I am a firm believer in taking in your surroundings and exploring your city like tourist.  Durban holds many secrets and by taking the road less travelled you can discover something that has always been there. 
Street Scene Alternative Tours wants to show you our city.  I got the opportunity to speak to Richard one of the Durbanites behind this unique concept!

Street Scene Tours is more than a typical tour company - we have an amazing tool to build some special relationships with the communities we are visiting. More importantly - Street Scene is aiming to break down some of those stubborn racial barriers that still exist in our newly democratic country. The warmth and welcome we receive is something that, Sthembiso and myself, strongly feel is an experience that every South African should have.

What was the inspiration or initial thought process behind Street Scene?

After a stop at the Durban Tourist Junction and scouring the shelves for a tour to recommend a visiting friend - I realised there was nothing that I would do. Having spent my previous 3 years sailing the world and going on various tours I knew that within our culturally diverse and colourful city and more to offer than the standard city tours I came across. I decided I truly needed to explore my city as much as possible so I could give guests to our city a true reflection of how we Durbanites spend our time as opposed to the tourist destinations that Durbanites rarely visit. This led journey took me to KwaMashu and after spending a day with my now partner Sthembiso, I stated that this was something every South African needs to experience.

You must really believe in Durban / Kwa-Zulu Natal and the heart of our city – what inspires you and what keeps you here?

I have set off many times to foreign lands but always return to my place of birth - right now I actually live across the road from my birthplace of Addington Hospital. South Beach has got this incredible feeling about it at the moment and we're looking to buy a sea front flat by the end of 2010. The people in our city are one of the main attractions to me - taking a walk around observing the various communities is like no other city I have been to. The weather speaks for itself - as I write this to you it's mid-winter and I'm heading to the beach in an hour to catch some sun and play bat n ball. There has been such a shift in the feeling of Durbanites so one of such pride and positivity in what lies ahead and I plan to be very involved in making our city live up to the recent Top 10 world destination to visit for 2010 award. The long term plan is to purchase "My Block" in town and transform it into an expression of Casey (my wife) and my dream hotel. It’s no longer all about Cape Town and Joburg - watch out for Durbs by die see!

Where are your favourite hangout spots and where do you feel most at home?

Favourite spots are numerous -
The Concierge boutique hotel with their Freedom Cafe is currently top of my list. The food treats are designed by legendary chef Neil Roarke and one is superbly looked after by Ricky and Sibs.

I am a coffee nutter who frequents Colombo Coffee for my home brew but Corner Cafe makes the best cuppa in town!

Little Gujarats serves the most delicious curries in town and at R10 per dish it's always value for money.

Zulu Jazz Lounge and King Club are my best venues but Durbanites are still reluctant to venture into town - it's only a matter of time though.

Cafe 1999 - Yes, I know it's not a unique choice but dinner there is always a treat.
List five words that come to mind to describe Durban?

Colourful - Ocean - Cafe 1999- Promenade - Welcoming -

What is your advice to people looking to start their own business?

Do your homework before hand - know what you’re getting yourself into.
Research your competitors and make sure what you offer is unique in some way - people need a reason to try your business.

If you see any opportunity then go for it 100% - believe it what you offer as if you don't then it's impossible for your clients to believe in what you offer.

Thanks Richard for answering my questions and for sharing your Durban haunts with us.  You can find out more about the tours via the Street Scene website or see more photos on the flickr group.

Take the time to enjoy your city - wherever that might be!