While end-of-year office dinners are great, we've done them to death. So, we were all pretty excited when Paul suggested we do a Durban street tour for our office party. Being avid travelers, as well as working quite closely with the tourism industry, this definitely piqued the inner adventurer in us all.
Beginning at Savior Brand in Station Drive, this is where we met Khuliliwe, our tour guide for the day. After a quick cup of coffee, we headed over to The Workshop via taxi. Khuliliwe gave us a brief run down of the significance of the HIV ribbon sculpture positioned at the center of the courtyard. It's in memory of the first woman who openly admitted to having HIV, and I think she was stoned to death as she was seen as an embarrassment by friends and family (that's my understanding of it anyway).
We had lunch at The Workshop - amazing bunny chows from Oriental. I had a mutton one, it was delicious af! Thereafter we hit a few more spots - a nearby church, City Hall, and a supermarket building that was previously a church. We then took to the streets once more, walked along Doctor Pixley Kaseme Street and Samora Machel Street where we visited the Juma Masjid Mosque, the oldest or largest mosque in the southern hemisphere.
Next stop: Victoria Street Market. Lots to buy here, from spices to tons of traditional African styled necklaces, wooden animal carvings, paintings, jewellery, masks and clothing. Based on the crazy high prices, it seemed to mainly be targeted towards tourists. Then it was on to the fish market. Well, fish and meat market technically. With sheep and goat heads on sale, along with tripe, trotters and some other things I couldn't even recognize, visually and stench-wise this market was a little too much for some of the girls and they waited outside.
Lastly, Warwick Herb Market was the final stop on our tour. The market is a traditional herb and medicine market packed full of healers, remedies, animal carcasses and traders providing any and all kinds of fixes for ailments you may have. It was very interesting to learn about the traditional healing methods. We also got to see how some of the medicines were made; there was a guy grinding tree bark with a long steel pestle.
Although we live in Durban, we would never really venture out there on a normal day. With good reason too. At the herb market Kelly stopped to take a photo, the rest of the group had walked on ahead so I stopped to wait for her and some guy tried to grab the chain from around my neck. Luckily I'm swift like a deer and he didn't get it. A city tour in SA wouldn't be complete without that haha. Altogether it was a really awesome tour and experience.
We then took a taxi back to Station Drive where we had drinks at S43, a craft beer joint and restaurant. We had to vacate by 5pm as they were booked out for a function so we missioned up to Durban North and had snacks and drinks at a Mexican joint - El Toro. This year's office party was by far the best!