uMhlanga Rocks – a place of sand-castles and ice-creams, where families make lasting holiday memories; a location for business and investment; the Matric Rage go-to-destination; an ideal setting for friends to dine; a home for young and old. Follow navigation below for everything you need to know about uMhlanga Rocks.
Your uMhlanga Rocks
Use The uMhlanga Rocks APP For Local Knowledge.
Why An APP For uMhlanga Rocks?
Do you know what time the lifeguards go off duty, or where to buy a pair of shoes? How about which beaches are dog-friendly, or where to get your nails done? These are just some of the questions answered by our user-friendly and intuitive area APP. This APP is perfect for anyone visiting uMhlanga Rocks, from the Durban local looking for a wedding present, or a day visitor wanting to know about umbrella hire, to an uMhlanga Rocks employee on a lunch break or a tourist wanting evening entertainment.
So what information is available on the APP?
- Emergency – with instant dialing to a 24/7 manned control room
- Eat Here – a categorised and searchable listing of all restaurants, bars, coffee shops etc
- Shop Here – a categorised and searchable listing of places to shop in uMhlanga Rocks.
- Stay Here – a categorised and searchable listing of all aspects of accommodation
- Directory – A-Z listing of all the businesses and services in uMhlanga Rocks
- Report A Fault – to report a concern in public space, allowing for uploading an image
- News – linked to the news section on the uMhlanga Rocks website
- Area Info – general information on the area broken up into the Promenade and Village
- Line-Up – links users to everything happening in the whole of Durban (not just uMhlanga Rocks) from major events to a live sports screening at the local pub. Businesses are encouraged to send through information on their upcoming events
- Contacts – provides details of a range of important area contacts
Additional features of the APP include a link to a stunning video that captures the essence of uMhlanga Rocks; a link to the UIP website; a link to the uMhlanga Tourism website; a link to a form for business and or event listings, as well as a map of the area. Funded by the uMhlanga Rocks Place-Making Committee as part of its work to improve the experience of uMhlanga Rocks for all its’ users, the APP groups similar information together making it easier for people to access the exact information they need.
Listing Your Business
While all businesses in uMhlanga Rocks receive a free listing, all businesses including those in greater uMhlanga can be upgraded at R1 850 per year, per category (R154p/m). This upgraded listing includes:
- Your choice of category listing
- Up to 3 scrolling images
- A full write up
- Contact details / website and social media links
- Google map location
- A 500 word article with push notification to the database once listed
- Access to the Specials section to list specials (running for 30 days or more) for R300 each
For details on the basic listing and upgrades, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Facts And History We Thought You Should Know
A Place Of History
- uMhlanga means Place of Reeds in Zulu, referring to the beds of reeds that accumulate on the banks of the Ohlanga River a few kilometers north of present day uMhlanga Rocks.
- San hunter-gatherers were the first to make uMhlanga Rocks their home after which it was occupied by Nguni-speaking people.
- uMhlanga came under British control when it became part of the large estate belonging to the sugar magnate, Sir Marshall Campbell, who sailed to South Africa from Glasgow in 1850. Indian indentured labourers were brought in to work on the sugar estates in 1860.
- The Oyster Box Hotel, or “The Oyster Lodge” was built in 1863 as a navigational beacon.
- When a track was made from Mount Edgecombe to uMhlanga Rocks, the area became popular with the local farmers who leased small plots on the shoreline and built holiday cottages.
- In1952, the Oyster Box Hotel, then an overgrown property was sold to the O’Connor Family who started a tea garden, which was eventually turned into The Oyster Box Hotel.
- The uMhlanga Promenade was originally called the O’Connor Promenade.
- The Beverly Hills Hotel opened her doors in December 1964 as Sol Kerzner’s first hotel, and the first five star graded hotel in South Africa.
- Named after his daughter Beverly, Sol Kerzner built the hotel which attracted celebrities from abroad, and Maurice Chevalier and Marlene Dietrich were the first celebrities to grace the floors.
- The Borough of uMhlanga was formed in 1972 through the merger of uMhlanga Rocks and the suburb of La Lucia.
- The Borough of uMhlanga was incorporated into the eThekwini Municipality in the early 2000’s and uMhlanga Rocks now forms a strategically important node in the broader eThekwini Municipality.
uMhlanga Rocks Icons
- The uMhlanga Lighthouse is 21m tall and was installed on 24 November 1954
- The Oyster Box Hotel is the official warden of the uMhlanga Lighthouse, with the controls in the hotel office where staff monitor the controls and report to Portnet Lighthouse Services.
- The uMhlanga pier was built in 2007 to re-route storm-water outflow into Granny’s Pool with the aim of improving the quality of the beach in area.
- The uMhlanga pier was voted by CNN as “The World’s Most Beautiful” in 2014 and the whalebone structure won the South Africa national award for outstanding engineering.
Some ‘Green Facts’
- The uMhlanga Lagoon is a 26 hectare (64 acres)Nature Reserve on the shore of the Indian Ocean
- The Nature Reserve boasts the remains of a prehistoricshell midden.
