July 25, 2011

Joburg vs Durban?

Hi everyone - I was hoping for some input from you on this one. Julia, one of my American readers who is relocating to South Africa with her family, is facing a choice: Durban or Johannesburg? My first reaction was envy - what luxury to be given a choice! For us it was just "Joburg or not." But then I was thinking maybe it was easier that way. I think of all the extra research I would have immediately engaged in, and shudder.

Anyway, I was hoping you could help out with your comments. I know almost nothing about Durban, so if those of you who do could jump in with your comments, that would be great. (Of course I'm still hoping Joburg will come out well in the comparison:-). Thanks!

9 comments :

Jozie Days said...

Well my vote would definitely be for Joburg. Durban is a nice place for a holiday, and that is all. I don't like the humidity, and crowds in December. Salaries are better in Joburg. I think that there are better restaurants in Joburg, and better schools. International flights from Durban are few and far between. You would have to fly first to Joburg then on to your international destination. I do have a few friends that live in Durban, certainly the lifestyle is much more laid back but for me Jozie is the place to be.

Shandy said...

I am from Durban but moving to Joburg soon and I am looking forward to it. I think the big question is what she enjoys in life. Durban has a far more relaxed lifestyle and it has the beach but it can sometimes be too quiet for people. Job and salary wise Joburg is by far better but I suspect they are being transferred so this will not be an issue. If she is looking for a city lifestyle then I would definitely say Joburg. So I guess it depends. Happy to answer any questions your friend might have about Durban....

Madelein said...

As a Joburger, I would vote Durbs- just because of the sea. And almost non existant winter. But it all depends on her and her family needs.

offtoclimbamountain said...

I am interested in this as an expat (the only Australian one) currently living in Durban - I also had an email from Julia and told her Durbs rules ;)
OK - not in those exact words but the things that have come out here interest me.
I have to defend King Shaka airport and say we have two international flights a day now -Dubai and Maputo but adding Aus, UK and US by the end of the year.
I give Jozi restaurants and city life but if you like the beach - Durbs cannot be beaten.
I also think schools here are generally very good and there is a choice for everyone.
Ave winter temps of 22-24 degrees celcius also not to be sneezed at.
FYI - we have twelve months of the year here in Durbs and most of them are very pleasant and uncrowded, its only the few weeks in December and at Easter when all the Joburgers overrun us that there are crowds - but that's only for the holiday makers, the locals know where to go to avoid them....

cat said...

It depends what their lifestyle is and where they are from. From a big city? Durban might be a tad slow. From somewhere at the sea? Durbs is the place to be.

I would move to Durbs in the blink of an eye.

Stephanie said...

I have to say that I love Durban. I love the proximity of things to do within a 2-3 hour. You can be at game parks, in the Berg (where there's currently snow!), great snorkeling in your backyard, into rural Zululand and feel like you are in "Africa", and decent suburbs which are safe yet the traffic isn't so bad. you can find good restaurants here here as well -- not as much as in CT or Jozi, but you can find them. Personally, it's nice to always have the beach to go to and really the crowds are only here in December -- a great excuse to leave in my opinion and then have the beaches and laid back atmosphere to yourself the rest of the year. Granted, I've only called it home for eight months, but I've been coming to South Africa for ten years and given the choice between CT, Durban and Jozi, I'd pick Durban (which we did when we moved 8 months ago). Work hours are generally 8-4:30 and most people I know don't work much beyond that. I also have to say, coming from Miami, FL in the USA -- the humidity here is not so bad in the summer and it generally cools off at night. People say it's hot but it's nothing and I mean nothing compared to the South in the summer. Hope that helps and if she needs any info about things to do, she can check out http://elliottstefan.blogspot.com and contact me.

julia said...

Hi all thanks a ton for all your comments. I feel more informed yet more confused than ever about our choice! I have heard that Durban's new airport will be offering direct flights to several places, including the U.S., by the end of the year, does anyone know anything about this?? This sounds like great news!

Sine said...

Glad you got to read all this Julia. Will you get to visit both places prior to moving so you can see for yourself? I think you'll end up happy in either place, but I understand your agony at making a choice. I have to say I'm surprised how many votes Durban got, considering this is a Joburg blog. Thanks everyone for the great info! And now I'll definitely have to schedule a visit to Durban to see for myself.

W. A. Jeffrey said...

I guess it just depends on what you like. If you don't mind humidity and a reduced selection in some things then you'd be alright. Definitely a great choice if you love the beach, would rather be too wet than too dry, have an adventurous palate and enjoy the spicy and exotic. Also it is located in the region of SA that has been influenced the most by India and is the second major British area besides Cape Town.

The three main negatives that I can think of from what research I have done would be as follows:

1. Political unrest do to the informal settlements.
2. Humidity
3. KwaZuluNatal leads the country in traffic fatalities.