Durban’s Central Business District is being given a radical revamp, starting with the creation of Chambers Club – a professional quarter for the legal and business fraternity by day, and cool hangout for visitors at night and on weekends.
Chambers Club is the hippest new spot to sip sundowners and have dinner in the revamped Nedbank buildings in the heart of Durban – which locals are starting to call ‘Little Manhattan’.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
There’s something magical about relaxing on a conversation-pit sofa or at a sleek café table amid aloes, quinine trees and lush grasses in an indigenous garden four storeys above Anton Lembede Street, where pigeons swirl and jazz plays while taxis hoot and the last commuters bargain with street traders below before heading home.
The late Lembede himself smiles down on the scene from a massive artwork by Sakhile Mhlongo, commissioned by Urban Lime as part of its regeneration project to breathe new life into the city centre.
At 600 sq m (6,458 sq ft), it’s one of the biggest privately funded public art pieces in the country. Lembede was an activist, the founding president of the Youth League of the African National Congress, but also a lawyer, and the painting depicts him striding out, legal briefcase in hand.
It’s the perfect image for Durban Chambers Club, which by day mainly serves legal professionals who work at the nearby Masters Office, Durban Supreme Court and Durban High Court (there’s a complimentary Mercedes shuttle to the High Court).
This remarkable little early-sixties building, clad in distinctive green ceramic latticework shading, was designed by architect Norman Eaton – his last creation before he died in a car crash in 1966.
Lord Holford, late president of the Royal Institute of British Architects, was one of many who enthused over “this cube-like building, deemed one of the most charming modern buildings of the world”.
Architect Dr Doreen Greig, in A Guide to Architecture in South Africa 1971, describes it as “a Fabergé of a building, a completely personal conception, painstakingly and beautifully developed by one of the finest architects this country has produced”.
It was formally recognised as the best in building Durban when, as part of the 25th International Union of Architects World Congress that was held in the city in 2014, the city’s top landmark buildings were chosen for their design and history.
Today Eaton’s creation has been restored and celebrated, the interiors offset with striking works by local artists, from a head sculpted by Lionel Smit to a quirky quilted AK-47 rifle.
The interiors, by designer Robert Sherwood, are a clever contemporary blend of the colonial and the African, cane chairs painted charcoal and strung with riempies (worked leather) and industrial grey metal cabinets set on unvarnished wooden legs.
The food, by London-raised chef Andrew Mead, is a similarly arresting blend. The club has three menus, with delights ranging from salt-and-pepper squid with chilli jam to mac and cheese fritters with truffle mayo.
A plant-based menu includes a sensational warm roasted butternut, quinoa, kale, raisin and pumpkin salad; vegan shepherd’s pie packed with pulses and vegetables; and Asian vegetable donburi with smoked tofu, sesame and coriander.
Then there’s the main menu, with steaks (all beef is 21-day-aged and grass-fed) basted in bone-marrow butter, and the likes of a lamb saddle chop with aubergine, caviar, mash, bacon and beans, or kingclip with grilled leaks, mussel risotto, grapefruit and chicken jus.
Lingering in the dark over spectacular blueberry cheesecake and espresso, city lights winking around you, the skyline is indeed a mini Manhattan. But the warm night air, easy laughter and distant taxis booming gqom are quintessential Durban.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.