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FEATURED IMAGE: The pier and lighthouse at Umhlanga Rocks recreated in Lego.

Model makeover for Umhlanga

A dazzling new diorama of your favourite seaside resort is now on show. It’s a treat for the young and young-at-heart. There’s the landmark lighthouse and the famous whale-bone pier. And nearby, people are having fun: building sand castles, fishing from the rocks or enjoying the promenade. It’s a slice of the Umhlanga Rocks you…

FEATURED IMAGE: Charys–Mari Botha and Lawrence Zvavanhu are looking forward to the Umhlanga Summer Festival. Picture: Val Adamson

Fab fun on bill at Summer Festival

Preparations for the annual Umhlanga Summer Festival are now in full swing, with a packed programme of seaside fun from 14 to 23 December. Highlights include the Miss and Mr Umhlanga pageant and the Carols under the Stars concert. The festival theme is “Colours of Africa: Embracing all that is Beautiful” and that’s what guests…

LINE DANCE: The pen and her babies.

New line-up: sweet swans join Umgeni Bird Park

Durban avian zoo welcomes four cygnets Forget what you’ve heard about ducklings and how poor, little and plug-ugly they are. Only the hard of heart could deny their charm. And when it comes to baby swans, well the little fellas are positively button cute.  If you want proof of this, get yourself down to the…

FEATURED IMAGE: Wayne Coetzer (front left), outgoing general manager of The Oyster Box, and staff with the hotel's fifth Lilizela Tourism Award for best five star hotel in the country.

Seeing stars: Oyster Box in fifth straight win

The Oyster Box Hotel has done it again. The Umhlanga landmark took the trophy for best five-star hotel for a fifth year in a row at the national Lilizela Tourism Awards. The hotel was one of seven KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) tourism businesses honoured at the finals, in Pretoria at the weekend. The annual awards, which recognise…

The Durban Brewing Company's range of ales.

Durban Brewing Company comes to the party

Take a craft brewery tour in the heart of the FunShine coast  “Who doesn’t like a Hot Blonde?” asks Barry Schoeman.  Who indeed, but we haven’t called at the Durban Brewing Company’s pint-sized brewery in Redhill for locker room chat. No, we are here to hear about the beer they make including one that bears…

FAMILIAR WATERS: Endurance swimmer Sarah Ferguson passes Umhlanga – a stretch where she often swims at  weekends.Picture: Linda Ness

Sarah shines on tough North Coast swim

A record-breaking endurance swimmer shrugged off “wild” conditions, illness and a nasty bluebottle sting, to complete a 101km campaign on the KZN North Coast in aid of plastic-free oceans. Sarah Ferguson tackled the multi-stage swim in concert with hikers who were doing the newly launched Philocaly Trail, a charity beach walk and cleanup from Durban…

MORE-ISH: Mark and Tamara Naidoo get stuck into some of the Crazy Korean's gangjong sticky chicken.

Wonder Market whips up a feast

Umhlanga Tourism tries out some of the fine fare at the lakeside market. ‘Merhaba (hello there)…. Türkiye çok guzel,” I say, digging deep into the holiday phrasebook memory banks. Murat Oncel, looks up and smiles, one eye on me, the other on a lamb kebab he is busy singeing with a blow-torch. Yes, Turkey is…

FEATURED IMAGE: Jean-Claude Conradie and Juno on the trail at Virginia Bush. All pictures courtesy of the Riverside Trail group.

Trailblazers: Wild times for Riverside runners

In the spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love, the poet tells us. Or, in the case of your middle-aged correspondent, to outdoor pursuits and vague thoughts about getting fitter, and leaner, not merely meaner. The dark winter mornings are behind us too, so quitting the bed is less of a…

HONOURED IN THE BREACH: IHmpbacks are celebrated for their aerial displays. Picture: Whit Welles

Flippin’ good time for whale watching

And so we bid farewell to a much loved visitor to these shores. Every September and October, humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) begin leaving the East Coast of Southern Africa to return to their summer grounds in the Southern Ocean, where they feed on the rich abundance of small fish and krill, a shrimp like crustacean.…

PURR-FECT: Skabenga, the resident celebrity cat takes up his position on the red carpet.

