Durban Delights!

April 20, 2010

durban seafront

We often talk of Cape Town and Johannesburg, but Durban may just be that hidden gem we’ve forgotten about. With the largest Indian population outside Asia, the largest Shopping Mall in Africa, and a fascinating Aquarium – Durban is a cool place!

Lets take a peek at some fascinating “Durban” facts.

* Take a guess at how many Indians Durban has. A few thousands, you said? No. 6 Lakhs is the number. 🙂 Which means Durban has more Indians than Jammu and Dehradun! And it has more Indians than there are people in Atlanta and Las Vegas. Well?

* Durban has Africa’s largest Marine Theme Park – the uShaka Marine World. The cool thing about this “aquarium” is that  a spectacular sea wreck has been recreated here! And to add to that there are also some mind numbing dolphin shows. uShaka Marine World also boasts of a huge quantity of water: 7500 cubic meters of it! This much water could sustain an average Indian for a whopping 320 years. Interesting? Here’s a picture!

uShaka Marine World

* Durban’s Indian connection has been there since, well quite a long time. Where did Mahatma Gandhi set foot, when he came to South Africa in 1893? No prizes for answering – Durban. He also lived here with his wife Kasturbha for more than 19 years and espoused the causes of the Indians here. Durban pays tribute to the great leader today with a statue at Phoenix Settlement. There is also a street named after Mahatma Gandhi.

* What does Durban have to do with sports? Everything. Many games from the 2003 ICC Cricket World Cup were held in Durban. Durban then played host to the ICC Twenty-Twenty Cup in 2007. And then came the Indian Premier League in 2009! And yes, it is one of the venues for the FIFA World Cup, 2010. 🙂 Are you coming?

* Durban is pretty “empty” when you compare it to cities like Mumbai and Delhi. In one square kilometer, there are 15 times as many people in Mumbai as in Durban! How many people do you generally see in one glance at a railway station in Mumbai? 100? In Durban you will see 100/15 = 6 people!

Isn’t Durban fascinating? You might like looking at an intriguing Durban Tour here.

I’ll end with an event that hardly any Indian will ever forget. It happened in Durban. It was stunning beyond doubt.

Yuvraj Singh, hit 6 sixes in an over at Kingsmead in Durban. 🙂 Here’s the video. Enjoy.

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Cape Town: 6 Unusual Facts

April 13, 2010

Table Mountain Cape Town

In February 2010, Forbes magazine ranked Cape Town as of the 10 most beautiful cities in the world. And that is just one of the accolades which Cape Town laps up with alarming alacrity every year. 🙂

With a Table Mountain, a spectacular seafront,  an array of stunning “blue flag” beaches, and the colourful houses of its Bo Kaap locality to top it all, Cape Town is without doubt a tourist’s paradise.

Here are 6 interesting facts about Cape Town that you may not have heard before!

* Cape Town is a “large” city when you look at its land area.How large? According to Wikipedia, it is 4 times the size of Mumbai! And you thought Mumbai was large? 😉

* Generally you list the average height of a city above sea level. Mumbai for example is, on an average, 14 metres above sea level. But you don’t do that for Cape Town. It’s highest point is a whopping 1590 metres above sea level while its lowest point is at level with the sea! Talk of variety… 🙂

* For a city of its stature, Cape Town is relatively very less dense. This means very less people live in it per square kilometre compared to other major world cities. How less? If you took the effect of area into account, there are 13 people in Mumbai for every one person in Cape Town!

* Cape Town does indeed have this knack of lapping up award after award. Can you guess how many internationally acclaimed recognitions and awards it has received in the past 2 years? Five? Ten? The correct answer is 22. ‘ One Of The World’s 5 Bluest Sky Destinations’ , ‘Africa’s Leading Destination’ and ‘City with the World’s Cleanest Beach’ are three of these fascinating titles!

* Near which city does the world’s largest individually timed cycle race take place? Which city hosts the largest full-service mountain bike stage race in the world? Which city has played host to the Rugby World Cup, the Cricket World Cup and the IPL?  No second guesses: it’s Cape Town. 🙂

* The Table Mountain National Park in Cape Town is unique: not for the amazing plants it has but for the huge number of plant species it has. With 2200 different kinds of plants, it has more species than New Zealand and the United Kingdom!

Why not end with a video as interesting as the city itself? Here it is.

Visit this page for some interesting Cape Town pictures. And if you are interested in visiting Cape Town one day, why not make a start by looking here?