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FEATURED IMAGE: Umhlanga Tourism meet the ECR Drive team. From left are: Peter Rose, Nonhlanhla Mtshali, Bongani Mtolo, Mags Westerhof, Sabelo Didi and Gareth Jenkinson.

ECR adds Drive to festival fun

Umhlanga Tourism welcomed East Coast Radio to its offices on Thursday, on the eve of the 2019 Summer Festival. And ECR Drive show presenters Mags Westerhof and Bongani Mtolo were rich in their praise for the area’s charms. Mtolo told listeners he was green with envy when he arrived in Umhlanga Rocks to prepare for…

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,…

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…

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…

FEATURED IMAGE: Mkadebona, one of the Tembe Elephant Parks' big tuskers. Picture: Johan Marais

Jumbo growth for KZN reserve

Plans are afoot to extend one of KwaZulu-Natal’s most important elephant sanctuaries. The 30 000 hectare Tembe Elephant Park, on the southern border with Mozambique, is looking at expanding by 26 000ha. The park had run out of space for its elephants, forcing it to put its females on contraceptives since 2007. The expansion to…

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.…

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…

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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.

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”,…

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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…

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Harness social media to drive your business

Umhlanga Tourism’s Sabelo Didi recently returned from The World Travel Market Africa in Cape Town where he learned about the some of the latest trends and technology impacting the global tourism sector. The World Travel Market Africa, a leading business to business exhibition for the continent’s tourism and travel markets, took place at the International…

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…

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Revive with Fleur De Lis Spa

You spend a frustrating amount of time in traffic each week. Your job and its deadlines take hours of hard work from you every day. In just one hour at Spa Durban the stress of those used minutes will be forgotten. Spa Durban is the home of Fleur De Lis Spa and El Elyon Day…

Waitronathon Winners

Wacky Waitronathon Closes the Umhlanga Tourism Summer Festival

The Umhlanga Tourism Summer Festival 2018 finished on Sunday 23 December in wacky style with a loopy new activation: the Waitronathon. The Waitronathon was a beach obstacle race for waitrons in the Umhlanga area with prizes for first, second and third place. Participants, winners and organisers were delighted with the fun spectacle and they feel…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

Kevin Ellis & Robyn Beck

Umhlanga Tourism Festival Host is a Winner

Kevin Ellis is a champion! Pinetown-boy Kevin returned to South Africa as the reigning European and World, doubles and singles champion after competing in the 2018 World Dance Masters competition in Blackpool, England in August, and the European competition in Dublin, Ireland in March. His partner in the doubles category was Robyn Beck. Kevin’s speciality…

sharon office

Co-working Spaces Catch On

An article in The Mercury newspaper (18 May 2018) stated that worldwide there were 14 411 co-working spaces. Several of those 14-odd thousand are right here in Durban North and Umhlanga it would seem. One such example is ‘The Meeting Place’, situated in Kensington Boulevard, Durban North. The Meeting Place offers a mix of office…

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…

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 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…

Honour Humphrey with a Big Walk

Honour Humphrey with a Big Walk

Humphrey, the friendly Umhlanga Tourism ambassador, will be stretching his legs to raise funds for the SPCA. Join him on 25 March 2018 on the Umhlanga Promenade at 6.30am for an easy 5km walk and make a difference for animals in our community. The ‘Honouring Humphrey Big Walk’ sets off from the pier and 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…