Millennium Tower

Durban is the busiest port in South Africa and the lifting of sanctions and re-admission to world trade prompted the widening of the harbour mouth and the replacement of the control tower on the Bluff headland.




Deriving inspiration from sugar cane shoots and nautical imagery, including sails, masts, cranes and funnels, this design competition winner consists of a 75m high tower of reinforced concrete, three discs of accommodation and a structure that communicates weather data, replete with a cowl that revolves in acknowledgement of the wind’s direction. With the Millennium Tower, Durban received a striking new landmark.

(Source: KZNIA)


Bluff Nature Reserve

Bluff Nature Reserve is a 45 hectare protected pan and forest in the suburb of The Bluff, Durban, South Africa. The park was proclaimed in 1974, making it Durban’s oldest nature reserve, and is managed by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife.

The nature reserve has bird watching facilities which overlook the pan. There is a self-guided trail throughout the reserve.

Flora and Fauna

The pan section of the park contains the remnant of a large swamp that once covered the area, while the forest section comprises a small patch of coastal lowland forest.


The following birds are found in the reserve:

  • Commorants
  • Crakes
  • Spoonbills
  • Warblers


The following mammals are found in the reserve:

  • Banded Mongoose
  • Common Rodent Mole
  • Giant Musk Shrew
  • Grey Climbing Mouse
  • Hottentot Golden Mole
  • Multimamate Mouse
  • Slender Mongoose
  • Vervet Monkey

Bluff Nature Reserve Vital Information

Gate opening and closing times
Mon – Sun : 7h00 – 17h00
Office hours: A roving field ranger is on duty during the day. There is no office at Bluff Nature Reserve.

  • Address:  400 Tara Road, Bluff, Durban
  • Telephone number: 031 469 2807
  • Adults: R20, Children: R10, Special Rates for Tours.

Bird Watching (Hide)
Walking (Self-Guided)

Braai Stands

(Source: KZN Wildlife)



A Step Forward

Helga Du Preez

AIMING to put South Durban on the map, Helga Du Preez, the new chairman of the area’s community tourism organisation (CTO), Sodurba, has the knowledge, experience and attitude to get the job done.

Following a few false starts, Sodurba, which is one of nine CTOs in Durban, is up and running and headed towards a bright future.



Naval Base Durban

Naval Base Durban in Durban harbour is a naval base of the South African Navy, situated on Salisbury Island, which is now joined to the mainland through land reclamation. It was formerly a full naval base until it was downgraded to a naval station in 2002. With the reduction in naval activities much of the island was taken over by the Army as a general support base, but they left after a few years resulting in the abandoned section becoming derelict. In 2012 a decision was made to renovate and expand the facilities back up to a full naval base to accommodate the South African Navy’s offshore patrol flotilla. In December 2015 it was officially redesignated Naval Base Durban.


fad bay mapSecond World War

The entry of Japan into the Second World War on the side of the Axis Powers and their ability to threaten the east coast of Africa prompted the construction of a new naval base on Salisbury Island. In the process of this construction the island was linked to the mainland by a causeway and the level of the land was raised three metres. Besides wharves the base facilities included barracks, workshops, a hospital as well as training facilities. A floating dry dock and crane were also installed. The construction was however only completed after the war had ended.

(Source: Port of Durban)




Sailsbury Island

fad bay mapSalisbury Island in the Port of Durban on the east coast of South Africa, was an island until the Second World War when construction of a naval base connected it to the mainland by a causeway. The island, then a mangrove covered sandbank, was named after HMS Salisbury, the Royal Navy ship that surveyed the future harbour area for the newly established Port Natal Colony in the 1820s.

Coriolanus 1950s

Second World War and after

Naval Base Durban was constructed for the Royal Navy during the Second World War in response to the threat of Japanese attacks on shipping along the east coast of Africa. It was during this construction that the island became a peninsula through the construction of a causeway. After the war the base was turned over to the South African Naval Service (SANS), which has since maintained a fluctuating and intermittent presence.

With the signing of the Simonstown Agreement in 1957, the Royal Navy gave up its control of the SANS in exchange for the use of the base at Simon’s Town. The SANS became the South African Navy (SAN) and Salisbury Island its main base. When the Simonstown Agreement ended the SAN moved most of its operations back to Simon’s Town and Durban became a secondary facility.

