I decided that for Jake’s Sunday Post challenge this week, I would show you my seaside ‘village’ of Umhlanga Rocks, situated on the east coast of South Africa, facing the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. Visitors from overseas, as well as all over South Africa, flock to our resort village, to relax and have fun on one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world. The warm subtropical climate means that one can have fun in the sun all the year round. We are so proud of this brilliant new pier, which was built only a couple of years ago.
This area was once the home of the San hunter-gatherers, but was later occupied by Nguni-speaking people who were unified under King Shaka in the early 1800’s into the proud Zulu nation. It came under British control soon after, and became part of the large estate belonging to Sir Marshall Campbell, who sailed to South Africa in 1850. Indian indentured labourers were brought to work on the sugar plantations, with the result that today this area has a vibrant and colourful multiracial flavour. The sugar plantations in our area have all but disappeared to make way for property development.
In 1869, the first beach cottage was built on a rocky site overlooking the sea. The owners served tea and scones to passers by, and the reflective roof of the cottage was used as a beacon by passing ships’ captains to navigate safely around the rocky headland. This cottage was converted into the Oyster Box Hotel hotel in the 1930’s, and in 1953, this distinctive red and white lighthouse was built right in front of it. This hotel has recently been upgraded to the highest 5 star standards, and is an absolute pleasure to visit. It has some of the best restaurants you could ever wish to dine in.
Umhlanga was a favourite family holiday destination for us for many years, and when we retired, we decided to leave Johannesburg and settle here at the coast, as the climate is wonderful. Over the past few decades we’ve seen a lot of change, and the older hotels have either been refurbished into magnificent 5 star establishments, or demolished to make way for huge holiday apartment buildings such as this one.
The village as such hasn’t got any bigger, but of course it’s changed a lot. There used to be just a few small shops along the main street, mostly selling buckets and spades, sun hats and swimsuits, but now, there is a plethora of restaurants and pubs in order to cater for the increased inflow of tourists.
The George pub is a well known watering hole in our village.
and of course there are the african curio shops for the overseas visitors.
Holiday makers and locals alike come here in winter and summer to catch a tan,
paddle around in the rock pools,
do a bit of spear fishing,
or even fly fishing, which I found rather unusual. 🙂
Mostly it’s just nice to relax and watch the surfers doing their thing.
At peak times, it seems a rather overcrowded village to us locals, and we can’t get a parking space for love or money, but for the rest of the year, it’s the ideal village to live in.
What a fun pier! And your village is gorgeous. Definitely a bucket list kind of place. Nice job of ‘villaging’ 😉
Thanks, f&f. It certainly is a favourite destination for many people, and there’s lots of fun to be had in the sun. 😉
Beautiful, warm, vibrant SA. Thanks AD for such a lovely post, the village has certainly changed a lot:-)
Hi there. Yes it certainly has changed. That’s a very good description of SA. 😉
Love your beautiful village. Have yet to visit South Africa. We are hoping to do it with the kids sometime in the next couple of years.
Thanks, Madhu. I hope you do. You’ll love it. So many great photo opportunities. 😉
Art Africa ! 😛 …. oh no @Adin, I can forget myself when shopping ha…ha ..ha
You would just love that shop. It has the most interesting african curios etc.
When we were still living in Pretoria we used to visit Umhlanga regularly, but we haven’t been there in the last 14 years and by the looks of it, it changed quite a lot! The weather was always wonderful, even in winter months!!
Winter is the best time of year here. Yes, you would notice a huge difference, ppd, but it’s still recognisable.;)
for some reason I used to think you live in the Vishoek Kalkbay area. (Don’t ask my why)
I won’t ask you why. I can’t think whatever gave you that idea, Rosa. 😉
Beautiful village! 🙂
Yes it is, aRVee. Thanks so much for your visit and comment. 😉
Seems like a wonderful place to live. And with all that sea and all that sun, you are lucky.
Thanks so much for your visit, bentehaarstad. Yes it is beautiful here. Have a great weekend. 😉
This seems like such a difficult place to live that it is only for those up to the challenge.
Hehehe. Somebody’s got to do it, and we bravely volunteered. 😉
Cheers for stepping up to meet a difficult challenge.
No problem, Frank. 😉
Love this village. The sea, the sand, the blue skies, the fun stuff to do…totally a place I wish to be. Thanks for sharing this amazing post.
Thanks, for your comment. Just got back from a great walk by the beach.;) Have a great weekend.
My favorite destination. My first holiday in Umhlanga was slightly more than 30 years ago, and yes it has changed quite a bit!
Your photographs once again are brilliant.
Thanks, Paul It is certainly a place one wants to keep coming back to, again and again. 😉
I ‘spose all the quaint old family hotels I knew as a child have gone : Umhlanga Rocks, Chaka’s Rock, and so on. Progress 😦
You s’pose right, footsy. Change was inevitable, I suppose.
I love you magnificent village shots… 🙂
Thanks so much for enjoying my post. 😉
TY for visiting mine and I wish I had that post comment edit feature to change that you to your… I do it a lot. 😆
I also make lots of typos. You can just go to Dashboard, comments, and then you can do a “quick edit.” 😉 Most times I don’t bother, unless it’s really bad. I put in your “r” for you. 😉
Same… unless it’s truly atrocious! 🙂
Holidayed twice at Umhlanga Rocks. Loved it. Umhlanga rocks 🙂
Yay, Tilly. So you know exactly what I’m talking about. I think you’d notice quite a change if you came back here. I think it’s for the better, especially the promenade, which is now very wide, and beautifully paved. 😉
Yes, there was hardly anything there when we went, late Eighties and early Nineties.
