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Crocodile Creek Sean and big croc

Crocodile Creek snaps back into action

There can’t be many unreformed killers on the FunShine Coast enjoying themselves more than Umthakathi. “He came from the Nseli River. He killed a 12-year-old boy,” says Sean Le Clus of the big male Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus) menacingly near his feet. “It’s a fantastic sentence for murder. You lie around the pool and get…

PLEASANT: The poolside patio at Manaar House.

The house that Jack built:
A winning B&B formula

In this, the first in an occasional series on B&Bs and guesthouses, we chat to Jack Hogan. His four-star Manaar House consistently features in the top of the pops. At time of publishing it ranked No. 2 on TripAdvisor, an online travel and tourism booking platform. The ranking was based on 298 guest reviews. Booking.com,…

Tour guide Greg Garson and Gandhi grandson at Spioenkop

Top tour guide on the road ahead

Form is temporary, class is permanent, sports journalists are wont to say whenever a much-loved team or star player slumps. Greg Garson, the Umhlanga Tourism committee member, tour operator and national guide, is hoping the same holds true for him. Of course, the sporting analogy is a little wide of the mark. It’s not like…

coffee at the Daily Dose in Umhlanga

Dark days call for dose of the good stuff

If you ever doubted the addictive powers of a fresh cup of coffee, you probably haven’t seen the line at Daily Dose. We’re talking about the little wood-clad kiosk above Umhlanga’s Durban View Park, which reopened in early May to the considerable approval of its clientele, new and old. These being lockdown times, the caffeine-lovers…

Umhlanga soccer football

Beautiful game:
Umhlanga’s Sabelo in winning team

To thousands of visitors he’s the friendly, unassuming chap behind the information desk. And to many B&B owners and other operators, he’s the helpful voice at the end of the phone line. But few perhaps realise that Umhlanga Tourism’s Sabelo Didi also does a lot of good work in a completely different ball game. The…

Umhlanga holiday flats

Umhlanga Rocks:
Flat out good value

A bargain is up for grabs for Umhlanga Rocks tourists, with special rates on holiday flats on offer through to the end of November. All but a handful of the area’s estimated 700 holiday flats were empty at present while Covid-19 lockdown restrictions remained in place. But the sector was preparing for this to change.…

Umhlanga promenade

A pash for the promenade:
It’s been like starting over again

Sometimes you have to lose something – if only for a while – to realise just how much it means to you it. Certainly that’s been the case for FunShine Coast residents, cooped up in their homes for five weeks. The modest easing of Coronavirus lockdown restrictions which now lets them out for a few…

Golf Umhlanga

Winter’s golf coast
with the most

Umhlanga really is a swinging little place. And if you love golf then around about now is the sweetest of times to be in the unofficial capital of KwaZulu-Natal’s FunShine Coast. Just ask the organisers of the IGT Pro Tour, which was scheduled to return to these shores from mid May through to July next…

Saraj Ferguson

SunShine Coast swimmer Sarah
on her virus showdown and plastic

Durban North endurance swimmer and eco-warrior Sarah Ferguson has renewed her call to shoppers and local businesses to curb plastic use despite the hygiene challenges posed by Covid-19. Ferguson was speaking to Umhlanga Tourism a few days after completing her isolation for coronavirus. Readers of this blog and FunShine Coast residents will recall that Ferguson…

Durban North Japanese Gardens

Koan and the barbarians:
Durban’s Japanese Gardens puzzler

In the previous blog in this series on the Durban North Japanese Gardens, we reached the top of a slope overlooking an outdoor chapel and eastwards to the sea… ‘But at my back,” as the poet told his coy mistress, “I always hear, time’s winged chariot hurrying near.” Our stroll in the gardens had gone…

Japanese Gardens

Picnic time for the Teddy’s boy:
provisioning a Japanese Gardens jaunt

Ah, the quiet pleasures of a walk in the park. And so it was last week, on the eve of lockdown, as opportunities for public recreation began to disappear like so many rolls of twin-ply from the supermarket shelf, I returned to the Japanese Gardens. As returns go, it was not one of those nostalgic…

