Things to do in Umhlanga while you enjoy your self-catering holiday.
The golden beach sands and captivating tidal pools of the Umhlanga Beachfront are some holidaymakers first port of call when visiting the resort town north of Durban, but for the visitor or resident with more time to spend…Umhlanga is a treasure trove of entertainment.
The beaches of Umhlanga are of world class standing. The sands are white and soft underfoot, with the rocky coastline forming a variety of interesting tidal pools to explore. The Indian Ocean is warm with waters being suitable for swimming even during the winter months. In summer, the water temperatures can be around 25ºC and winter they drop to around 20ºC.
Although many of South Africa’s most well-known hotels line the coastline, day visitors can park at Lagoon Drive and walk down the signposted “Walkway to Beach”. A paved promenade meanders along the beachfront. To the south is the famous landmark, the Umhlanga Lighthouse in front of the Oyster Box Hotel and to the north is the Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Reserve.
North of the Olanga River estuary is a private beach area considered a nudist beach. South Africa considers topless bathing illegal so this is one of the few South African beaches where Europeans can legally bathe as in Europe.
Dining Out in Umhlaga
Umhlanga offers some of the most prestigious dining experiences in South Africa. Whether it’s the formal jacket and tie experience of the Grill Room at the Oyster Box Hotel or the more relaxed vibe of the trendy Little Havana restaurant in Umhlanga Rocks village, the cuisine and ambience are of a world class standard.
Umhlanga Village hosts a variety of trendy restaurants with an Alfresco street cafe vibe.
Nightclubs in Umhlanga
Umhlanga has a cosmopolitan vibe to it and a number of clubs offer late night dance entertainment. Gateway, Sibaya Hotel and Casino and Umhlanga Rocks village is home to a club for any mood.
South Africans generally love the outdoors and Umhlanga is no exception. From the land, sea or air opportunity awaits.
Just south of Umhlanga is Virginia Airport you can take coastal or inland sightseeing flights or take a skydiving jump) or a leisurely microlight flip (and wave to your friends on the beach from the air.
The Indian Ocean abounds with sea life. Dolphin Viewing is an opportunity to experience these wonderful creatures in their natural environment. Customers will be exhilarated by the surf launch in their rubber duck ski boat and the morning on the water offers sightings of dolphin, whales and whale sharks as the seasons progress.
For those with a more adventurous spirit, Deep Sea Fishing Charters, SCUBA Diving or Snorkelling tours are offered with a launch to sea from Umhlanga Rocks.
Nature in Umhlanga
The Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Trail offers gentle walks through the conservancy. A series of boardwalks allow visitors to wander through the Mangrove Swamps and over the wet marshlands before arriving at the open beach area, surrounded by sand dunes.
A visit to the area in the summer cannot miss the nightly dance of Barn Swallows at Mount Moreland, 10 minutes north of Umhlanga. Each year, approximately 3 million Barn Swallows roost in the Umhloti wetland areas. They arrive each November and usually leave mid-March to April for their long trip back to Europe for the Northern Summer. Visitors take picnics and deck chairs and relax just as at sunset, the millions of birds gather, en masse, for their final dance of flight before taking to the reeds to roost for the night. A once in a lifetime experience not to be missed.
Golf in Umhlanga
As any golfing widow knows, a golfer is prepared to travel any distance to find a new golfing experience. Umhlanga has several world class golf courses on its doorstep. Mount Edgecombe Country Club is just inland, Zimbali Country Club is just north and the prestigious Durban Country Club and its sister course at Beachwood lie to the south of Umhlanga under the towering shadows of the new Moses Mabida stadium, built as an architectural beauty for the FIFA World Cup 2010.