence carrying severe penalties.

Unlike many parts of the world, petrol stations are not self-service. Instead, you are assisted by petrol attendants who will do everything from filling up your tank to checking oil and water and washing your windscreen. It is acceptable, though not expected, to tip petrol attendants, especially for services over and above filling your petrol tank.

Petrol stations are easily available and frequently located throughout our towns, suburbs and along our freeways.

South Africa operates toll-roads on the freeway system, with alternative, free routes clearly signposted. Toll roads tend to be a bit quicker than toll-free roads and the roads themselves enjoy a higher standard of maintenance. The main road system in South Africa is however generally of good quality and safe for any ordinary vehicle.
The price of toll roads vary dramatically, from as little as R2.50 to R35.00 per stretch of road. Most accept credit cards, but it is generally simpler and quicker to have cash on hand and pay the exact amount.

To hire a car you will need a credit card with at least R3000 available on it. This is to cover excess in case of an accident or damage to the vehicle. Comet cars is a local car hire company that has lower restrictions in this regard.

You also need a driver's license that has been valid for a period of at least 5 years.

Wearing of seat belts is compulsory and the use of cell phones while driving is an offence. Headsets are readily available at a very low cost.

Driving distances
If you are planning a self-drive tour or holiday through any part (or all of) South Africa, please remember that the country is large and very spread. Take the time to find out about driving times and distances between areas so that you do not end up stretching yourself. The last thing that you need is to be racing at 11pm at night in an attempt to get to your accommodation (and praying that you don't take a wrong turning on the way!). Similarly, make sure that you allow enough time to get to airports for the next leg of your journey if you are doing a part-drive tour.

What may seem to be a relatively short journey on a map can turn out to be quite a long haul in reality, especially with all the amazing sights and opportunities for exploration to distract you along the way.

General Standards

For weight and other measures South Africa uses the metric system. This means that temperature is measured in centigrade.
Electricity is 220/240 volts, 50 cycle and British electrical items can be used here, as long as you have the correct adaptor for the plug points. Accommodation establishments listed on this site will be happy to provide these to their guests on request.

Going out

There is a tremendous selection of restaurants and night spots and most reflect the holiday atmosphere of the area. Largely dictated by the climate and the fact that this is such a high tourism area, dress codes tend to be fairly casual, or smart-casual.

Tipping is an accepted practice for waiters and waitresses, housekeeping staff, taxi drivers, etc. The norm is 10 - 15%, but it is not generally mandatory.

Smoking - South Africa has strict legislation in force regarding smoking and all indoor public areas are smoke-free zones. Smoking in these areas can result in hefty fines and would generally be seriously frowned upon by other users of the facilities as well.

While many dining and accommodation establishments, etc. have designated smoking areas, some are entirely non-smoking. If you are a smoker, it would therefore be wise to avoid uneccesary frustration by checking with an establishment before making your reservation or booking.

Local travel

The Durban area is one of the few in South Africa that provide a reliable public bus service, making it fairly easy to get around. There are also various taxi (cab) companies, but these do not cruise the streets and must be booked in advance. Comfortable inter-city coach (bus) services also exist for easy travel from one coastal point to the next (as well as between all major South African cities). A local rail service is also available and, finally, various shuttle companies provide their services between certain points.

Visitors staying at any one of the accommodation establishments listed on this site specifically have no need to worry as all provide a shuttle service to and from Durban International airport at a nominal extra charge. They would also be more than happy to assist you in arranging any further transportation once you are here. This includes car hire.

Money matters

The local currency is Rands and cents, with coinage ranging from a 1 cent piece to a 5 Rand coin. A Rand amount is written as Rx. Notes include R10, R20, R50, R100 and R200.

Credit cards are accepted at most places, including Visa and Mastercard, Diners Club and Amex.

Automatic teller machines are available all over the place and are easily accessible. They are also mainly in secure locations, but common sense must prevail as well. General safety guidelines are printed on all machines for the benefit of users. Cards bearing the Cirrus logo can be used at these machines.

Foreign exchange services are available at all commercial banks or foreign exhcange bureaus, of which there are numerous to choose from. Thomas Cook is represented in South Africa by Rennies.

Official Language

South Africa has 11 official languages, of which English, Afrikaans, Zulu and Xhosa are the most widely spoken in Durban and surrounds. Any visitor who can speak English will however have no problems as all businesses and signage deal in English, which is often the first language.

Religion

The main religions in the area are Christianity, Muslim and Hindu. Local places of worship can be found here

browse more travel and tourism information

Quick links to specific Tourist and Travel information

| travel agents | accommodation | climate and clothing | doing business | driving | general standards | going out |
| smoking policies | local travel | money matters | official language | religion | safety and security |
| shopping | staying in touch | television | time zones | tourist assistance |
| things to do | visa information | more information |

 

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