Granny's Pool dog walking

Yebo, gogo!
Why Granny’s Pool is doggone cool

They wrote a song about Copacabana. Patriotic Aussies reckon Bondi’s a beaut. Waikiki is wonderful, if eroded. While a stretch of shore on Phi Phi Islands became so famous after it featured in a film starring Leonardo DiCaprio, the Thai government had to limit visitor numbers.  Some beaches seem to capture the popular imagination.  Then…

FEATURED IMAGE: Trevor Sithole (8) of Manhattan Mews, Umhlanga, on the rowing machine. Pictures: MH

Outdoor gym muscles in on flab

Unless you’re on the right side of 25 or genetically blessed, you won’t get that trim Umhlanga beach body lounging on the sofa scoffing pizza and binge watching miniseries. There’s a price to pay for everything. But the good news for residents and visitors to the FunShine Coast is that it has recently got easier,…

FEATURED IMAGE: Desmond O’Connor, the new general manager of the Oyster Box Hotel says his “dream job” has surpassed all expectations.

Meet the new boss at the Oyster Box

WHEN people ask the new general manager of the Oyster Box Hotel why on earth he moved from Cape Town, his response is immediate. “It’s because of the people and the hotel,” Desmond O’Connor explains. Two weeks into his dream job at the world-famous award-winning five-star hotel, O’Connor, has also got used to people telling…

bowls club action in Umhlanga

Roll with it baby!
Club will bowl you over

A heresy to say it here perhaps, but Umhlanga’s beaches aren’t for everyone. And even ardent holidaymakers sometimes tire of the seaside and seek alternatives. Chris Carter reckons the answer lies at the local lawn bowls club. Carter, coach of the Umhlanga Bowling Club, says the sport offers a winning way to hone your physical,…

Beachwood Mangroves beach entrance

Marvellous mangroves!

Come see Beachwood’s battling crabs, cool trees Talk about the survival of the fittest. If you need a neat reminder of how competition shapes our natural world, take a tour of Durban’s Beachwood Mangroves. Assuming it’s low tide at the reserve, at the mouth of the Mgeni River, expect to witness pitched battles among its…

ONWARD AND UPWARD: The Sterkfontein Dam, near Harrismith. Prayer has helped lift its level, says Jonathan Syster.

Umhlanga fan goes the extra mile

What do you do if you have a soft spot for Umhlanga Rocks and its famous pier?  Mention it to a few friends, maybe. Share a picture or two on social media, perhaps… Well if your name’s Jonathan Syster, a regular visitor to the seaside fun spot, then you go the extra mile to spread…

FEATURED IMAGE: Mr and Miss Umhlanga 2019, Greg Kourie, 19, and Janique Pretorius,16. All pictres by ROY REED.

Lifesaver crowned Miss Umhlanga

Forget the clichés about tantrums and tiaras. While the Miss and Mr Umhlanga pageant was under way at Main Beach at the weekend, one of the eventual winners was torn between the onstage excitement and the drama of a rescue and a broken leg incident nearby. But Janique Pretorius,16, kept her cool on a steamy Saturday,…

FEATURED IMAGE: Andre Roodt of the Durban Free Chapter of the Harley Owners Group arrives at the carols concert with a pillion passenger in a million, Santa Claus. In the background are some of the toys donated by carolers to needy kids and the entertainers on the Granada Square stage. Pictures: ROY REED

Claus and the Harley kêrels rev carols concert

Carols under the Stars, Umhlanga’s annual Christmas concert, more than lived up to its billing with stellar performances from the entertainers on Thursday. And the crowd, including visitors from Columbia, the US and the UK, packed the courtyard at Granada Square, joining in heartily to sing the much-loved yuletide tunes. It proved to be very…

Umhlanga's carols concert entertainer Mikey Mathaba

And the beat goes on:
Big hitter back for Umhlanga’s carols concert

Most everyone loves the old Christmas favourites and yule certainly be getting that at Umhlanga’s Carols under the Stars concert. But to mix things up a bit, and back by popular demand, will be beatboxer Mikey Mathaba. Mathaba, who is among an impressive lineup of artists set to entertain at the Thursday 19 December concert,…

