Our latest travelog to Durban in 2013 shows our trip to the Moses Mabhida stadium. The last time we were in Durban in 2010 the stadium wasn't finished so it was quite nice to be able to go see the stadium and enjoy the 360-degree panoramic view from the viewing deck at the top of the stadium. To get to the viewing deck there are a long flight of stairs or, alternatively, a sky train that takes you to the deck that is more than 100m above the ground. The day we went on to the viewing deck was a spectacular summers day in Durban: sunny and hot. Of course, at the top of the stadium the wind was blowing quite strongly. which in the absence of shade, kept us cool. We would both recommend this to any tourist visiting Durban. It is a worthwhile thing to do and is close to the city center.
The video below is short peek at what a trip to the viewing deck of the Moses Mabhida Stadium is like. We enjoyed the trip and thought it was well worth the money spent.
The Sky Train
As you see in the video, the way to get to the viewing deck is on the sky train that goes up the north side of the arch. Its a pretty comfortable ride to the top and doesn't take too long. Note however there are no chairs and you do have to stand. The arch itself extends over the whole stadium as there is a walking option on the opposite side of the stadium. Also, there is an opportunity to swing down off the arch: a truly terrifying adventure activity for the brave. We didn't have the courage to do that but it looks pretty awesome. The arch itself at its maximum height is about 100m above the ground below.
The Viewing Deck
The viewing deck provided an incredible 360-degree panoramic view of Durban and the North Coast. Absolutely fantastic views! As you can see from the video and the pictures below, the weather was awesome and we could see for many miles in all directions. Looking at the pictures below, and especially those of the coastline, you can see how beautiful the coastal area of KwaZulu-Natal is. It is beautiful, especially on sunny days and I have always maintained that Durban is a beautiful city!
The Beauty is only Cosmetic
The (repeated) picture above shows how incredibly beautiful the city is from above, especially on a clear sunny day. It is really sad however to see how dirty the city has become inside and how unsafe the city is. Everyone I know has some kind of abduction or hijacking story. The city is fast going into disrepair. Traffic lights are often off and there are no city police available to direct traffic. It was incredible to see street vendors taking over the role of directing the traffic. The city from above is beautiful, but inside it seems to be as unsafe as ever, dirtier than ever and even more confused and more jammed up than ever. After going through the center of town a few times I thought that it is better to avoid the center of town. The beach front and surrounding areas (although not entirely safe) are better than anything in the center and seemed fine to visit. The city government, provincial government and the national government as well as the people responsible for services need to step up to the plate for Durban and all of the other amazing South African cities. They need to make them safe and they need to make them clean. There is no reason why they can't do it and I know there are many people working hard to make it happen, but they work hard against a rising tide of challenges.
Enjoying the View
All four of us: my father, his wife Yvonne, Queenie and myself had a great time at the top of the stadium, even though it was hot and noisy. It was wonderful to get the bird's eye view of Durban and the surrounding areas. We all enjoyed it a lot. However, do note, there is no shade at the top of the stadium so be prepared, especially on a sunny day. You can see Queenie and I in the picture below and also a tremendous picture taken by Queenie of my dad.
Of course we were not the only people at the top of the stadium and Queenie couldn't resist taking a few snaps of some of the other people and couples enjoying the view. Also, as we were leaving, a whole film crew arrived to do some shooting. We managed to get a picture of the main actress but don't ask us what they were shooting. We have no idea.
Queenie and I definitely recommend the sky train and viewing deck to all tourists (and locals) visiting Durban. Make sure you choose a nice day with great weather and beautiful sunshine with no smog. As you can see you will be treated to some amazing views. We loved standing at the top of the viewing deck enjoying the beautiful panoramic views of the Durban and surrounding areas. It was stunning! If you are brave, do the swing too - ha ha - but that was not for us.