Umhlanga - vibrant and affordable

2013-08-28 19:09
The vibrant seaside town of Umhlanga, along the north of KwaZulu-Natal’s sought after coastline, plays host to buckets full of sun-seeking South Africans every year.

The sea here is warm, the waters are protected against sharks, there’s sunshine for most of the year and it’s an all round happy holiday destination.

Unfortunately, its ideal location has also brought a string of resorts and expensive holiday flats lined up along the beachfront.

A search for accommodation and restaurants in Umhlanga yields mostly expensive results, and not everyone can afford to stay in five-star hotels and eat three-course meals every day.

Yet an affordable holiday to Umhlanga is definitely possible. You just need to know where to look. These accommodation options, restaurants and activities will give you and your family a fun, sunshine holiday without maxing out your credit card.

Restaurants in Umhlanga

Kaz Kreol
Recently opened, and not yet flooded with diners every night of the week, Kaz Kreol serves delicious seafood, but it’s also a great place to stop by in the mornings for breakfast or a lazy lunch. Although they’re in the middle of the renowned Chartwell Drive – where you’ll find all the best restaurants in town – their prices are very reasonable and the food is delicious.

Tel: 031-561-7030
17-20 Protea Mall, Chartwell Drive

Lord Prawn

Another deliciously affordable seafood spot, Lord Prawn specialises in shellfish but you can also tuck into pasta, chicken dishes, curries and steaks. The whole family will go home happy without you spending a fortune.

Tel: 031-561-1133
2 Lagoon Drive, Umhlanga Plaza

Little Havana

Enjoy the chance to dine at Umhlanga’s most popular white cloth, fine dining restaurant without paying through your ears. Little Havana has a daily lunch special where you can enjoy a starter and a main of an every-changing menu, for only R100.

Tel: 031-561-7589
Granada Square, 16 Chartwell Drive

Accommodation in Umhlanga

Beach Break Holiday Letting

Breakers Resort sits on the northern tip of Umhlanga and has one small block of privately owned self-catering units on the same premises. These walk out onto a manicured lawn and enjoy all the facilities of the resort. Beach Break owns a number of these and renting one for a holiday is easy.

Price:  R1 100 a night for a two-sleeper unit in low season

Tel 083-788-2736

Crooked Tree Cottage

Enjoy a bit of special treatment at this three star bed and breakfast. The massive trees in the garden provide much needed shade in the warm and humid summer months. Walk out onto the balcony in the mornings to the sight of the ocean and cool off the afternoons with a dip in the pool below.

Price: From R430 a person a night sharing. Breakfast included.

Tel: 031-561-5759
Email: Contact form on the website

Activities in Umhlanga

Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Reserve

Umhlanga’s promenade runs all along the beachfront for 4km. At it’s northern tip it becomes the Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Reserve. Although you can book guided walks at Breakers Resort (R30) for the 2km walk, you can also do the walk on your own. It’s a beautiful stretch of coastal vegetation that flows out onto a deserted section of Umhlanga’s main beach.

Contact (for a guided walk)
Tel: 031-561-2271

Shark dissection

The folks at the Natal Sharks Board are the ones that keep you safe from shark attacks while you’re enjoying the warm Indian Ocean. Learn more about the research they do and watch as they dissect a shark to reveal parts like its liver and its heart when you pay them a visit. Dissections are especially popular among the young ones. It takes place every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 09h00 and 14h00 and costs R45 for adults and R25 for children and pensioners.

Tel: 031-566-0400
Email: Contact form on the website

The beach

Umhlanga’s main attraction, the clean, crumbly beach that stretches all along the front of the town, is free out of principle. Despite all the hotels and resorts lined up along it, there are no private beaches here and you can literally walk from the one end of town to the other along the sand. Just remember to swim only where the red and yellow lifeguard flags are planted. This keep will keep you and the kids safe from the sharks, the currents and the rocks.

Adél Groenewald writes for Drive South Africa - an online motor vehicle resource, supplying a wide range of car rental, 4x4 hire, Africa camper van rental and self-drive tours
across Southern Africa.

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