Durban is strategically well located on the South East Coast of Africa and is the major port city of the African continent. Its location puts it in the heart of shipping and trade routes reaching to all major markets on the globe.
The name Durban, which strictly speaking relates to the City of Durban, has come to be associated more broadly with the local government area officially known as the Ethekwini Municipality, administered by the Ethekwini Metro Council. This council area, which covers 2291 sq. kilometres, was made up by the unification of 48 smaller local councils as part of a new political development programme.
Durban's climate, which is essentially sub-tropical, is temperate with a high percentage of sunshine hours per average day. Humidity, which is influenced by the warm Mozambique current which flows past, tends to be high in mid-summer. Day/night temperatures range from 30/20 ºC in summer to 20/8 ºC in winter.
Durban is a city of 3 million people made up of diverse cultural groupings emanating from a variety of historical backgrounds. Blacks, Indians, Whites and Coloureds form the main ethnic groupings, together with a small but growing percentage of people of other Asian origin. The city was established more than 180 years ago and has grown into a modern and vibrant economic centre.
The City is built around a natural ocean port, which plays a key role in the city's economy as well as that of South Africa. It has established itself as the main coastal gateway into and out of Southern Africa.
The subtropical climate of the metropolitan area with its pleasant winters and humid summers is a major draw card for tourists and residents alike. The pleasant weather offers residents and tourists the ability to enjoy a range of outdoor activities, not the least of these being the miles of sandy beaches and the warm Indian Ocean waters. With temperatures seldom falling below ten degrees and reaching summer peaks of around 35 degrees, the climate is perfect for sporting and cultural events and festivals.
With its fascinating history of immigrants from a variety of continents and its strong African heritage linked to the Zulu nation, the city is often described as a cultural melting pot. Since the arrival of the first Europeans and the indentured Indian labourers, the city has been developing a style and feel that is unique. The metropolitan has the largest Indian population outside of India and their presence can be felt through their unique culture and influence on enterprise, fashion and cuisine.