KwaZulu Natal Tourist AttractionsThe Markets of Warwick Tour
Where? 127 Johannes Nkosi Street, Durban Central, Durban, KwaZulu Natal
How? Call +27 (0)31 309-3880
Just outside the Victoria Street Market lies Warwick Junction. 460 000 commuters pass through the junction daily. There are 23 taxi ranks, 19 bus terminals and two major train stations in an area that has been a no-go area for locals and tourists who rather remain in the relative safety of the Victoria Street Market.
But the Markets of Warwick tour has changed all that.
Combining a bird's eye view of how most people live in Durban with a rather interesting shopping experience (you are encouraged to bring along your wallet and money to spend money, particularly at the bead market) the tour is an initiative of the local traders to showcase their markets, assisted by the NGO Asiye e Tafuleni. The tour leaders are all former traders.
Meeting at Victoria Market the tour takes one through nine markets, including the Victoria Market. Each is different, each holds its own excitement and story; all of them combine to form an eclectic, vibrant experience that no visitor to Durban should miss. Without it one's experience of Durban remains sterile.
The markets include: the bead market - with its original and beautifully crafted bead jewellery, bowls and more; the fascinating Impepho and Lime market, where a selection of herbs used as incense lie alongside big balls of lime; the Brook Street market just outside the Padsha Peer Muslim heritage site; the bustling Berea, and Early Morning markets where one is overwhelmed by the many fresh produce stalls; the riveting Bovine market where the meat from cows' heads is skilfully chopped to feed hundreds of punters passing through the market daily; and the equally gripping Herb market where stall upon stall of herbs, leaves, bits of bark and plant are sold on the top of a bridge in a parody of a modern-day pharmacy.
Go on a Friday if you want to experience the bead market as this is the only day of the week that the bead ladies are here to display their wares. But there is enough else to keep you fascinated on any day of the week.