Howzit Jonas. What would you say is unique about Durban?
There are elements of it that would appeal to any tourist: the beautiful beaches, the amazing calibre of musicians, the offering of fusion food and world-class distilleries, and the weather. Durbanites always joke that we have two seasons here: summer and summer. But Durban really appeals to someone who wants to discover — who wants to peel back the layers of a city. Durban needs a little work. And I think that’s what makes it so exceptional.
Durban sounds like a pretty cool place to be right now.
Absolutely. Take Florida Road, one of Durban’s main strips. It’s undergoing this second wave of urban revitalisation at the moment, and entrepreneurs are doing some really amazing stuff. There are loads of incredible local coffee places, like Skyline Coffee Roastery. And restaurants such as Falafel Fundi, which has become a Durban institution in no time at all. Florida Road is a place that’s full of life and energy and colour. It’s really bustling, and is good representation of the spirit of Durban.
What do you think is the biggest misconception about South Africa?
That the country is just a big wildlife reserve! People aren’t aware that South Africa is a superpower on the continent with amazing, cosmopolitan cities to rival the Americas, Asia and Europe.
How easy is it to get to Durban?
I think British Airways’ new direct flights from the UK (from October 2018) are going to make Durban much more accessible. This city is the perfect base for travellers who want to explore South Africa: you’ve got some of the world’s best game parks and wildlife less than a two-hour drive away; Cape Town is two hours away by plane; Johannesburg just one hour. You’ve got the Drakensberg Mountains close by. You’ve got this incredible coastline. There’s an amazing variety of things to do, all just asking for you to jump in and explore.