- Plans are in place for a reserve upgrade project with improved infrastructure; operational management and on ground safety services.
- The Hawaan Forest lies on the inland side of the M4 adjacent to the uMhlanga Nature Reserve and is set on a sand dune that dates back 18 000 years
- This 65 hectare Hawaan Forest, protected from development since 1860, boasts over 100 indigenous tree species.
- The name Hawaan is thought to originate from ceremonies performed in the forest by Indian labourers that worked on sugar farms in the area.
- The Hawaan Forest now also falls within the Sibaya Coastal Precinct footprint and will be made accessible to residents and visitors alike through a responsible eco-tourism plan that will be managed by the Sibaya Conservation Trust.
- For now, as a way to maintain the pathways and forest itself, only guided walks through the Forest are allowed and can be arranged at the Breakers Resort in uMhlanga Rocks.
A Few ‘Good To Know’ Facts
- The uMhlanga Promenade has 2.3km of flat brick track running north to south
- Originally a sheltered bathing area formed by two natural rock outcrops, Granny’s Pool became the natural launching site for the first ski boats off uMhlanga
- The Oyster Box has been included in Monopoly Mzansi, along with Florida Road, Durban beachfront and uShaka Marine World, as top local destinations in the new version of the game.
- Since 2004, uMhlanga Rocks has been a go-to-destination for some 7 500 Matric Ragers who spend almost 10-days between uMhlanga and Ballito during the annual Matric Rage Festival
Some Facts about uMhlanga Urban Improvement Precinct (UIP)
- 55 properties and 3 000 members of the UIP
- 5billion+ municipal valuation roll
- R9 million operational budget (2016/17)
- 12km of public areas serviced
- 75 permanent jobs created
- There are 2 official uMhlanga UIPs, theuMhlanga Promenade UIP (PUIP) established in March 2003 and the uMhlanga Village UIP (VUIP) established in July 2008.
- The PUIP and VUIP are collectively known as the uMhlanga UIP and represent 29 large erven, with the boundary from the Lagoon to Durban View Park, the sea and up to the M4.
- In KwaZulu-Natal, the Urban Improvement Precinct (UIP) structure is based on the Municipal Property Rates Act of 2004, which makes provision for the establishment of what is technically termed a Special Rating Area (SRA).
- The R5million paving upgrade project in the uMhlanga Rocks Village completed by the eThekwini Municipality is one of the best examples of the effective partnership between the City and the UIP.
- The value of reinvestment and upgrade in uMhlanga Rocks since 2008 is estimated at +R1 billion and includes work completed on Breakers Resort; uMhlanga Sands; Cabana Beach Resort; Oyster Box Hotel; uMhlanga Centre; Protea Hotel, and many other residential complexes.
- Investor confidence in uMhlanga Rocks is evident, with new or current developments said to total a conservative R5billion, and include Beacon Rock (phase1) @ R500 million; The Pearls of uMhlanga @ R1 billion; The Oceans Development @ R3.8 billion.
- The combination of reinvestment + new investments total + R6 billion and an additional rates base to the City of +_ R105 million p/a.
Fishing And Rock Pools
uMhlanga Rocks has developed around the beach and sea and the quality of these spaces is critical to the sustainability of the whole area. And so we encourage respect for our oceans and ask that you follow these simple guidelines:
- If you are fishing – catch for food only. Stick to Marine Fishing Guidelines and if the fish is undersized, release it quickly and carefully.
- Do not leave any litter, bait, fishing hooks or line on the beaches or rocks. The UIP provide bags and bins at the stairs to the beaches and encourage you to make use of them.
- Make sure you have a fishing license on you at all times and understand the conditions and laws associated with them – fishing licenses can be purchased at the uMhlanga Rocks post office located opposite Beacon Rock.
- While our rock pools are awesome spaces for children to play in, please encourage them not to poke and prod the sea life and corals but to rather look with their eyes. To help educate your children (and yourselves), Tidal Tao – snorkelling guides and ocean conservationists, have developed a fantastic brochure on the sea-life on the KZN rocky shores – available here.
In terms of choosing fish to eat (either caught yourself or in a restaurant) choose wisely and with sustainability in mind. This WWF SASSI List of fish on the green / orange / red lists will guide you.
Things You Need To Know:
- Four sets of public amenities service the beaches and promenade at Bronze beach; The Pier; Durban View park and Main Beach. All 4 are open from 05h00 -20h00, with main beach open 24/7
- Umbrellas and chairs can be hired at Main and Bronze Beach for R35 per item per day item .
