It is difficult to imagine that Umhlanga, a vibrant residential, business, and vacation area just outside of Durban, was originally a beachfront resort community known as Umhlanga Rocks. It amalgamated with La Lucia in the early 1970s to become Umhlanga, which is Zulu for “place of reeds” and is pronounced Umhlanga.
Since the town became a suburb, things have altered quite drastically. It is still a very popular seaside resort, with broad, sandy beaches bordered by upscale hotels in Umhlanga and apartment buildings. The beaches are crowded with people lounging under umbrellas and enjoying the sun, and after dusk, locals wander the promenade with excitement.
However, businesses have moved here from central Durban, much like Sandton did in Johannesburg, and Durban International Airport will soon relocate to a neighbourhood called La Mercy.
Umhlanga’s residential area has also expanded tremendously. Gated communities and opulent estates have spread throughout the suburb. Umhlanga Ridge, which was primarily utilized for sugarcane production, is now a highly sought-after location for offices, residences, and retail, in large part because of its breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean.
One has little need to leave Umhlanga while staying there thanks to Gateway Shopping Centre, one of the largest shopping malls in the nation. The only challenge is deciding which of the many excellent restaurants along the O’Connor promenade, which runs from Durban View Park all the way to Breakers and the beginning of the Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Reserve, to stretch one’s legs right by the sea. It also passes the well-known Umhlanga Lighthouse.
The Zulu name for Umhlanga, which refers to the reed beds growing along the Umhlanga River north of Umhlanga Rocks, is “place of reeds.” Before the town was ever established, in 1869, the Oyster Box, a luxury hotel since the 1950s, was constructed as a beach hut. Sir Marshall Campbell established the area in 1895. A shop, a lighthouse, the Natal Anti-Shark Measures Board (now known as the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board), and more hotel expansions were built after the town’s first hotel opened in 1920.
On August 1, 1972, the town of La Lucia and the coastal resort of Umhlanga Rocks were combined to become the Borough of Umhlanga. Former La Lucia town board chairman Mr Rodney Rindel was chosen to serve as mayor of the borough of Umhlanga. The residents of La Lucia, according to Mr Rindel, had made it clear that they opposed the amalgamation and were unhappy with the name, but now that it had happened, they would try to make the best of the situation.
A small village east of the M4 highway was transformed into a big town in the 1980s, taking up much of the region east of the N2 highway and south of the Hawaan Forest. The city is growing in areas close to the Hawaan forest, which is home to many different animals, including the vervet monkey. The monkeys frequently enter the city in search of food from locals and careless visitors.
Umhlanga Rocks Activities
In a secure setting, provides some of the top tour companies in South Africa, as well as a ton of entertainment, dining options, and nature trails. The magnificent Gateway shopping centre and Sibaya Casino are just a couple of the noteworthy attractions that Umhlanga Rocks has to offer. Surfing, deep-sea fishing, whale and dolphin watching, scuba diving, kiteboarding, and microlight flips are just a few of the many activities available on this spectacular length of coastline. Ocean lovers and outdoor adventurers will be right at home. There are numerous outstanding golf courses all within a 15-minute drive to the district for golf aficionados. Umhlanga is a haven for those who love romance, with many couples choosing to get married or spend their honeymoons here.