Berea at a glance
Durban has an interesting history, Vasco da Gama’s passing in 1497, Lieutenant Farewell and Shaka. In 1823 Farewell took part in a British expedition to Natal and then decided to start a settlement there. He persuaded 25 other British colonists to join him, and in June 1824 he built the first houses. Only four of these original settlers remained with him. In July 1824 he visited Shaka from whom he received a large land grant round Durban Bay. Shaka was a warrior, a military leader, and king of the Zulu people of southern Africa (1816-1828). By the time of his death, Shaka had the largest and most powerful kingdom in south-eastern Africa.
From these early beginnings Durban was born and with it the “Berea” was formed bordering the Durban C.B.D. The Berea originated as a residential area and housed, amongst others, the wealthy industrialists and businessmen of the time. The area enjoys and lies on an elevated ridge of land stretching from North to South with expansive views of the City and sea. The area encompasses suburbs of Morningside to the North and Glenwood to the South with the Berea occupying the center spot.
All these residential areas encompassed by the Umbilo River in the South, the Umgeni River to the North, the N2 freeway to the West and the City in the East are made up of well established houses which were built in colonial and post colonial times and reflect the period architecture in their design and structure. The aesthetics of each are emphasized in the Berea and Morningside suburbs, moldings and architraves from classical architecture are utilized on many of these houses and therefore encourage people to live in the elegance of the old Colonial style. One can see the difference in each of these suburbs and differentiate in their choices. A good deal of modernization has taken place in many of these areas which now also reflects a distinct contempory influence. The variety of architecture is evidenced by an eclectic mix of architectural styles that include large Victorian, Edwardian, art deco and modern homes, the majority of which bring to mind the days of yore. The views of this garden suburb with its tree-lined streets offer some of the most superb sea and city vies. The city centre is an easy bus trip, the beaches are close by and the pavement restaurants are renown as is the Botanic Gardens. The hub of the area is the Musgrave Centre which houses, shops catering for most if not all requirements. To supplement the above and in close proximity are golf clubs, the Natal Sharks Board and the Ushaka Marine World. In 1931 Howard College opened and offered the first tertiary education with 327 students enrolling in 1936, escalating to 27 500 students in 2002 when the Westville University was incorporated.
A large gentrified suburb that spreads from the lower end of the ridge overlooking Durban to just above Greyville Race Course. Morningside also offers some classic examples of large Edwardian and Victorian style homes with tin roofs and wide verandahs , including the State Presidents residence. Large sprawling parks like Mitchell Park and Jameson Park as well as trendy streets on which a distinctly cosmopolitan atmosphere attracts a vibrant nightlife to its restaurants and pubs, especially around Florida Road. Morningside ranks as one of Durban’s three most popular suburbs which one can get good value for money. The established tree lined streets and close proximity to the city makes it even more appealing.
The new Moses Madeba soccer stadium forms a landmark.
This suburb though having very similar geographical positions as Berea and Morningside to the city is generally different in so far as the houses built in the area are more conventional and though there are some large houses the majority were developed in the 1950’s to serve the large sector of the population who were employed in the harbour and the industrial areas to the South of the City. Because of the migration of this population to the Bluff, Merebank and areas further South the area blossomed catering for the younger person employed in the CBD and those professionals and students associated with the University. In recent years the area has become trendy with an abundance of restaurants and pavement coffee shops. The higher density housing provide for community living as opposed to the lower density housing associated with the Berea and Morningside. Additional multi unit and flat development also caters for a discerning sector of the population. Most major roads are on bus routes and all facilities in the city are easily accessible.
The Berea and related suburbs have one of the finest climates in the world with mild Winters and summers of sunshine all of which is conducive to good health and a joy in living.
Vary from the conventional to colonial and post colonial era, and Edwardian and Victorian architecture abounds.
All areas have Junior and Senior schools and the University of Kwazulu Natal is in close proximity. In addition the areas have the following high profile schools :
Durban Girls College, Clifton Private School, Maritz Brothers, Glenwood Boys High, Durban Girls High, Durban High School.
In and within close proximity to the Berea are numerous shopping centers and malls which house all the best-known and favorite stores.
In addition the weekend Essenwood market is a favorite for people who would like a relaxing alternative to conventional shopping.
Greyville race course for the avid gambler, Durban Country Club, Beachwood and Windsor Club for the golfer. Botanic Gardens for relaxation and good music. The Bulwer Art Gallery for the artiste and many other relaxing sports such as bowls and tennis are available.
All of the suburbs in the Berea are accessible by car, bus or taxi. Medical facilities such as Entabeni Hospital, St Augustine’s and numerous others are within easy reach.
Berea and suburbs offer a choice of Colonial (Edwardian-Victorian), Conventional type homes and multi-unit developments. Most homes on the Ridge enjoy fantastic sea, city and harbor views.
Area: Berea and adjacent suburbs, Glenwood, Morningside.
Types of Properties: Houses, Simplexes, Duplexes, Flats, Townhouses and minimal vacant land
Houses from R850 000 to R15 000 000+
Simplexes & Duplexes from R850 000 to R2 500 000+
Flats from R350 000 to R3 000 000+
Townhouses from R1 500 000+ to R3 500 000+
Vacant Land from R250 per sqm