Durban, South Africa
Durban Travel Blog› entry 1 of 1 › view all entries
I worked on an old steam ship, a tramp steamer in 2008. We made two trips to Africa and the Middle East on a UN contract shipping grain from Lake Charles, Louisiana USA to the people of various countries. On the second trip we stopped in Durban, South Africa after stopping in Aqaba, Jordan; Mombasa, Kenya; and Beira, Mozambique. We unloaded the last of our cargo of grain in Durban and left from there to go to Houston, Texas.
When we first finished unloading in Durban, the company did not have another load for us so we went outside the harbor and dropped our anchor and waited a day or two until the company got another load for us. Our ship had to vacate the pier and make room for another ship plus the pier charge per day is several thousand dollars.
We first entered Durban early morning again with very hazey skys which continued all the time we were there and did not make for good photo weather. Most of my pictures are of the harbor and city skyline. I did not get to go ashore much in the daytime and only went to the Seafarer's Center a few times at night, once in downtown Durban and one day at a new modern mall where my supervisor bought a Harley Davidson t-shirt and I bought some souviners for my daughter.
We kept being warned to be careful about muggings and street crime by the ship's officers but I did not see any problems at all nor did any of the crew report any problems and some of them came back to the ship in no shape to defend themselves! I felt safe all the time and maybe I was just lucky or maybe the reports are exaggerated. We did not see an excessive amount of police or military and I believe all the military we saw was in the harbor where a South African submarine and submarine tender were docked along with a smaller navy patrol boat.
We bought some cool souviners including some real ostrich eggs drained of all liquid through a small round hole in the end and painted and decorated with beautiful colors, maps of Africa, and various other forms of African art.
Downtown the streets were wide with many high rise office buildings and one with a revolving restaurant on the roof. If the traffic had not been traveling on the left side of the road, it would have looked like the downtown area of any US city.
We had a good time here in our off time and this is one city we visited that I would come back to anytime I could. I recommend this city to all of my TravBuddys.