GET TO KNOW GREEN DURBAN

 Durban, in the kingdom of the Zulus, is South Africa’s premier holiday destination. It is famous for its sandy beaches, many restaurants and bars, and its vibrant culture and diverse population. Durban Wikipedia 

July is mid-winter in South Africa and the dry season in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. Daytime temperatures average 24°C. In July, evenings are very short. The Indian Ocean has the warm Agulhas current offshore with daytime sea temperatures around 23°C. Snow and ice are unknown in Durban! Tourism KZN 

Durban has many ‘green’ links that we invite you to explore on the special tour we are planning. These range from the Belfast look-a-like city hall to the great harbour of Port Natal where the Harland & Wolff Union Castle liners terminated their voyages. 

Belfast City Hall

Durban City Hall

The National Botanic Gardens of Ireland at Glasnevin, Ireland, has links dating back about 150 years with the Durban Botanic Gardens, Africa’s oldest surviving botanic gardens. Our photograph below shows South African agapanthus blooming outside one of the Glasnevin conservatories.

Glasnevin Botanic Gardens

Durban Botanic Gardens 

Military history links are also strong. The Inniskilling Fusiliers, for example, were garrisoned at Durban’s Old Fort.

Enniskillen Castle, Northern Ireland, houses the Inniskilling Fusiliers regimental museum. 

The Inniskilling Fusiliers were garrisoned at Durban's Old Fort during the 1840s.

Several Irish regiments fought in the Natal campaigns of the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) and it was the Irish 27th Regiment which annexed the old Boer republic of Natalia in 1843. 

More recently, Archbishop Denis Hurley, whose father came from Skibbereen and served as a lighthouse keeper on Robben Island, was a redoubtable anti-apartheid campaigner. The Denis Hurley Centre is a memorial to his efforts and continues his legacy today.

Kader Asmal, founder of the Irish Anti-Apartheid Movement, co-author of South Africa’s constitution and a cabinet minister in the Mandela and Mbeki governments, was born at KwaDukuza, about 60 kilometres north of Durban.

Fiddler Mark Schönau serenades Eamon O Tuathail (left), the first Irish ambassador to South Africa, and South African cabinet minister Kader Asmal (right) at a St Patrick's dinner in Durban.