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“Absolutely first class” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Street Scene Tours

Street Scene Tours
187 Argyl Road, Durban, South Africa
+27 71 887 3079
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Ranked #3 of 42 activities in Durban
Type: Tours
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Attraction Details
Owner description: Street Scene Tours was created by Sthembiso Mbonanbi, Jonas Barausse and Richard Powell, in early 2010, with one unique goal set at its core; to showcase Durban to Durbanites. As you can imagine this is by no means the conventional stance of a tour operator, but Street Scene is not your conventional tour operator. They are constantly exploring Durban and its surrounds, ever on the lookout for nuggets of history and the many hidden gems the province has to offer.Durban and its surrounding areas are filled with a rich tapestry of history which is largely unknown not only to tourists, but also its residents. After all, Mahatma Gandhi made Durban his home for many years, and it was just outside Durban that Nelson Mandela cast his vote in the 1994 elections that forever changed South Africa. The great King Shaka Zulu also spent much time on the very land upon which Durbanites now call home.From the city's architecture to its people, Street Scene aims to engulf its guests in all that is Durban. They started out with their focus on locals but soon realized that when you create a set of tours that residents of the city love, you are guaranteed to have tours that visitors to the city will find riveting and unique. There is nothing conventional about Street Scene Tours, and that's just the way we like it.
Useful Information: Wheelchair access, Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“Absolutely first class”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2013

It’s not very often you come across a tour company that is excellent in every way but Street Scene is one of these. From my very first contact by email from the UK I was treated in an exemplary manner...with politeness, great efficiency and with a refreshing helpfulness to make my week’s stay in Durban a great one. And it was indeed...in all I did 4 tours with them and it was hard to separate which ones I liked best, although the Sani Pass and Valley tours were remarkable.
The first tour I did was the City Tour which gave me a good overview of the city and it’s history. Lwazi also took me to some fascinating markets including the “herb” market where medicine is prepared (and you can’t take photos!) and led me to experience a “bunny chow”. A good introduction to urban Durban life.
The second was a trip of a lifetime up the Sani Pass into Lesotho. It was a long day from 6am to 7pm but worth every minute. First, Richard, one of the owners, drove us to Underberg which took a few hours, then we changed into a 4x4 with the ebullient Rudi who kept us thoroughly entertained whilst driving up to almost 10,000 feet....including the OMG corner overlooking a VERY steep drop! After having our passports stamped, visiting a local village and having homemade bread and beer in a village hut we spent time with local children before having a delicious lunch at the highest pub in Africa. We then came slowly down to the base of the pass and made our way back to Durban again.
The third trip was to the Valley of the 1,000 hills....our local guide took us to the river to tell us love stories, we visited the local Zulu primary school and then had a walk round the village culminating in meeting the head man’s first wife, the spiritual healer and having lunch in a family rondavel (using the food we’d bought in Durban market).
The fourth trip focussed on the heritage and townships of Durban....it was a moving experience to hear about Gandhi’s time there and see the place where Mandela cast his first vote. The tour around the townships was fascinating and I learned so much that was new....mainly because my guide Sthembiso had grown up and still lived there. I was also lucky to meet his Mum as we popped into his house on the chance that she was there!
All in all, I would recommend Street Scene without reservation to anyone who wants to see “normal” life in Durban and the surrounding areas...there’s not a tour bus in sight and that’s definitely not a bad thing!

Visited March 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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95 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Durban, South Africa
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Educational, inspirational”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2013

Engaging, enthusiastic, very knowledgeable guide on our township tour. Trip to Ghandi spot was super, visit to Durban Univ. of Technology went on a bit too long (though guide there was clearly very invested in the historic significance of the place). I would have preferred more time visiting the township, with more content beyond hanging out a bit awkwardly with locals on the shop stoop (or at least more interpretation of the experience after the fact). Love the Zulu language cheat sheet!

Visited February 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durban, South Africa
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2013

A very big thank you to Jonas and Sthembiso of Street Scene for a great tour. Sthembiso's historical knowledge and ability as a storyteller are firstclass. We thoroughly enjoyed the experience - all nicely rounded off with a chilled beer and shisanyama lunch. To be recommended.

Visited February 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
“The Best Tours in KZN”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2013

I have been on two Street Scene tours and I have loved both of them.
The guides are knowledgeable and passionate.
I would definitely recommend these tours to everyone, young and old, as they are able to develop tours that are specific to your needs.

Visited October 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Antonio, Texas
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
16 attraction reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
“A must do tour”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2013

We had a day in Durban off our cruise and none of the cruise tours looked at all interesting, so before we left I did some web-browsing and found Street Scene. My husband and I booked a day tour. We left the ship knowing nothing of the city and came back to the ship wanting to know more and visit again. Our guide was one of the owners, Sthembiso Mbonanbi. He is an amazing guy, loves his city and his country and is anxious to tell anyone who will listen about it. We visited Ghandi's home, we didn't even know he lived there. Went to see where Mandela cast his first vote. Visted the locals market, spice market and herb market. Tried to learn some Zulu words but couldn't quite get the rolled r's and clicks right. Had lunch at a local restaurant, eating very spicy food with our hands, and loving every minute of it. Went to one of Durban's many wonderful beaches, visited the soccer stadium. So much to see and learn and not enough time. Made it back to our ship just before final boarding.
I asked Sthembiso why there weren't any crowds at the historic places and he said most tour companies don't go there, mainly because no one asks to see them. And the reason they don't ask is because most people don't have any idea that they are there. It turns out that South African history isn't taught in the schools.
Street Scene is trying to start some school tours for the local schools. I hope they succeed. We were so impressed that we had him stop by their office and get us some brochures to give to the tour department on the ship. We we went to talk to the ship's tour office, they had know idea there was so much to see in Durban. They at least acted like them were interested in pursueing tours with Street Scene. I hope they do.
Don't miss this tour, you will love every minute.

Visited December 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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