KwaZulu Natal DestinationsBerea, Durban
The Berea suburb of Durban lies perched on the crest of a ridge above the city, an exclusive residential suburb, littered with an eclectic mix of architectural styles that include large Victorian, Edwardian, art deco and modern homes that bring to mind the colonial days of yore, and support the cityís epithet as the last British outpost in South Africa.
The views from this garden suburb with its wide tree-lined streets and Indian mynah cacophony at sun down, offer some of the most superb sea and city views in the city. The city centre is an easy bus trip, the beaches are close by, the suburb is renowned for its pavement restaurants and diverse mix of African, Indian and European cultures, and there are a couple of shopping centres here that offer easy and accessible shopping.
Durbanís Botanic Gardens on the eastern slopes of the ridge that began as a site for growing experimental tropical crops, today offer a herbarium, an orchid house, a cycad collection, a garden for the blind and a charity tea garden.
Fashionable Florida Road that leads off the Ridge, south of Mitchell Park towards Windermere, is a hive of art galleries, restaurants and fashionable boutiques in a wash of colour and quasi-colonial, semi-bohemian lifestyle where, what began as a largely residential area, today is a humming commercial part of the city that deserves a visit for the restaurants, coffee shops and listed buildings.
And whilst youíre up on the ridge, take a trip to Mitchell Park, the tree-filled family favourite with a resident colony of tortoises, ducks and a wonderful aviary, although the coffee shop leaves a lot to be desired, rather head off to Florida Road or the harbour if itís fabulous fare youíre after.