Durban Muthi Market

Durban Muthi Market

The Durban Muthi Market allows visitors the opportunity to explore the mysterious world of African traditional healing. Referred to by some as Durban's "witches" market, visitors can make their way through the market and witness a variety of traditional medicine, also known as muthi, being made and prepared for sale. Visits to the Durban Muti Market help shed light on the billion rand industry, which attracts a large number of international pharmaceutical companies to South Africa to make use of the rich botanical resources, and the valuable knowledge which is guarded by the Sangomas and Inyangas of the Zulu culture.

The market's stalls are stocked full of various organic ingredients which range from crocodile teeth and snake skins, to bird claws, plants and a selection of mysterious powders. As visitors make their way through the market accompanied by the sound of various barks and roots being crushed, chopped and processed, they can make the opportunity to purchase a wide and interesting variety of items such as African incense (known locally as Impepho or wild sage), skillfully created decorative walking sticks, car tyre sandals, and "magical" talismans.

Also located at the market are a number of Sangomas, who provide visitors with a variety of insights, by throwing the bones. A collection of bones, shells, seeds and other assorted charms are thrown onto a reed mat, in an attempt to communicate with, and seek advice from the ancestors and spirit guides. Each item cast onto the mat bears a special meaning, or association, for example a hyena bone signifies a thief and will provide information about stolen objects. The Sangoma or the patient throws the bones but the ancestors control how they lie, and the Sangoma then interprets this metaphor in relation to the patient's life. Based on the outcome of the bone throwing, the Sangoma will then prescribe the relevant treatment, which could range from a variety of cleansing rituals to ointments or oral medicines.

Alternatively visitors can also consult an Inyanga (herbalist), who will suggest an appropriate remedy for the illness or complaint. These treatments may include acupuncture with porcupine quill, herbal balms and libations, and even love potions for the weary or lovesick. Those who are keen to know more about what is being made and sold may hire a Zulu-speaking guide as an interpreter as many of the vendors are not fluent in English.

The Durban Muthi Market extends from the Victoria Street Market, over the footbridges to the taxi ranks at Warwick triangle, an area once referred to as the Squatters Market.

Accommodation Near Durban Muthi Market

Botany Bay Lodge

Bed & Breakfast Accommodation in Berea, Durban

0.9km North West of Durban Muthi Market

Our lodge has en-suite bedrooms with tv's fans and air conditioners for those balmy Durban evenings. We also offer safe off-street parking, pool bar, laundry / maid service and a fully fitted communal kitchen for your self catering requirments...

Sleeps: 18 in 8 units/rooms

Riviera Hotel

Hotel / Boutique Hotel Accommodation in Durban Beachfront

1.1km East of Durban Muthi Market

The Riviera Hotel is a modern attractively decorated low budget tourist hotel offering excellent value and friendly efficient service.

Sleeps: 32 in 8 units/rooms

Villa La Palma

Self Catering Apartment, Flatlet Accommodation in Glenwood, Durban

1.4km South West of Durban Muthi Market

All our units are equipped with cooling and heating air-conditioners for your comfort as well as TV, Hi-Fi, DVD Player and a large selection of satellite and local channels for your easy viewing. Tea, coffee and bottled water is complimentary and ...


Chelsea Villa Guesthouse

Bed & Breakfast Accommodation in Glenwood, Durban

1.4km South West of Durban Muthi Market

Built in 1890, Chelsea Villa Guest House is one of the original Victorian Homes in the area. Great care has been taken to preserve most of the original fixtures during times of renovation and decorating, to ensure that the house maintains the ...

Sleeps: 6

10th Avenue

Self Catering House, Cottage, Chalet Accommodation in Morningside, Durban

1.8km North of Durban Muthi Market

This is a newly-decorated 3 bedroomed, 2 bathroomed simplex in Durban's fashionable Morningside, within a few minutes' walk from Greyville Racecourse, shops and restaurants, and within a few minutes' drive of all Durban's amenities

Sleeps: 36 in 12 units/rooms

Roseland House

Bed & Breakfast Accommodation in Glenwood, Durban

1.9km South West of Durban Muthi Market

Our home has been lovingly adorned with many antiques from this period. All 7 en-suite double rooms are air-conditioned and tastefully furnished with your comfort in mind. Some rooms have their own private court yards and all have TV, hostess tray...

Acorn Bed & Breakfast in Durban

Bed & Breakfast Accommodation in Berea, Durban

1.9km North West of Durban Muthi Market

Acorn Bed & Breakfast in Durban, an oasis of graciousness and tranquility in Durban's exclusive Berea, has every modern convenience, yet retains the old-worlde impeccable service and style of yester-year.

4 Isabella Gardens

Self Catering House, Cottage, Chalet Accommodation in Morningside, Durban

2.0km North of Durban Muthi Market

4 Isabella Gardens is a lovely 3 bedroom (6 sleeper) duplex in 7th Avenue, Morningside, Durban. It is within walking distance to Greyville Racecourse, Avondale Spar, Argyle Road Spur, Florida Road with all its pubs and restaurants.

Sleeps: 47 in 21 units/rooms

Villa Picasso

Bed & Breakfast Accommodation in Glenwood, Durban

2.1km South West of Durban Muthi Market

Villa Picasso exudes a European influence with East African undertones, creating a uniquely metropolitan appeal. We warmly invite you to experience our guest house which offers superior services and fabulous features.

Sleeps: 2

Madeline Garden Apartment

Self Catering Apartment, Flatlet Accommodation in Morningside, Durban

2.3km North of Durban Muthi Market

Madeline Garden Apartment lies in the hub of Durban's sub-urban street life (one street away from Florida road and Lilian Ngoyi (formerly 'Windermere') road.