Durban, on the eastern coast of South Africa, is the country’s third-largest city, and its population will increase by at least a few more thousand or so for next year. Seven World Cup matches are set to be held at its Moses Mabhida Stadium, including one of the tournament’s semifinals.
The city got its roots in 1824, when Zulu ruler Shaka (better known to many as Shaka Zulu) gave British adventurer Henry Francis Fynn a 25-mile strip of land as a token of appreciation for aiding his recovery from a battle wound. The city’s name came about in 1835, when the settlers changed its name from Port Natal to Durban, in honor of Sir Benjamin d’Urban, a British general and governor of the Cape Colony.
It started as a settlement of 25 British army men, but Durban has now grown to be a city of nearly three and a half million people.
Durban is Africa’s busiest port, and it’s also one of the country’s top tourist destinations, next to Cape Town. There’s a plethora of beaches, nature reserves, and shopping & dining destinations, with one prime destination being the area known as the Golden Mile, where tourists can do it all in one place – shop, eat, see dolphins, seals, and many other animals, and last but certainly not least, have tons of fun in the water.
As one would expect, sport has a large presence in Durban. The city is home to three Premier Soccer League sides, AmaZulu, Thanda Royal Zulu, and the Golden Arrows, and it’s also home to two rugby union teams, the Sharks and the Natal Sharks.
See all World Cup host cities.