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A local’s guide to Durban, South Africa: 10 top tips

Surfers have long known about the year-round draw of Durban and now a new direct BA flight from London makes its subtropical shores more accessible

Durban has always been a beach town, but the promenade has never been more vibrant, with street performers, sand sculptures, stalls and paddling pools. The front has a growing number of restaurants: the Joint is the latest, with local-style meat dishes and beers plus an upstairs bar with sea views; Afro’s Chicken Shack, in a bright yellow former shipping container, does chicken burgers and tjips (chips); and California Dreaming has a deck for dolphin spotting and serves bunny chow. uShaka Marine World has two good restaurants: Wahooz on the promenade, with free Sunday music sessions, and Cargo Hold, where sharks swim past the tables. Early in the morning, everyone is out paddleboarding, kayaking, cycling, jogging and surfing – there are kit hire shops, and two free open-air gyms.

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It’s a jungle out there: Costa Rica with kids

Full of exotic animals and rainforests but also child-friendly, Costa Rica is the perfect natural playground for a family adventure

It’s dark in the rainforest, the air thick with strange croaks and chirps, and our group moves slowly, following José’s torchlight. As he gestures for us to stop, we gather around in silence, the adults as keen as the children to see what he’s spotted. There on a leaf, with its bulging orange eyes, neat green body and comically big tangerine feet, sits a Costa Rican tree frog. Cue delighted squeals all round.

“It’s so cute!” whispers my niece, Georgia, and I nod, partly relieved it’s not a boa constrictor or tarantula.

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