Postcards from Durban, Cruising at Sunset

Sunset cruises can seem a little clichéd, regardless it’s hard to resist them. Within minutes of leaving the dock at Durban, I was viewing one of South Africa’s most impressive cities from the ocean and was a happy cliché.

A reflected view of Durban in the KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa on Mallory on Travel adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain Mallory-300-1

Reflections of Durban

It would be a short but surprisingly spectacular cruise. The skyline providing a stunning contrast of shadowy, geometric shapes against the ever-changing hues of the evening sky. As the shadows lengthened, the ocean provided a perfect facsimile of the city, cloning every building, window and antenna in it’s rippled surface.

As the sun sank below the horizon it painted on the canvas of the sky. Changing it from subtle yellow to deep orange, it didn’t end once out of sight either, if anything the colours only appeared more spectacular.

Skyline of Durban in the KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa on Mallory on Travel adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain Mallory-300-4-1

The Durban skyline

There were vessels of all shapes and sizes, small fishing boats, commercial tour boats, huge parcel tankers and luxurious yachts, their masts poking high into the changing sky. Their hulls appearing mottled, almost wearing camouflage due to the shadows of dusk. Anglers lined the breakwater and dozens of fishing rods were being held tightly, anticipating catching the big one.

The sun dropped remarkably quickly, when I looked away for just a few moments and it had definitely moved. It inched below the city skyline, and I marvelled at the slight but noticeable changes in the shade of the southern sky, like a time-lapse video.

Yachts in the harbour of Durban in the KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa on Mallory on Travel adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain Mallory-300-3-1

Shadowed yachts almost look camouflaged

The cruise left the harbour to allow all passengers to get a good look at the of the city. The timing was perfect, as we reached the furthest point the sun was just beginning to hide behind the tallest buildings. This caused an impressive flare, which seemed even more spectacular.

Flaring skyline of Durban in the KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa on Mallory on Travel adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain Mallory-300-7-1

Durban is all flare

There was also a great view of  the Moses Mabhida Stadium, where a few of us had taken a leap of faith earlier that day. The arches where we’d completed the famous bungee swing known as the “Big Rush” or “Big Swing” were still clearly visible in the receding light. However, I’m not sure seeing the stadium again provided all of us with fond memories.

The Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban in the KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa on Mallory on Travel adventure, adventure travel, photography

The Moses Mabhida Stadium

Before long, we were returning to the harbour, the sun had long since departed, the shadows were deepening, the city almost hiding under it’s black cloak. It would not sleep yet however, in fact the opposite, coming to life as the night-shift took over. The cruise had been a fitting end to the last day in Durban, but now it was time to enjoy our last night before heading to the Drakensberg.

Durban in the KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa on Mallory on Travel adventure, adventure travel, photography Iain Mallory-300-5-1

Returning to Durban harbour

*All images were taken on a compact camera

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  1. Valarie U. Mullen

    Suncoast Casino and Entertainment World is on Durban’s Golden Mile. It is one of the city’s brightest attractions. Built in the Art Deco style for which Durban is famous, it illuminates the sky with its 6km of neon lighting. Suncoast is the biggest casino in South Africa, boasting a gaming floor of 7000m2. The casino has 1 330 slot machines and 50 gaming tables, as well as the SUNstruck progressive, Durban’s only million Rand paying bank of slot machines. Suncoast’s private beach is one of the best in South Africa. A grassed embankment bordered by layers of indigenous vegetated dunes looks over a wide, flat beach right onto the Indian Ocean. Suncoast’s eight cinema complex screens the latest blockbusters- including an array of hot Bollywood movies. It is home to the 18m Supernova screen- the largest cinema screen in KwaZulu-Natal.

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