South Africa’s vibrant, sun-soaked playground
Discover Durban's Real Estate
Situated on the Indian Ocean along South Africa’s eastern coast, Durban is a relaxed and vibrant city famous within South Africa for having some of the country’s best beaches, a fantastic year-round climate and a diverse mix of cultures. Previously overlooked by the rest of the world in favor of Cape Town and Johannesburg, Durban is quickly rising in international awareness as one of Africa’s most exciting and livable major cities.
Culture, History, and Business
The Durban area has been inhabited by humans for at least 100,000 years. Durban itself, however, only dates back to 1824 when King Shaka of the Zulu Kingdom granted ex-Royal Navy officer Lt. Francis George Farewell a large area of land around the Bay of Natal. Renamed Durban in 1835, the city was a destination for the Voortrekkers—the descendents of South Africa’s Dutch settlers—from 1836 onwards, which led to conflict with both the British and the Zulu. Over time, the city grew to become an important port and trading center. It attracted a large Indian population, who were brought over by the British—with Mahatma Gandhi calling Durban home at one point—and the Indian influence on the city’s cuisine and culture remains strong to this day.
Today, Durban is South Africa’s third largest city, one of Africa’s most important ports and a major manufacturing center. The wider region is also extremely important for the production of sugar cane. Tourism is one of Durban’s most significant economic sectors, thanks to a warm year-round climate and fantastic beaches whose warm Indian Ocean waters compare very favorably to Cape Town’s chilly Atlantic Ocean beaches.
Real Estate Appeal
Although Durban has long been considered South Africa’s playground by South Africans themselves, it has only been recently that foreigners have begun to discover the city’s phenomenal attractions. The beaches and climate—both among the best in the country—are a huge draw for tourists. Massive investment in the city’s central beachfront neighborhoods has resulted in formerly derelict districts being transformed into areas with glittering skyscrapers and family-friendly beach promenades.
For investors, Durban has a lot of appeal because of its reputation as a tourist hotspot. Plenty of opportunities for short-term rental properties exist here, both along the beaches and further inland. Because Durban has, until recently, been overlooked by foreign investors, the cost of property here is also extremely cheap, meaning the city potentially holds a considerably high return on investment for those who choose their property carefully.
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