University College for Indians

In 1961 the University College for Indians was established on Salisbury Island – it closed down in 1971 when it was replaced by the University of Durban-Westville. Under apartheid the different population groups in South Africa had to have separate facilities, the college was the first fully fledged tertiary educational institution for Indian South Africans. Students used to commute to the college by ferry or boarded in hostels on the island. Alumni of the college include Pravin Gordhan the Minister of Finance, Roy Padayachie the former Minister of Public Service and Administration.

(Source: Port of Durban)




Port of Durban

The Port of Durban, commonly called Durban Harbour, is the largest and busiest shipping terminal in sub-Saharan Africa. It handles up to 31.4 million tons of cargo each year.

The Port of Durban in Durban, South Africa is the fourth largest container terminal in the Southern Hemisphere, handling 2,568,124 TEU in 2012.

Below is an engraving of the sea approach to the entrance to the Bay of Natal, showing the Bluff to the left and the thickly bushed Point to the right.

Port statistics

  • Durban is the busiest port in South Africa and generates more than 60% of revenue.
  • It is the second largest container port in Africa (after Port Said in Egypt).
  • It is the fourth largest container port in Southern Hemisphere. (First is Jakarta in Indonesia, second is Surabaya in Indonesia, third is Santos in Brazil).
  • The distance around the port is 21 kilometres.
  • Rail tracks total 302 kilometres.
  • The port has 58 berths which are operated by more than 20 terminal operators.
  • Over 4500 commercial vessels call at the port each year.

Harbour entrance depth

The entrance channel had a depth of 12.8 metres from Chart Datum, and a width of 122 metres between the caissons. The port has recently been widened. The harbor entrance depth is now 19 metres in the approach channel decreasing to 16 metres within the harbour. The new navigation width is 220 metres.

Port facilities


The maximum permissible draft listed for the berths serves as a guide for the planning of vessels. The following is a table of drafts as updated 7 June 2000. The Port Captain should be advised timeously to arrange fresh soundings. If a vessel is loaded to maximum, the Port Captain should be consulted for safety.

  • Pier No. 1 Berth
  • Pier No. 2 Berth
  • Point and T-Jetty Berth
  • Cross Berth
  • Island View
  • Bluff Berth
  • Bayhead Berth
  • Maydon Wharf Berth

Port operations

Durban Car Terminal is a modern, World class facility. It opened in 1998, with a capacity of 60,000 vehicles a year. In 2004 a 100-million-Rand expansion brought the number of bays to 6,500. This included a 380m bridge linking the terminal to the quayside, improving vessel turnaround time and improving security.

Berths lengths & draughts

The terminal facilities comprise a 366-metre quay with a depth alongside of 10.9 metres. This dedicated berth (Q/R) is able to accommodate the largest deep-sea car carriers.

Storage & stacking

The quay is backed by 8.5 hectares (21 acres) of surface storage with logistical road and rail access, vehicle inspection facilities and administrative block, with a state of the art cargo tracking system, CCTV surveillance monitoring, all surrounded by floodlit security fencing. The new three storey car park with bridge linking quayside to terminal, increases the capacity to 6 631 bays, increasing throughput capacity from 60,000 to 120,000 units a year.

Naval facilities

Naval Base Durban, situated on Salisbury Island, is part of the Port of Durban. Established during the Second World War, it was downgraded to a naval station in 2002. In 2012 a decision was made to renovate and expand the facilities back up to a full naval base to accommodate the South African Navy‘s offshore patrol flotilla. In December 2015 it was redesignated a naval base. It is the home port of three Warrior-class interim offshore patrol vessels (formerly missile-armed fast attack craft) which will be replaced by a new patrol flotilla within four to five years.


Naval Base Durban, built during the Second World War, was scaled down to a naval station in 2002 with the rationalisation of the fleet. In April 2013 it was announced that the base would be re-opened and upgraded to assist with the piracy mission on Africa’s East coast and to establish a permanent fleet presence on the East Coast. In December 2015 it was redesignated a naval base. Naval Station Port Elizabeth – provides support to the fleet.

(Source: Port of Durban)


Surfing Showdown at Ansteys Beach

Visit the Facebook event for updates and save the date for September 17 to participate in the International Coastal Cleanup Day.

With a full tide, the early rounds saw the bodyboarders exhibit their brand of aerial antics on the shorebreak section at Ansteys Beach. Having contestants execute spectacular manoeuvres mere metres from the sand makes for great viewing and it wasn’t long before a substantial crowd had gathered to enjoy the show.