It’s the beautiful beaches and vibrant atmosphere that draw travellers to Umhlanga. The chic suburb in KwaZulu-Natal (a 20-minute drive from Durban) boasts an incredible range of exciting shopping locations, a variety of trendy eateries, a charming coastline, beautiful green spaces and fun activities. There are so many things for you to enjoy, but not to worry, we’ll help you discover the top things to do in Umhlanga.
Fun and Adventure
1. Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Reserve
The setting that Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Reserve offers will have you falling in love. The 26-hectare reserve sits on the coast of the Indian Ocean. Indulge in the pristine as you spot many different bird species and a variety of plants and trees. Take rejuvenating walks along the beautiful river ponds.
The reserve is home to two other popular things to do in Umhlanga. First, there’s the Hawaan Forest, a charming location that’s known for breath-taking scenery. For the more adventurous, enjoy access to the Umhlanga Lagoon Hiking Trail.
A side note: at the beach, behind the dunes, is an unofficial nudist spot. If you’re the free-spirited type, why not join in? If not, keep this in mind when you visit the Umhlanga Nature Reserve.
Entrance to the reserve is free and open from 06:00 – 19:00. For more information, phone +27 31 205 1271.
You can easily reach the Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Reserve with direct access available at Breakers Resort.
Co-ordinates: 29°42’44.7″S, 31°05’35.6″E
2. Mindgame Escape
If you love figuring out clues, then why not see how well you can solve and escape one of Mindgame Escape’s locked rooms? Bring the family or some friends along to form your own team of adventurers to tackle one of the top things to do in Umhlanga.
The game starts with your team being locked in a room, after which you have 60 minutes to escape. Gather all the clues, solve the puzzles, combine information, figure out secret meanings, and trigger hidden mechanisms! While you are meant to escape within 60 minutes, a lot of would-be detectives only escape within 90 minutes.
Take note, you can only make your booking online. No other forms of requesting a time slot will be accepted.
Make sure you’re at the venue 15 minutes … (no earlier than that).
|2 players:||R250 per person|
|3-4 players:||R225 per person|
|5-6 players:||R200 per person|
Plan accordingly so that you factor in time for parking. If you are late, you will miss your time slot. For large groups, no one can be late, the room locks promptly at the start of the time slot.
|Address:||Granada Square, 2nd Floor – Room 205, 16 Chartwell Drive, Umhlanga|
|Phone:||+27 87 238 2524 (only for general queries)|
|Opening Hours:||09:00 – 21:00|
3. WavePark Gateway
All adrenaline junkies, young and old, WavePark Gateway is where you’ve got to go! The park presents you with a great selection of exciting things to do in Umhlanga. There’s the Flowrider, letting you ride an endless perfect wave. Enjoy thrilling slides down the Supertubes*, which run down for 180 metres.
Three zones are available just for the kids. There’s the Splashpad*, where they can have loads of splashing fun. The Toddlers Zone is the best and safest place for the little ones, with adult supervision ensuring kids’ safety and parents’ peace of mind. Inflatable Park offers children smaller, yet still fun-packed slides. You can also book a Bungee Trampoline for more exhilarating thrills. For the skaters, there’s the Skate Park, an awesome skate bowl. There’s fun interactive sand art as well that you can add to your booking.
* The Supertubes and Splashpad are included with the Half and Full Day passes.
|Full Day:||R170 per person|
|Half Day:||R120 per person|
|Kids Under 5 Half Day:||R60 per person|
|Park Entry After 14:30:||R90 per person|
|Spectators/Entrance:||R20 per person|
|Flowrider:||R150 per hour|
|Flowrider Party (10 max):||R1500 per hour|
|Skate Park:||R20 (entry) R40 (skateboard hire)|
|Bungee Trampoline:||R40 per 5 minutes|
|Address:||G240, Gateway Theatre of Shopping, 1 Palm Boulevard, Umhlanga|
|Phone:||+27 31 584 9400|
|Opening Hours:||Monday to Sunday, 09:00 – 17:00|
4. Umhlanga Beach
If you’re looking for a serene outdoor venue, Umhlanga Beach is the place to go. Travellers from around the world praise its cleanliness and tranquil atmosphere. Indulge in one of the calmer things to do in Umhlanga by taking a relaxing stroll along the promenade, which stretches on for 2.5 kilometres. Watch the surfers as they tackle the waves.
Care for a swim? The waters close to shore are clear and calm enough for an easy swimming experience and lifeguards are stationed at Umhlanga Beach, ensuring your safety. You can also hire umbrellas and deck chairs. The beach is within walking distance of some of the best restaurants in Umhlanga, such as those at Oyster Box.
Co-ordinates: 29°43’24.7″S, 31°05’22.4″E
5. La Lucia Beach
For those who love the more adventurous of things to do in Umhlanga, such as snorkelling, diving, surfing, and swimming, head to La Lucia Beach. The warm waters of the Indian Ocean make this part of the Umhlanga coastline perfect for swimming, while coral reefs and colourful fish will ensure divers and snorkellers have a wonderful time! Experience a taste of the tropical at La Lucia Beach, which offers a tranquil scene too, thanks to its proximity to the rural parts of KwaZulu-Natal. The beach is not far from the city centre of Umhlanga, as well as a number of shops and restaurants.
Co-ordinates: 29°45’22.5″S, 31°04’10.2″E
6. Gateway Theatre of Shopping
A visit to Umhlanga wouldn’t be complete without spending some quality time at the Gateway Theatre of Shopping. The stylish shopping venue offers you one of the best shopping experiences in South Africa. Explore more than 400 stores, 70 eateries, and exciting entertainment.