- There are 2 lifeguard guard towers, 1 at Main beach and the other at Bronze beach – the life-guards go off duty at 18h00 in summer.
uMhlanga Rocks beaches are protected by shark nets that are manned daily by the KZN Sharks Board. The beaches and promenade are well managed, well lit and a true asset to the area, so make full use of them but respect their beauty. The promenade restaurants are primarily located at Main Beach, Cabana Beach Resort and uMhlanga Sands Resort, however, there are food vendors at Bronze Beach and the new pier. The boat launch site is known as “granny’s pool” and is surrounded by rock pools perfect for children. While it is lovely and calm in granny’s pool, please note it is a boat launch site and is not an official swimming area.
General Safety Tips
- Do not openly display cash, expensive jewellery, cameras and other valuables
- Carry your wallet, credit cards, passport and other travel documents in your inside and front pockets
- Avoid carrying large sums of money, particularly foreign currency
- Plan your travel routes before-hand
- Carry certified copies of your passport, ID and travel documents
- Use credit cards instead of cash where possible
In The Car
- Plan your route in advance
- If you are lost and concerned about your safety call the UIP safety personnel on 086 111 2050
- Ensure you have sufficient fuel and that your vehicle is in a roadworthy condition
- Fasten your seatbelt, lock your doors and keep your windows shut
- Avoid displaying valuables openly in the vehicle to avoid smash-and-grab crime
- Lock your valuables in the boot (trunk)
- Be alert at traffic lights and stop streets
- NEVER pick up strangers
- NEVER entertain the advances of street beggars and “ladies of the night”
- It is illegal to use your cell phone whilst driving – use a hands free kit
- At night, park in well illuminated areas
- When returning to your vehicle, have your keys ready to unlock your car
- When parking your car, make sure all windows are closed, doors are locked and your alarm is switched on
- Keep your valuables out of sight – EVEN WHEN TRAVELLING!
- Do not drink and drive – KwaZulu-Natal has a zero tolerance policy. Rather make use of a reputable taxi company to get home safely.
On The Beach
- Swim at the beaches manned by life guards and obey the safety instructions given
- Avoid taking valuables to the beach • Don’t leave your bags unattended on the beach
- The African sun is intense – use a high a high factor sunscreen for protection
- Do not take breakables (e.g. glass bottles) to the beach
On The Street
- Follow the applicable general tips above • If possible, plan your route before
- Where possible, explore the streets in groups and stick to well illuminated, busy streets
- Be aware of your surroundings, be alert
- Walk on or close to the curb and face on-coming traffic
- Avoid alley-ways and dense shrubs/bushes
- If you require any information approach a policeman, traffic officer, or UIP security officer
- Avoid jogging or cycling alone and at night
- Should you wish to use a taxi, your hotel or the local tourism information centre will recommend a reliable service to you.
At Your Accommodation
- Do not leave your luggage and belongings unattended
- Store valuables in the hotel’s safe deposit box at reception or in your room’s safe
- Never open your room door unless you have identified the person who has knocked on your door
- If in doubt contact reception for verification
- It is advisable to hand the keys of your room in at reception when going out
Automated Banking (ATM)
- Follow the general tips and other street tips above
- Have your ATM card out and ready to use
- If you are suspicious of anything or anyone – cancel your transaction and leave immediately
- Avoid ATM machines which are isolated or poorly illuminated
- Never allow strangers to assist you with your transaction
- Keep your secret code to yourself and do not let anyone look over your shoulder whilst keying in your code
- When your transaction is complete, secure your cash and move off immediately. You can count it later.
- Use registered and qualified tour guides
- Don’t leave handbags under tables or on the backs of chairs
- Don’t leave cellphones or wallets on restaurants tables
- Keep your credit card in sight at all times
- Don’t leave drinks unattended
Attending Conferences or Meetings In Town
- Stay in groups
- Don’t keep all your money in one pocket
- Stay on lit paths
- Use accredited taxis and cabs
- Be vigilant while drawing money at ATM’s
If you want to attract business, tourism, residents or any other group, you must communicate what makes you a compelling destination – you must capture the essence of what makes you, you, and then share it with the world. uMhlanga Rocks has done just this by developing a unified vision for this place, captured under a single brand logo, that aims at ensuring that uMhlanga Rocks makes Every Day Feel Like A Holiday…. To understand what this mean and why it is important, read through the documents below or view the brand captured in the uMhlanga Rocks video on You-Tube
- A DNA and place vision? What are the tangible benefits?
- uMhlanga Rocks brand launch media release
- Social Images from the uMhlanga Rocks Launch
- The uMhlanga Rocks brand DNA
- The uMhlanga Rocks Logos
- The uMhlanga Rocks Corporate Identity
- The uMhlanga Rocks Launch Sponsor Statements
uMhlanga Rocks recognises the invaluable contribution businesses played in making the launch function on 25th November possible.
Umhlanga Tourism Info Centre
A city sanctioned tourism body, Umhlanga Tourism covers an area stretching from the Umgeni to eMdloti rivers, providing a range of tourist-based information on-line at http://www.umhlangatourism.co.za/ and from their tourism office in Shop 1A, Chartwell Centre, Chartwell Drive, Umhlanga Rocks. Contact number: +27 31 561 4257 Email: email@example.com