In 1686 the first Europeans to settle in Durban were shipwrecked Dutch sailors who were taken in by the Abambo tribe who lived there. These sailors were rescued by the Stavenisse in 1689 and they purchased Durban Bay from the Abambo people. The British arrived in 1822 and by 1824 had reached agreement with King Shaka for the cession of a large chunk of land including the Bay of Natal. Settlers arrived and by June 1835 they decided to start building Durban.
In 1843, with rising tension between the Voortrekkers and the Zulus, the British send a fort to Durban to ensure its’ protection. They built the Old Fort as a base of operations. By 1844 the Afrikaners had accepted the British annexation of Durban and the Zulus had accepted the status quo.
The port at Durban was steadily to grow in importance and is now the largest shipping terminal in South Africa.