Box clever: book celebrates Umhlanga gem

A LAVISH beautifully illustrated book about uMhlanga’s world-famous Oyster Box Hotel has just been published. And in keeping with what guests and visitors have come to expect down the years, it does not disappoint. It is a masterly keepsake that captures the history and tales of a bygone era that was lovingly brought up to…

FEATURED IMAGE: There's a nursery slope for the little ones.  Picture: Snow Wonderland

Snow news is good news

Spring may have sprung on the funshine coast, as the marketing men love to remind us, but up on the hill things have taken a turn for the wintery. A new pleasure dome, Snow Wonderland, has opened at Umhlanga’s Gateway shopping centre. It will let funseekers experience, all year round, some of the delights normally…

FUN IN THE SUN: Rob Rob O Connorman, Liz Van Huysteen and Ross Barber outside The George on matchday. Barber's loyalties seem to be divided.

By George, it’s the World Cup!
Where to watch it

Heck, these days you could probably watch the World Cup on your smartphone. But would you want to? Fortunately for fans visiting Umhlanga or its surrounds during the course of the rugby showpiece – from 20 September to 2 November – there are more agreeable alternatives. Here’s a potted selection to help you choose… A sharp…

FEATURED IMAGE:  Visitors from London, join the Umhlanga parkrun at an event in August.

From London with love:
parkrun draws ’em from near and far

Want to get out and stretch those legs; perhaps meet a few people from elsewhere in the country and beyond? Well then, give the Umhlanga parkrun (the organisers insist it is spelled without a capital) a whirl.   The free timed fun event north along the promenade and back again, has proved a hit with locals and…

Pet-fiendly hotel supports SPCA

Five star welcome for furry friends

IT is not just people who are pampered at uMhlanga’s Oyster Box Hotel – their pets get the VIP treatment too. The famous five-star hotel has a pet-friendly policy and small-to-medium sized dogs and cats can enjoy the same sort of luxury as their owners at the Oyster Box’s superior villas. Demand for the pet-friendly…

Carvin Goldsone Umhlanga Gig

Umhlanga date for top comic

Globe-trotting comic Carvin H Goldstone will be giving his first solo KZN performance of the year at uMhlanga Ridge’s Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! on Saturday, 31 August. A son of the Durban soil, Goldstone combines a talent for observation, great storytelling skills and an infectious laugh. Umhlanga Rocks Tourism asked the big man about…

A matric dance can mean a lot for a  young woman, but many miss out on the fun simply because they can't afford a dress. The Princess Project and their supporters at Poetry are working to fix that.

Help Cinders have a ball

Thousands of girls across South Africa are feeling a little Cinderella-ish right now. Matric farewell season is in swing, but the dresses and accessories they need for the big night are simply beyond their means. Now hope is at hand.  A national department store chain has stepped forward to play the proverbial fairy godmother, by…

Durban Symphonic Choir

Symphonic Choir promises
stage songs, soaring spirituals

Classical and show tunes are on the bill at a Durban Symphonic Choir concert in Umhlanga.

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Houston, we don’t have a problem: concert to aid ABH

An internationally acclaimed tribute singer and two of the country’s best loved comediennes are on the bill for I’m Every Woman, a Sibiya Casino and Entertainment Kingdom fundraising concert in aid of the Aryan Benevolent Home (ABH). The Friday (July 26) iZulu Theatre concert stars Belinda Davids, a South African singer who has carved out…

FEATURED IMAGE: A still from Cold Case Hammarskjold – the tired hack shuffles the deck and drinks in a moodily lit African tavern. Picture: Tore Vollan

Who killed whatshisname?
Doccie digs dirt on
UN diplomat’s murder

Who killed the second secretary-general of the United Nations and why after nearly 58 years should we even care? Two questions at the heart of Cold Case Hammarskjöld, an intriguing documentary showing at Ster Kinekor Gateway as part of the Durban International Film Festival. Swede Dag Hammarskjöld perished when his plane crashed in September 1961,…

Orchid

Cultivating success:
B&B owner shows way
with guests… and orchids

Durban North’s Fairway Guesthouse will be hosting the Fairway Orchid and Rare Plant Fair on July 20.

Winter Fest Winner- Chanelle Venter 1st Princess- Thabile Mnyandu 2nd Princess- Melissa Brown

Chanelle catches judges’ eye

Beauty, brains, and plenty of spirit — just a few of the fine qualities on abundant display at the Miss Umhlanga Winter Festival pageant on Friday, 5 July. The judges were looking for an attractive young woman to represent Umhlanga Tourism and they were spoilt for choice as 24 hopefuls lined up at a Main…

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Beauty and the beach

The Winter Festival returns to Umhlanga Main Beach on 4 July, with a beauty pageant among the highlights.

