Umhlanga remains a perennial favourite with holidaymakers, situated within easy travelling distance from the interior of the country. King Shaka International Airport is a short drive away. It also makes an excellent base from which to explore Durban and the North Coast.
While urban sprawl means that Umhlanga has become a de facto suburb of Durban, it has managed to retain its own identity and character. The village’s long standing as a tourist destination means that it has built up a wide variety of accommodation to suit all wallets and needs. Prime destinations are the grand old dames: the Beverly Hills and the Oysterbox.
The major benefit of Umhlanga is that it is a holiday destination that also offers the convenience of city living. This is especially useful when the weather closes in or the sunburn keeps you off the beach and you need to keep the kids entertained.
The Gateway Shopping Centre is the hub of it all, offering an unbelievable amount of entertainment, plenty of dining establishments and lots of shopping.
If hanging out in a mall feels a bit too much like being back at home, then the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board offers fascinating and educational diversions.
In better weather the beaches or the promenade are the places to be. Alternatively a round of golf or a stroll through one of the nature reserves is another way to spend a sunny summer’s day.
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The Gateway Theatre of Shopping is heaven-sent for those days when the beach is out of the question. There are movie theatres and a Barnyard Theatre. Those seeking more active pursuits will find a rock-climbing wall, a wave pool for surfing and bodyboarding, action carting, bowling and mini golf.
Mount Edgecombe has two excellent golf courses to keep those obsessed with the dimpled white ball happy. It is a five-minute drive from the beach.
A stroll along the Promenade is a wonderful way to take in a beautiful evening, stopping at one of the bars or restaurants for a sundowner.
The Oysterbox is famous for its high tea, a treat that should not be missed. Sit in the cool, classy interior or on the decks with a view of the ocean and the lighthouse. Here you can enjoy decadent cakes and pastries.
The KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board has been serving, protecting and educating the public for decades, and is based in Umhlanga. Visitors can go on a fascinating and educational tour, which includes a shark dissection. One can even accompany the Sharks Board boats on dawn patrols of the shark nets.