The Portuguese seafarer Vasco da Gama arrived at the bay of the Durban of today on Christmas Eve in the year 1497, and called it "Terra do Natal", Christmas Country. Because the Portuguese had already established a good port at Maputo, they were not interested in settling in a bay surrounded by mangrove swamps and dense coastal forests. Only sporadically some pirates and ivory or slave dealers laid anchor, and it was much later, in the year 1824, that a proper settlement started, initially named "Port Natal". It was founded by merchants from the Cape Colony under the leadership of Henry Francis Fynn, who had reached a contractual agreement with the mighty Zulu King Shaka authorising them to establish a trading station. In 1835 the town was named Durban after the Cape Governor of the time, Sir Benjamin D'Urban.
In the beginning the settlement developed very slowly. There was no support or protection by the british government. The life in the little harbour town was characterised by uncertainty. Time and again there were assaults and skirmishes by the Zulus, who - obviously - saw Natal as their tribal homeland and only tolerated the white settlers, because the town was of use to them as a trading station.

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Scuba Diving in South Africa - There is nothing quite like the absolute beauty of scuba diving in South Africa. The sea life and intricate reefs you’ll observe when scuba diving in South Africa will leave you reeling in disbelief. South Africa is an ideal location for some spectacular scuba diving as it has an extensive coastline with widely varied conditions and water temperatures.
The Mozambiquan current that flows down the eastern side of South Africa brings a warm current down this coastline and therefore makes the waters ideal to spot great white sharks, whales, whale sharks, dolphins, turtles, manta and eagle rays, and naturally beautiful coral reefs too.
There are so many places to enjoy scuba diving in South Africa. There are dive schools in almost every city in South Africa providing all the efficient training and equipment you need. Cape Town’s water is extremely cold but do not let that deter you. Cape Town oceans contain the most beautiful kelp forests. There are three main types of kelp known to man and this part of the Western Cape coast is the only place in the world that they all grow together. Diving in kelp is like walking in a forest. You float beneath the canopy and admire the astonishingly colourful reef life.
Just off Cape Town, divers regularly see anemones in colours ranging from electric blue or deep red to pale pink, as well as nudibranchs of all sorts of radiant colours and a whole assortment of small creatures in and around the bright orange and sulphur yellow sponges.

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