Rhino costume runner in the Comrades UltramarathonVincent (Vinny) O'Neill, the "fastest marathon rhino costume runner", is seen here at the 50 km mark in the Comrades ultra-marathon. He completed the run in the 8 kg costume to raise awareness about rhino poaching.The Comrades Marathon is an ultramarathon of approximately 89 km which is run annually in the KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa between the cities of Durban and Pietermaritzburg. It is the world's largest and oldest ultramarathon race.Photo credit: JMK via Wikimedia Commonscommons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Vincent_O%27Neill,_2013_C...

Comrades: hospitality industry gives it horns

KwaZulu-Natal is welcoming thousands of visitors, including hundreds from abroad for the Comrades Marathon on Sunday, 9 June. And some hospitality businesses with strong Umhlanga ties have been quick off the mark to cash in. The ultra-marathon, with its 22 000 runners and legions of supporters, was expected to boost the provincial economy by up…

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Cornubia turns petrolhead’s playground as Farmtruck comes to town

US reality television street racing car personalities Murder Nova, Farmtruck and AZN  will be topping the bill at the Gas Motorshow, which runs at Cornubia Mall from 15 to 17 June. Showgoers can expect a glimpse into American car culture and a few of the men who build or race some of the United State’s…

FEATURED IMAGE: Jemma van Breda in action.Picture: JON IVINS
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Jemma to give local talent a jump-start

Having a torn tendon followed by surgery was not about to slow down dancer, choreographer and innovator Jemma van Breda of La Lucia. Although the operation and recovery phase meant she was on crutches for a while, her creativeness knew no bounds. Jemma, 21, is the brains behind the cultural and tourism one-of-a-kind platform, called…

Image by <a href="https://pixabay.com/users/mohamed_hassan-5229782/?utm_source=link-attribution&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_campaign=image&amp;utm_content=3239454">mohamed Hassan</a> from <a href="https://pixabay.com/?utm_source=link-attribution&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_campaign=image&amp;utm_content=3239454">Pixabay</a>

Scores stay high in precinct perception survey

Umhlanga Rocks Urban Improvement Precinct users remain overwhelmingly positive about the area and its facilities according to a recent survey. The perception survey conducted for the precinct over the March/April holidays sought participants’ views on the safety, cleaning, maintenance and greening services in the area. In reply to the question, “Would you recommend Umhlanga Rocks”,…

FEATURED IMAGE: Beyrick De Vries, centre, at the recent launch of the Ballito Pro, presented by O’Neill, with commentator Mike Frew, left, and Tom Hewitt of Surfers Not Street Children. Picture:  TIM LUBBE

Umhlanga surfer has Ballito Pro in his sights

UMHLANGA surfer Beyrick de Vries is going “all out” this year in a bid to take the honours at the Ballito Pro contest, the world’s longest continuously running professional surfing event. “It would mean so much to win in front of all your friends and family who have spent time and energy in supporting me…

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La Lucia mall revamp on track, new developments

The R65 million upgrade of the La Lucia mall is on target and its owners say it will complement new plans for an office development and a residential block on adjoining sites. The developers and owners of the mall, Growthpoint Properties, confirmed it was seeking planning approval for a R95-million, office building, next to the…

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DOT launches new mobile app for tourism sector

Tourists and small businesses in the tourism sector will soon be able to book and plan their trips and connect via a new online platform and mobile app, Jurni. CEO of the National Tourism Visitor Information system Dr Nomvuselelo Songelwa unveiled, Jurni, a new digital initiative of the national department of tourism at the recent…

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Volunteers bag tons in Beachwood cleanup

More than 150 volunteers have cleared tons of trash from the Beachwood Mangroves Nature Reserve. The 11 May cleanup comes in the wake of the storm that devastated parts of KwaZulu-Natal after the Easter Weekend. Flooding claimed at least 70 lives, destroying millions of rands in infrastructure and dumping mountains of debris on beaches in…

UNCOMFORTABLE: Guesthouse and B&B owners have expressed concern at the impact of unfair competition from local Airbnb hosts

