Located on the eastern coast of South Africa, just outside of the port city of Durban, Umhlanga Rocks, also referred to as Umhlanga, is a popular seaside resort town. The tropical weather and lush vegetation make this an enticing holiday destination attracting visitors from all over the world. Umhlanga and its surrounds feature golden-sand beaches stretching over 200 kilometres, endless sugarcane fields and the rolling verdant landscape of the Valley of 1000 Hills. It is the perfect location for ocean enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers alike, with great opportunities for diving, swimming, scuba diving, whale watching, dolphin viewing, deep sea fishing and kiteboarding. Don’t miss Umhlanga’s excellent golf courses; they are a real treat for the avid golfer.
Umhlanga (pronounced with a ‘sh’ after the Um, “Umshlanga”) is a well-known and well-loved seaside town just north of Durban. As a destination, there are tonnes of wonderful things you can do here and why this part of Durban is worth a visit for at least two nights. The light house is the most iconic attraction, at 21 metres high and a prominent white with red stripe which offers a light range of 24 sea miles – likely the most photographed part of the town! As you’re right by the sea, you can make the most of the clear skies and gorgeous sunshine that the South Africa coast has to offer by relaxing on one of the lovely beaches. Or, if you’re into hiking, we absolutely adore the Umhlanga Lagoon hiking trail which is part of a Nature Reserve where stunning trails wind through a coastal forest, inhabited by all kinds of local wildlife including vervet monkeys, the odd buck and birds galore. For those with little legs, the Wavehouse is a fun water park for families to enjoy some supertubing or indeed learn to surf, before taking those skills out to the ocean waves of KZN. Food in Durban is an absolute highlight for most, as the flavours have a strong Indian influence but are also very traditionally South African, so we are sure you’ll need to get active after all the delicious nosh you’ll be tucking into! Long and short of it is, there is PLENTY to do in this beautiful seaside town and we will help you plan it from start to finish so you don’t miss out.
There are a few beauties here in Umhlanga worth staying in, but one of our absolute favourites is the Oyster Box which is not only in an ideal sea-facing location but is also a designer’s dream! It is elegance and luxury all wrapped up into one gorgeous hotel just 15 minutes away from Durban’s airport. A member of The Red Carnation Hotel Collection, The Oyster Box is one of South Africa’s best-loved hotels, offering the charm and nostalgia of a bygone era, but with all the modern comfort and amenities. A stay here will give you the chance to enjoy their magnificent Spa, two swimming pools, luscious gardens and a 24-seater movie theatre. We just love it!
The town of Umhlanga is just half an hour away by road from the centre of Durban. You actually have to pass it on the way to down-town from Durban’s King Shaka International airport, so it’s ideally located between the two.
One of the best things about Umhlanga is the weather. The average temperatures vary little, which means that regardless of the time of year you can feel comfortable and like you’re on a summer holiday. Some weeks in the summer (i.e. January through to March) can get pretty hot at around 30C, but these higher temperatures simply mean that you can really enjoy outdoor dining well into the evening – a huge plus if you’re used to huddling indoors in those months back home!
There is plenty to do here, not least making the most of the beautiful beaches and promenade where you can take in some of the best sights Umhlanga has to offer with a leisurely walk along the 4.6km of stunning seaside. Hiking in the Nature Reserve, exploring the Hawaan Forest on a guided trail (where fiver meets ocean), or splashing about in the water park – the outdoor activities on offer are vast. For those more into indoor activities, particularly shopping, there are ample spaces for you to drop some hard-earned cash, not least at the Gateway Theatre of Shopping which is the ultimate retail and entertainment experience, offering over 390 shops and 70 restaurants, you’ll be in a shopping haven. Based here is also the IMAX for those who are keen to catch an ultimate 3D experience. Or, one of our favourite activities, is simply sitting at a seaside café and enjoying the sounds of the waves with a crisp glass of something watching the sun go down. Absolute joy.
There certainly is a direct flight from the UK to Durban, and has been since October 2018. Good ol’ British Airways have been operating direct flights 3 times a week since then which has really opened up this part of the country without having to pass through Johannesburg or another city on the way. Ideal for those itineraries which start or end here in KZN!
Situated overlooking the historical and famous landmark, the Umhlanga lighthouse, The Oyster Box has long been one of South Africa’s best-loved and most distinguished hotels. Standing proud on Umhlanga’s beachfront, directly on the beach and overlooking the Indian Ocean, the 86-room Oyster Box, is one of South Africa’s best-loved hotels... Learn more