Shop at major department stores, as well as at high-end jewellery shops and designer boutiques. You can also enjoy a different kind of cinema experience by watching a movie at the IMAX theatre.
|Address:||1 Palm Boulevard, Umhlanga|
|Opening Hours:||Monday to Thursday, 09:00 – 19:00
Friday to Saturday 09:00 – 21:00
Sunday 09:00 – 18:00
7. La Lucia Mall
If you’re missing the shopping scene while at La Lucia Beach, head to La Lucia Mall. The classy shopping location is home to more than 130 international, national, and local shops and a range of eateries from well-known favourites to more unique outlets.
|Address:||90 William Campbell Drive, La Lucia|
|Opening Hours:||Monday to Friday, 09:00 – 18:00
Saturday 08:30 – 17:00
Sunday 09:00 – 17:00
8. Umhlanga Farmers Market
Are you looking for the perfect self-catering accommodation in Umhlanga? Then you’ll definitely want to check out what’s on sale at the weekly Umhlanga Farmers Market. Explore the variety of stalls, and peruse a collection of fresh produce, delicious home-cooked meals, fresh vegetables, artisanal cheese, and plants. Treat yourself to tasty muffins, cakes and sweets. Enjoy all that the Umhlanga Farmers Market has to offer at affordable prices.
|Phone:||+27 74 445 6186|
|Opening Hours:||Wednesday, 08:30 – 12:00|
Satisfy Your Appetite
When you’re not out exploring everything Umhlanga has to offer, why not settle down for a bite to eat? Enjoy delicious treats of the Italian and Mediterranean flavours and indulge in great music at Angelo’s. The energetic staff will make sure you have a fabulous time at Angelo’s. Expect to pay around R250 for an unforgettable evening of great food and ambience. Make sure to phone ahead to book a table.
|Address:||Shop 10, Granada Square, 16 Chartwell Drive and Ocean Way, Umhlanga Rocks|
|Phone:||+27 31 561 3245|
|Opening Hours:||Monday to Sunday, 12:15 – 14:30 and 18:15 – 21:30|
10. Elements Café
For a more laid-back setting, head to Elements Café on Lighthouse Road. Try out their scrumptious bakery treats. Treat your tastebuds to their meal selection, which features a variety of influences from around the world, including French, Indian, and Mediterranean. Relax with a range of classy cocktails. Elements Café provides you with a great atmosphere and stunning views of the Indian Ocean. You can expect to pay an average of 450 per person.
|Address:||1 Lighthouse Road, Umhlanga|
|Phone:||031 561 2211|
|Opening Hours:||Monday to Sunday, 12:00 – 21:00|
11. Butcher Boys
If you’re looking for the best steak in Umhlanga, Butcher Boys is the place to be. Situated in the Lighthouse Mall, the establishment will serve you unforgettable 3-course meals at R600 per person. Choose from a delightful variety of well-prepared steaks and poultry. An added highlight is the friendly and efficient service you’ll enjoy when you visit. Visitors love Butcher Boys so much that many even say a 5-star rating doesn’t do the place justice!
|Address:||Shop 1, Lighthouse Mall, Lighthouse Road, Umhlanga Rocks|
|Phone:||+27 31 561 4106|
|Opening Hours:||Monday to Thursday, 12:00 – 22:00
Friday to Saturday, 12:00 – 22:30
Sunday 12:00 – 21:30
12. Ocean Terrace
Book a table at Ocean Terrace and you’ll soon see why the place is so named. The eatery offers visitors a magnificent view of the Indian Ocean. Enjoy a relaxed Bistro dining experience, with their meal options featuring local flavours and styles, as well as those from throughout Africa and India. Ocean Terrace is popular for its charming atmosphere and the high standard of service. R600 gets you classy salads, tasty sushi, scrumptious wood-fired pizzas, and delightful buffets.
|Address:||The Oyster Box, 2 Lighthouse Road, Umhlanga Rocks|
|Phone:||+27 31 514 5000|
|Opening Hours:||Monday to Sunday, Breakfast 07:00 – 10:30; Lunch 12:00 – 15:00; Dinner 18:00 – 22:30|
13. Olive and Oil
Escape the rush of activity in Umhlanga and catch your breath at Olive & Oil. This casual dining establishment offering delicious Italian cuisine includes a spacious interior with plenty of seating as well as a trendy outdoor area boasting beautiful views of the vibrant Chartwell Drive. Discover a delightful selection of meal options, such as their gourmet menu, as well as pasta, pizzas, seafood and more. Dishes range from R60 to R270.
|Address:||Shop.19, Chartwell Centre, 15 Chartwell Drive, Umhlanga|
|Phone:||+27 31 561 2618|
|Opening Hours:||Monday to Thursday 12:00 – 15:00 and 18:00 – 21:30
Friday 12:00 – 15:00 and 18:00 – 22:00
Saturday 12:00 – 16:00 and 18:00 – 22:00
Sunday 12:00 – 21:00
So, now you have a list of the most popular things to do in Umhlanga!
If you’re not lucky enough to call Umhlanga home, book cheap flights to Durban with Travelstart and indulge in all that Umhlanga has in store for you.
Do you have your own preferred list of things to do in Umhlanga? Tell us about them in the comments below.
All information on this blog page was correct at the time of publishing and may change at any time without prior notice. Travelstart will not be held liable for loss or inconvenience resulting from the use of out-dated or incorrectly noted information.