Durban from itheku meaning ‘the port’ also called Zulu: eZibubulungwini for the mountain range that terminates in the area), nicknamed Durbs, is the third most populous city in South Africa after Johannesburg and Cape Town and the largest city in KwaZulu-Natal. Durban forms part of the eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality, which includes neighbouring towns and has a population of about 3.44 million, making the combined municipality one of the largest cities on the Indian Ocean coast of the African continent. Durban was also one of the host cities of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Durban was formerly named Port Natal due to its position as the chief seaport of South Africa, and its location on the Natal Bay of the Indian Ocean. Durban is a highly ethnically diverse city, with large Zulu, White, and Indian/Asian populations.
Archaeological evidence from the Drakensberg mountains suggests that the Durban area has been inhabited by communities of hunter-gatherers since 100,000 BC. These people lived throughout the area of KwaZulu-Natal until the expansion of Bantu farmers and pastoralists from the north saw their gradual displacement, incorporation or extermination. Oral history has been passed down from generation to generation by the Zulu nation, who were inhabitants of the land before colonisers, but there is no written history of the area until it was sighted by Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama, who sailed parallel to the KwaZulu-Natal coast at Christmastide in 1497 while searching for a route from Europe to India. He named the area “Natal”, or Christmas in Portuguese.
Durban is located on the east coast of South Africa, looking out upon the Indian Ocean. The city lies at the mouth of the Umgeni River, which demarcates parts of Durban’s north city limit, while other sections of the river flow through the city itself. Durban has a natural harbour, Durban Harbour, which is the busiest port in South Africa and is the 4th-busiest in the Southern Hemisphere.
Durban has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa/Cwa), with hot, humid summers and warm, quite dry winters, which are snow and frost-free. Durban has an annual rainfall of 1,009 millimetres (39.7 in). The average temperature in summer ranges around 24 °C (75 °F), while in winter the average temperature is 17 °C (63 °F).