Almost everyone we spoke to before we left the U.S. said we’d love Durban, although they didn’t say why exactly. The largest city in KwaZulu Natal, Durban is also an important manufacturing hub and port. It boasts a sub-tropical climate and some of South Africa’s best beaches.
I didn’t know much about the city when I decided to plan that leg of our trip. And apart from a visit to Shakaland, a Zulu homestead near Durban, the only things we wanted to do was watch the whales, get some good Indian food and enjoy the city.
Then I received an email out of the blue from an author in Durban who suggested his book for my book club. When I told him of our plans to visit Durban, he suggested quite strongly that we had to visit ‘Drakensberg.’ When I asked what that was, he said he had no idea (he had just moved to Durban from the UK), that I should search online. Once I did, it added a whole new dimension to our trip.
Through a friend, we found a travel agency, Compassline Africa, that took care of the details and Tanya, Alison and Don from Compassline met us on arrival at Durban’s Shaka Zulu International Airport.
Don would be our driver for our three days in Durban and not too long after we arrived, we had loaded up the car and were on our way to our first stop, Shakaland.
Don Botterill was a combination tour guide, driver, loveable uncle and a proud South African who was enthusiastic about showing and sharing his beautiful country with us.
We were driving along to Shakaland when he received a phone call. Instead of saying, hello, he asked, How’s your granny? We looked at each other and burst into a fit of laughter.
Once we heard that, we knew we were in for a treat with Don. And boy, did he deliver!