Airbnb hosts face regulation

Guesthouse and B&B owners have expressed concern regarding the impact of unfair competition from local Airbnb hosts Home owners who run Airbnb businesses came under under the spotlight at Africa’s Travel Indaba in Durban where the government reiterated its stance on regulating the industry. Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom said the government welcomed the technological innovations…

B&B sign

Wake-up call for unregistered B&Bs

The Umhlanga Community Tourism Organisation has issued a friendly warning to homeowners thinking of running a B&B on the quiet. If you don’t have the correct permissions and approvals think twice before you advertise your spare room on A‌i‌r‌b‌n‌b‌. Herbert Achhammer, the organisation’s committee member handling legal and compliance matters, said many people believed affiliation…

Sting Wraps.3

What’s all the Buzz About?

When Fiona McLeod first came across a ‘cling wrap replacement’ she didn’t know what it was. ‘A relative had come back from Australia and given me a pack and I wondered what it was,’ said Fiona. ‘But when I realised the product was a good way of helping to reduce our reliance on single-use plastic…

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Food to Drool Over

The winner of the Waitronathon held as part of Umhlanga Tourism December 2018 Festival was Nhlanhla Khoza of Beach Garden Café & Events. See more about this fun event here: https://bit.ly/2T6bfqz. Nhlanhla’s prize included R1000 cash for the speedster himself. The restaurant he represented also won a prize: a free half-page advert in the 2019…

Mangwanani

Bliss on the Doorstep

I arrived at the Beverly Hills’ Mangwanani Boutique Spa just before 4pm on a Tuesday afternoon. I had booked a foot massage – one of my favourite types of treatment. There was a venue choice: either indoors in the airconditioned, fragranced shop, or outdoors in the gently billowing tented area. I chose outdoors. The outlook…

Winners with judges

Miss Umhlanga 2018 is a Winner

Umhlanga Main Beach was hot and happening on Monday 17 December when dozens of beautiful girls took part in the tenth Miss Umhlanga Beauty pageant. With the ocean and sand as a backdrop, and a breeze to cool the 30-degree sunshine, the competition was fun and relaxed. Beachgoers pulled up their deckchairs and enjoyed watching…

Photo: Illa Thompson

Let’s Go Shopping

Eventors Kevin Ellis and Gareth Greaves are beginning to select books, clothes, toys and games to purchase for less privileged children over this festive season. Entry to participate in the Miss Umhlanga is R150 cash – which will go towards purchasing needed items for Umhlanga child-focused NGOs – supporting the season’s theme this year: It’s…

Phindile Nyembe & Samake Kubeka from Maestro at Umhlanga Sands get ready to race!

Calling all Waitrons!

The new kid on the block at this year’s Umhlanga Summer Festival is the first wacky ‘Waitronathon’, a feature event taking place on Sunday 23 December. The 23rd of December is the final day of the festival and it promises to end in great style. Waitrons from participating Umhlanga restaurants and hotels will make their…

Umhlanga Farmers Market.1

Charming Farmers’ Market in Umhlanga

Did you know that tucked away on an open piece of ground in the busy precinct of Umhlanga Ridge is the Umhlanga Farmers’ Market? The market, depending on which stallholder we spoke to, has been in existence for 20 to 25 years. It convenes every Wednesday from 8am to 12pm in Autumn Drive, Prestondale (next…

Homebru Cafe

An Eco-Conscious Co-Work Space in Umhlanga

Umhlanga is a vibrant, growing city. Just count all the cranes active at one time and you’ll see the growth! Umhlanga Tourism recently ran an article on co-working spaces and how they are catching on. Another one of these spaces is the Homebru Graft Café. On first glance Homebru is a trendy coffee shop with…

Robbie & Elna Bachman

Pasha’s: The Small Restaurant with the Big Menu

Robbie and Elna Bachmann recently celebrated their first-year anniversary at the helm of Pasha’s Restaurant in Glenashley. The little Italian restaurant and take-away, though, has been a part of the Durban North community for much longer than that. The Bachmanns, who have lived and worked in the area for 30 years, were patrons of Pasha’s…

Bamboo straws

Say Yes to (Bamboo) Straws!

