DURBAN, WITH HALF A MILLION PEOPLE, is the largest city in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province. It’s located on the Natal Bay of the Indian Ocean and an hour southeast of Johannesburg by plane. While Durban is known for its beaches, botanic gardens, sites like UShaka Marine World and the world’s tallest swing — the Big Rush Big Swing, where you can soar high at Moses Mabhida Stadium — a sweet spot called the Point Waterfront is taking on a life of its own.
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AS I STARE INTO THE EYES of a 400-plus-pound silverback, I feel like we are sharing a Zen moment. The male mountain gorilla reclines in the leafy brush while a few babies cause a ruckus playing in the treetops overhead. Paying no attention, he closes his eyes and dozes off, not bothered by their antics or our small group of tourists. Every so often he checks the nails on his weathered hands, rolls over and goes back to sleep.