Living and working in Durban- digital nomad story

This is my personal story about how i got the idea and how is to living and working in South Africa. Idea about going to South Africa was existing many years since first time i saw pictures from Cape Town that my friend shows me back in 1999. I was amaze by the beauty and since than somewhere in back of my brain was me traveling to this wonderful place.

Years pass by and i start traveling to other countries like Balkan countries and some European countries like Hungary , Slovakia, Czech Republic. In period between 2007 -2009 i was traveling and working around , several times end up staying in Tel Aviv and working from there.In early 2010 i met a person on Facebook from South Africa , she was living and working in Durban.

living in durban

How i start working in Durban

To be honest with you i never heard about Durban before and i was eager to see how is to working from there. Make some research ask many question and finally i bought my ticket and went to Durban with idea to working from there. It was 30 may 2010, 2 weeks before the World Cup in Football start. I suggest my friend to build a website for sales of a ticket for the upcoming matches on the WC. That was the first idea on what i was working there.

I arrive on King Shaka International Airport after 16 hour of traveling with few hours stay in Dubai. Catch a taxi that cost me 20$ to the place where i should stay. On the beginning i choose to stay on couchsurfing with a Indian lady and her wonderful family. I was staying there for 3 days before my friend didn’t pick me up and bring me to a place of her friend boyfriend. I supposed to stay here in next couple of months till we didnt find better option and i found my place to fit in Durban.

Her friend name was Erica and her boyfriend Craig. Craig was working with E-waste recycling together with dj friend Trevor. They introduce me to another thing there- recycling e-waste. I took the challenge cause i know as a digital nomad how important is to have more incomes in order to even gain more. So during the day i was going around pick up some computers with them and fix them , during the night i was sorting out the ticket requests.

living and working in durban

Working and Living in Durban

I found Durban very interesting , is a big around 3 million city , 1,2 milion in the city and rest in small suburbs around the city. Its dubbed as a warmest places to be in Winter. When i was there was a winter ( having on mind SA is a south hemisphere) Winters there are 20-25 c at day and around 16-18 at night . Durban is having access on Indian Ocean and is one of the best place to surf and enjoy in the warm Indian ocean water. As one of the biggest port in Africa Durban offer lot of opportunities for the people to find work. Thats why this place was very multicultural.


As a person thats was living and working there for 16 month i learn lot of things about way of living in Durban and generally in South Africa. Durban is huge and depend where you stay and how big is the place you pay different prices. In the first area where i stay Malvern was cheap i pay for studio apartment 200 euros a month (around 2000 rands back in that time ) I have one living room, bathroom and bedroom.After 4 months stay there i move to a suburb Amanzimtoti , nice and more like a place for families and older people. Less clubs more beautiful nature. But that what i really need for my work. Living on 50 m from the beach in big house i share with my friend Trevor and i pay bit more for the same size like first apartment – 300 euros.

living like a local Durban

Working online require good internet. In Durban i have really good connection and we pay only 15 euros. Food in South Africa is diverse and wonderful . Many restaurants offer all kind of food and is not too much expensive. Indian food, African food are among the cheapest. You can have decent dish for 3-5 euros, in more expensive ones maybe 10 euros.

In my case i was going to the beach pick up for free some mussels and buying a fish from the fishermen’s. Also i was getting fresh octopus from them. Rest of the product i was getting from the super markets like Spar. I was spending 100-150 euro on products per month. Sometime going out but as a dj i was mainly going out to play music so i visit some of the Durban best clubs… Night life is really nice in Durban lot of different options to go and have fun. Usually entrances are around 5 euro so entrance plus drinks will cost you around 15 euros for going out.

Nature around Durban

For me as a travel bloger having a good area to explore is crucial. Working and living in Durban can be very interesting if you start traveling around Kwazulu Natal area. Drakensberg is not far from the city around 100 km and 1,5 driving from Durban. There you can have good hike plus you can enjoy in rafting,zipplining camping. Wonderful nature good for fantastic photos. If you want tradition and history there is many interesting caves around to visit and see some drawing from the ancient tribes.

Zulu Land is also not far from Durban, i was visiting several time this area during the time when i was living in this area. Its a small village where people living traditional and they have still this tribal King and Queen.

City Durban it self offer great places to go. Beachfront is fantastic, uShaka marine center is fantastic place for tourists to see sharks shows in a pool and some other marine animal .

Summary of a digital nomad living in Durban

After all i said in this article lets sum the things :

To living and working in Durban you need – 200-400 euros for accommodation per month, bills 50-70 euros a month, food per person 100-200 euros, need a car to move around cause roads are not good for cycling or walking. Public transport is awful and not so efficient but still you can used. So depend what your car will choose and how much petrol will cost this expenses will depend. Totally around 800 euros will be enough for you as a digital nomad to function and living in Durban.

Important thing is to know in which areas you shouldn’t enter in some cities like Joburg and Cape Town but Durban is very safe considering the South African standards.

living in the mountains