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…

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…

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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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…

shop front

An Awesome South African Gift Shop

In the spacious Pearls Shopping Mall in Umhlanga Rocks is a bright and colourful gift shop called AWESOME AFRICA. African – or more precisely South African – it definitely is. Most of the gifts on display are sourced and proudly made in South Africa. Now that really is awesome! ‘Supporting South African-made products should be…

two guys

The Taste of Summer

La Cremosa is an Italian gelateria in Umhlanga. Well situated in the land of eternal summer (Umhlanga) La Cremosa occupies space next door to News Café on Palm Boulevard opposite the main entrance to Gateway Shopping Centre. This genuine Italian gelateria, run by Italians Mauro and Sandro, offers a typical Italian experience. Coffee and bakery…

snakepharm photo

Snakepharm: Researching Antivenom

Hluhluwe, and Zululand in general, is home to some of the most varied landscape, ecology and wildlife on the East Coast of South Africa. It is also the base for Snakepharm, an NPO that is researching interesting new antivenom products and methods. Donald Schultz is a herpetologist who works for Snakepharm. He was born and…

Logo

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…

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Culture Shines at the Umhlanga Tourism Summer Festival

Thanks to the Department of Arts & Culture the Umhlanga Tourism Summer Festival of 2018 hosted two surprise entertainment pieces: Young Mbazo on Reconciliation Day 16 December, and The Linda Vargas Flamenco Dancy Company on Monday 17 December. Young Mbazo – get this – are the grandchildren of musician Joseph Shabalala, founder of the hugely…

AK1Q5877

Umhlanga Tourism Shows It’s Cool to Care

A group of children from Girls and Boys Town showed up on the beach on Tuesday 18 December to take part in Umhlanga Tourism’s fun in the sun festival. The children had great fun playing games and all were given a number of super prizes, donated by generous sponsors. These included vouchers from Cornubia Mall…

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…

girl

The Umhlanga Summer Festival 2018: It’s Cool to Care – About People

The annual Umhlanga Summer Festival brings a host of family-centred holiday activities to Umhlanga for the 2018 festive season for visitors and locals alike, from 14 – 23 December. Understanding that the season is about goodwill, family and community, the theme for this year’s festival is It’s Cool to Care – with all aspects of…

Carols.4

Umhlanga Summer Festival – Carols Under the Stars

Always a crowd favourite, the annual al-fresco Umhlanga Carols Under the Stars, takes place at the Granada Square in Umhlanga Rocks on Thursday 20 December from 6pm in the courtyard of the favourite shopping and dining destinations on the Umhlanga Strip. The concert is co-ordinated by Shelley McLean featuring a myriad special guests. The evening…

Neena Bezuidenhout

Miss Umhlanga Beauty Pageant Summer 2018

The tenth Miss Umhlanga Beauty Pageant will take place on Monday 17 December 2018 on Umhlanga Main Beach, as one of the highlights of the Umhlanga Summer Festival programme. Registration is from 10.30am on the Millennium Stage, Main Beach, and the competition will run from 12 noon until 2pm. Winners will be crowned on the…

Chempac.4

Be Ecofriendly & Buy Local

Review by: Brenda Daniels Environmentally friendly alternatives are becoming more and more available, and plastic replacements and buying local are two great ways to cut down on pollution. One company that offers both non-plastic and local is Kloof-based Chempac Distribution. Chempac Distribution supplies B&Bs, guesthouses, coffee shops, restaurants, laundromats and others in the Durban area…

SUD

Barnyard Returns to Durban at Suncoast

The authentic Barnyard Theatre returns to Durban and will be opening at Suncoast soon! The Barnyard Theatre is returning to Durban with the launch of its new venue at the renowned SUNCOAST Casino Hotels & Entertainment – a member of the prestigious Tsogo Sun Group. The planned opening date is 12 December 2018 and bookings…

having fun-1st PR

It’s Cool to Care

The Umhlanga Tourism Summer Festival 2018 is just around the corner and this year’s theme is: Cool to Care. The popular Umhlanga Tourism Summer Festival will this year feature old favourites such as the Miss Umhlanga Beauty Pageant, Carols Under the Stars, and 10 days of beach fun. There will also be a relatively new…

dav

Escape Hunt – Have Fun In (or Out)

WIN these super exciting prizes from The Escape Hunt Experience Durban – DUR, South Africa 1) 3 x GROUP experiences for 4 people 2) 2 x TEAM BUILDING experiences for 10 people. The Escape Hunt Experience is a fantastic global entertainment franchise offering unique ‘escape the room’ adventures with branches all over the world from Brussels…

