Whilst hibernating the winter months away is a great option for bears and other wildlife, we homo sapiens still require some vitamin D during the chilly months, and if that comes served with a dose of entertainment and food, well that’s all the better.
Here in the Valley of a 1000 Hills we have you covered with some of the best outdoor markets in Durban where you can be entertained, eat delicious food, picnic or just while the time away with friends. And the best part is you’ll be doing your body a favour by enjoying the markets in the healthiest climate in Durban!
We South Africans are definitely an outdoor people and while the beach is always a great option in summer, the markets of the Valley of a 1000 Hills are perfect to while away those winter weekends. In just 25 mins from the center of Durban, you can be enjoying three of the best markets in KZN, the Shongweni Farmers Market, the Mushroom Farm and Fig Trees Farm.
The best part of visiting these local markets is that you’ll be supporting local businesses and we’re all about small business in the Valley of a 1000 Hills.
Shongweni Farmers Market
This market is kinda the granddaddy of all the markets. A family owned operation that started with a a handful of stalls way back when, the market today boasts around 400 stalls and thousands of visitors exploring, eating and shopping every weekend.
The range of stalls on offer is kinda intimidating; think crafts, foods, clothing, footwear, survival gear, 2nd had tools, drinks, art, pet supplies…the list just goes on and on! Personally I’ve been shopping here for birthday and festive gifts since the beginning and I’ve never had a miss.
Spend a weekend exploring the Valley of a 1000 Hills
There is much to do in the Valley of a 1000 Hills, from markets to music, from shopping to go-karting and more. Not only that, we have so many great B&B’s and other accommodation that you’ll be spoiled for choice. Check options on our “where to stay” page and find out why the Valley of a 1000 Hills is fast becoming one of the most sought after vacation spots in Durban
If you have well behaved pooches then this is definitely a market you’ll love, you’ll be able to bring your fur-kids along for the morning and treat them to some delicious home made treats, they will love you all the more for it.
Oh and speaking about kids, your non-fur kids will enjoy the morning out just as much. There are loads for kids to do, from a play ground to a miniature train, healthy snacks and plenty of activities.
If that’s no enough (how can that not be enough?) you’ll also be entertained by live bands throughout the morning and be able to see some of the local sites with a trip in an open safari vehicle to the amazing waterfall.
Good to know
- Visit the Shongweni Farmers Market website here.
- The market operates on Saturdays and some public holidays.
- Open from 6:30am to 12:30pm.
- Call them on +27 (0) 777 4686
- Shongweni Farmers Market is easy to get to, just take the N3 west from Durban, head through Marianhill toll plaza and then take the next off-ramp. Turn left and keep going about 5km’s until you see the sign.
- Loads of parking available with car guards.
- Covid precautions are enforced so wear your masks. Lots of hand sanitizer stations.
The Mushroom Farm
A market called the “Mushroom Farm” may cause a little confusion, that’s okay, it had me going as well. At first I fully expected to be walking through some sort of early morning market dedicated to the fungi’s of the world, but I quickly realised there is more to the market than just mushrooms!
What was once literally just a mushroom farm is now a happening outdoor market. A family run operation, the market boasts 20-something shops and three eateries. On top of that there’s a small playground for the little ones to exhaust themselves on and an amazing nursery on site.
As for shopping, some very cool stuff on offer; leather goods, antique furniture store, a vege shop that is just amazing, some saddler y goods, and did I mention the nursery? Oh and lest I forget, there is actually a shop that sells mushrooms, and different types as well (0it’s very cool and worth a visit).
As for food, plenty of options prevails. There are three eateries there that offer a range of different meals, and one of the eateries overlooks the playground.
Good to know
- Open everyday of the week.
- Open from around 8:30am to 4:00pm.
- The Mushroom Farm website link.
- Contact number is +27 (0) 31 768 2143
- Take the N3 West from Durban and head through the Marianhill toll plaza. At the next turn off (Shongweni) turn right and go straight for about 10km’s. After the second set of traffic lights, look left for the signs.
Fig Tree Farm
A newcomer to the open markets, Fig Tree Farm is already crazy popular! Set mid-way between Hillcrest and Waterfall, this market already has a lot going for it.
First off, there is a driving range. Already that’s a winner in my book (I am so bad at golf, I need the practice). After slicing/smashing a few balls down range, visitors can wander over and enjoy a snack or even a fall blown lunch at one of the eateries.
Feel like a little pampering? How about getting your nails done? Or even enjoying a luxurious massage? You can do all this and more here. Oh and once done, score a few beauty products that are cruelty free and eco-friendly.
There’s a playground for the kids and you can throw a blanket and enjoy a picnic; bring your own picnic or buy a picnic basket with all the filings from the restaurant nearby by. Every now and again live music feature as well, it feels a little like being serenaded!
If you’re feeling like you need a little culture in your life, the art gallery will amaze! Oh and right next door is a fantastic décor store with furniture and other fittings on site.
It seems nurseries are really popular as the Fig Trees Farm also has an amazing nursery with so much to choose from (and I thought their prices were pretty reasonable).
There’s loads more than meets the eye at this market and having heard of their future plans, there’s going to be a hell of a lot on offer with much too attract visitors from Durban and surrounds.
Good to know
- Fig Trees Farm Facebook page can be found here.
- Contact number is +27 (0) 81 444 1481
- They are open every day
- 8am – 4pm
- They are situated along Inanda Road, roughly midway between Hillcrest and Waterfall.
Outdoor Markets in the Valley of a 1000 Hills
It’s not a very well kept secret, the Valley of a 1000 Hills offers some of the best market experiences throughout KwaZulu-Natal and the best part is that we are only situated some 25 min west of Durban. Not only are there outdoors markets in the area, but there are many many activities to choose from when visiting – quite honestly the best option is to book your accommodation in the area and spend some time exploring.
For a far more comprehensive list of what there is to do when staying the Valley of a 1000 Hills, follow this link to view our “what to do” listing.