The Last Straw campaign is gaining ground with many restaurants in Umhlanga alone no longer offering plastic straws. Alternatives to plastic, too, are growing in popularity. One of these alternatives is bamboo. Carol Mackintosh from the Wilderness in the Cape has a company aptly named The Last Straw which makes reusable straws from bamboo. The…

Margaret Hirsch who is currently doing her MBA

Celebrating 21 Years in Business

Durban North businesswoman, Sharon Emmerich, recently celebrated 21 years in business. Sharon runs a Fiduciary Practice which includes financial estate planning, and tax planning and administration. To celebrate her ‘coming of age’ in the business world Sharon held a breakfast at the Royal Palm Hotel, Umhlanga. Invited guests enthusiastically purchased raffle tickets and were delighted…

rockwood

Jukebox Hits

Jukebox Hits is a fun musical currently showing at the beautiful Rockwood Theatre at Sibaya Casino, just a few kilometres north of the Umhlanga CBD. The venue is a supper theatre and guests can either bring or order their own food. Drinks can only be purchased within the theatre. The term ‘jukebox’ became popular in…

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Ant Man & The Wasp: Fun, Family Entertainment

Ant Man & The Wasp is the latest Marvel superhero movie to be released. A sort of an antihero, Ant Man (Paul Rudd) is full of foibles and weaknesses. His sidekick, the Wasp, definitely has things more together and Wasp’s quest to find her long-lost mother forms the plot of the film. There are several…

side of the ship

SA Agulhas 2 Open Day Sends a Message

On Oceans Day 9 June this year South Africa’s SA Agulhas 2 was opened to the public in Durban. Groups of people were taken through this beautifully maintained ship, shown its different areas, and told how scientific research on the ship takes place. Onboard laboratories were used by scientists to conduct marine, environmental, biological and…

Incredibles 2

Movie fun for the whole family

Need a movie for the whole family this weekend? Don’t miss Incredibles 2 which opens today at Ster Kinekor, Gateway. Read A Feast of Tales‘ review here: https://wp.me/p4c1s1-rB.

Kyle Lloyd

Oceans Matter

Plastic pollution and climate change are very real. Even in the remotest parts of the earth. In fact, those remote polar regions are the sections of earth that feel climate change effects the most. And those same environments, far from human habitation, are subject to some of the same plastic pollution we struggle with in…

rocomamas straw

RocoMamas Says ‘No!’

Umhlanga Tourism advocates the elimination of single-use plastics from everyday use. We recently featured The George’s and The Oyster Box‘s efforts in this regard. In support of other local Umhlanga businesses who are cutting down their reliance on these pollutants, we highlight here another restaurant that has joined the ban on plastic straws: RocoMamas. ‘The…

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The George Leads the Way

Pete Ely has had enough. When his young daughter came home from the beach after swimming with plastic (not sea creatures) one too many times, Pete decided that The George had seen its last (plastic) straw. The proprietor of one of Umhlanga’s best-known pubs has banned plastic straws and polystyrene take-away containers from the bar/grill…

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Humphrey Announced as Umhlanga Tourism Ambassador

BY UMHLANGA TOURISM · PUBLISHED 26TH JANUARY 2018 · UPDATED 26TH JANUARY 2018 Humphrey is going strong in his campaign to be a dog in a million. Over the festive season he raised a whopping R8000 for the SPCA – a timely donation because of the influx of strays to the animal charity at that…

Humphrey-face

Help Humphrey Become a Dog in a Million

BY UMHLANGA TOURISM · 14TH OCTOBER 2017 Humphrey is aiming to be a dog in a million. Here’s your chance to help him get there! Umhlanga-based Humphrey (who may be a Russian wire-haired terrier, we can’t be sure) raises funds for the SPCA and his challenge is to schools, companies, organisations and individuals to donate…

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What Are you Doing for Tourism? #WeDoTourism.

BY UMHLANGA TOURISM · PUBLISHED 15TH SEPTEMBER 2017 · UPDATED 12TH SEPTEMBER 2017 ‘Africa’s game reserves and national parks are scattered about this vast continent to an estimated total of 850,000 sqkm. That is equivalent to an area much larger than Britain and Germany combined. In many of these wildlife reserves, you can see the…

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Weekly Fun at Umhlanga Parkrun

The Umhlanga Parkrun takes place every Saturday at 8am. An average of 500 to 600 runners/walkers/trotters gather at the Umhlanga Pier each week and set off in a northerly direction once the welcome has been given. Insanely fast runners sprint away at the front of the pack and a mix of others jostle their way…