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…

crazy korean

Experience Korean

‘That’s it,’ I decided, ‘I’m going to become a vegetarian.’ I was enjoying my first taste of Korean food, at Glenashley-based restaurant, The Crazy Korean. The first course was a Pajeon, followed by a meatless Dol-sot Bi-bim-bap. The pajeon was a pancake about the size of a small dinner plate filled with spring onion, carrot and…

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…

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Good food, good restaurants, good company

Do you enjoy good food? Eating out? But have no-one to go with? Then sign up for a dining experience with DINE4SIX. I attended a DINE4SIX event recently  and cannot recommend it highly enough. DINE4SIX is a platform through which people (six at a time) wanting to eat out can sign up for a restaurant…

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…

Humphrey raises R20 000 for the SPCA

FunShine Coast Champions

Okay so Umhlanga doesn’t have just anyone leading their campaigns. No, they have champions! Kevin Ellis, entertainer, style guru and Umhlanga Tourism’s Easter Festival host, is a dance champion. Kevin returned to South Africa on Wednesday 28 March struggling to carry the number of trophies he won at the 2018 European Championships in line dancing.…

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The Oyster Box embraces buckets of rubbish & says ‘NO’ to straws

Plastic seems to be in everything and almost impossible to avoid these days. But with the advent of social media awareness around the ills of single-use plastic growing daily, various initiatives such as #refusethestraw, #plasticpollution and #singleuseplastics, have galvanised the public into using their voices and purchasing power to stamp out its gratuitous use. Umhlanga…

pete ely.1

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…

Harley rider Andre Roodt escorting Santa

Families Enjoy Festive Fun

BY UMHLANGA TOURISM · 23RD DECEMBER 2017 What a wonderful evening was had by all at Granada Square in Umhlanga on 20 December. The occasion? Umhlanga Tourism’s Carols by Starlight. Sandwiched in between rainy days, Wednesday the 20thwas calm and sunny, perfect for this family outdoor event. About 600 people fitted comfortably into the square…

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Ready, Set, Go!

BY UMHLANGA TOURISM · 15TH DECEMBER 2017 Huge thanks must go to the Umhlanga UIP for giving the ablution block at Main Beach an overhaul. The upgrade included a new paint job and replacement of broken amenities. Paint was supplied by eThekwini Municipality. Also looking good is the Millennium stage on Main Beach. X-treme Cleaning…

mindgames

Can You Escape?

BY UMHLANGA TOURISM · 6TH DECEMBER 2017 New to Umhlanga is the intriguing detective game experience Mindgame Escape. The venue is just across the road from the Umhlanga Tourism office, on the second floor of Granada Square, Chartwell Drive. Umhlanga Tourism recently gathered a team of six and arrived in a flurry, having made our…

forest-guide

Family Friendly Festive Season

BY UMHLANGA TOURISM · PUBLISHED 23RD NOVEMBER 2017 · UPDATED 23RD NOVEMBER 2017 The annual uMhlanga Summer Festivalbrings a myriad family-centred holiday activities to uMhlanga for the festive season for visitors and locals alike, from 14 – 23 December. Of course, being uMhlanga, one of the main areas of focus is the beach. The Beach Festival…

Superwoman: She’s Real!

Superwoman: She’s Real!

BY UMHLANGA TOURISM · PUBLISHED 17TH AUGUST 2017 · UPDATED 17TH AUGUST 2017 In honour of Women’s Month… Who said Superwoman was a fictional comic character only? There is proof that she exists in real life. In various forms. Take these ladies as a modern-day, local example. Lynn Eaton, Shivanie Naidoo, Trish Roberts-Loose, Claudette Lingenfelder…

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Anchor’s Rest Maintains Number One on TripAdvisor

BY UMHLANGA TOURISM · 11TH AUGUST 2017 Anchor’s Rest Guest House was recently listed on TripAdvisor as the number one of 43 B&Bs in the Umhlanga area. Cilla Rose, owner of Anchor’s Rest, attributed the rating to several factors. These included customer service, consistency, flexibility and enjoyment of people. “You can’t be in this business…