It’s all been fantastically update since then, especially after the severe storms we had in 2007,which necessitated them redoing the whole promenade. 😉
Nice to learn a bit more about Umhlanga Rocks, love that part of the world and it is a nice place to retire! Have a great day!
Thanks, Gail. It is a perfect place to retire to. Happy weekend to you.;)
we used to stay at the Umhlanga Rocks hotel when I was a child. So much along that coastline has changed. I remember (rather fondly) those little shops that sold, buckets and spades, kiddy sized fishing rods, shells on a string, and icecream
Yes, we’ve also stayed at the Rocks Hotel, The Edge of the Sea, and also at the old Oyster Box in the late 70’s. The other times, we stayed in The Sands. I used to love those little shops too. They really felt like “holiday” to me. 😉
that was part of it, one place had a wonderful bakery that made wonderful crusty bread. we’d get a loaf and just share that with orange juice on the beach
I so remember that bakery. 😉
I was amazed at how much development has gone on there! And some of the houses are HUGE! It is a lovely place to live AD 🙂
Yes it is lovely here, Tandy. You’re right abut the huge mansions here. Our home isn’t one of them. 😉
great photos AD. I haven’t been to Durbs for years. My most vivid recollection being alighting the aircraft into humidity as thick as quick-sand. How do you cope?
Now is the best time of year here. We go to Florida for their winter, so miss out on the humidity here and there. Best of both worlds. 😉
Great blog, we haven’t been for such a long time (and once upon a time we lived in Durban)
Thanks, melouise. You should make a plan to visit again. It’s lovely at this time of year.
Wow it looks awesome (thanks for sharing your lovely pics), that bridge especially – very whale-y? How windy does it get over there?
You’re welcome, Marco. It can get very windy here sometimes. It really blows your hair back, if you have any. 😉 I do, so I don’t like windy days.
The wind is one way to get your done as, lol! Sort of shape it…not so cool for running though, grrr
Hubby runs, but he doesn’t have much hair to worry about. In my next life, I want to be a man. 😉
Hehe just to not have hair? You can always shave it off?
Men look sexy with no hair. 😉
And you could wear a beanie if you wanted to hide yours? Hmmm re your comment, now there’s a thought ;-D
Well. I’ll qualify that, Marco. “Some men. ” 😉
Umhlanga is beautiful,sometimes one forgets how our country South Africa is, thanx for the reminder 🙂
Yes we do sometimes forget, matron. Happy weekend to you. 😉
What a beautiful beach to relax and watch the wave. Thank you for the tour!
You’re welcome, Amy. Have a great weekend. 😉
Beautiful village to tour. It has a lighthouse! Makes it number one in my book.
BE ENCOURAGED! BE BLESSED!
Glad you enjoyed the tour, Francine. I remember that you are quite passionate about lighthouses. 😉
Great work , Your Village represent the advance technology of living a very unique idea, thanks for sharing my friend 🙂
Thanks so much for the lovely theme. I enjoyed it very much. 😉
Your beach looks a lot more swanky than ours and more crowded, too. What a great place to live.
I took those photos up near the lifeguards centre, the only place which is really safe to bathe. It was a public holiday, so was very crowded. Usually it’s not at all busy, and where we live, you’d be unlucky to find even half a dozen people. 😉
That sounds far more inviting. At least in my (ever so) humble opinion. 😉
Great photos, it looks like a lovely area. We have the same problem with parking in summer anywhere near a beach. 🙂
I love the pier the design is different and it looks great, it is fantastic that there are plenty of places to sit and enjoy watching the world go by.
We’re lucky that we live almost on the beach, so don’t have to drive there. I was referring to the parking in the shopping malls. For some strange reason, the holidaymakers seem to spend an awful lot of their time in them. Shopping is a national sport. 😉
Umhlanga is beautiful,sometiimes one forgets how beautiful our country South Africa is, thanx for the reminder. 🙂
So true, matron. It’s not surprising that most South Africans are so passionate about their country, and want this economy to thrive and not be ruined.
Oh how fabulous it looks! the pier looks like a whales rib cage!
It is a whale bone theme, Gilly. When I first saw it, I thought it was elephant tusks. 😉
WOW! This is so beautiful village.. fascinated me. Thank you dear AD, your photographs made me to dream… Love, nia
I think so too, nia. I hope you’re enjoying your birthday. xx
Even being a bicyclist-lifestylist (no,that isn’t a Steve-ism,I saw that on a bumpersticker oddly enough 😛 ),I like those Benze SUV Limo’s,LOL! Beach looks inviting,awesome pics and read (as always,my friend) 🙂
I bet you now want a bumper sticker like that, DC. 😉 That stretch SUV isn’t too shabby, is it? 😉
I can’t imagine living in such a beautiful place! No wonder where you got the name of your blog! I went to South Africa 7 years ago and loved it. Beautiful, fascinating country. I hoPe to visit again!
Thanks, so much for your lovely comment. If you do visit again, you must definitely visit our village. 😉
I sure hope so! I truly loved South Africa and actually follow quite a few bloggers from SA. 🙂 I have such an insatiable wanderlust that it drives me crazy as I want to see everything and go back everywhere. Oh well…keeps me dreaming!
I also have that same urge to see everything. Hope I live long enough……like for another 100 years. 😉
It’s fascinating to get an inside view of a place I have never been to. It looks really lovely. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks, Naomi. It is a lovely place to live. 🙂
It’s great to get down here during your winter, bdt.
Used to go there on holiday when a child… lived in Southbroom for 4 years and have since returned to Pretoria,,, it is nice down there and we’ll return for holidays and stay in one of those cheaper places that are also so good….
Hi AD, certainly a great place to live 😉
I remember when it was just a little place, those were the days!
Yes, it’s certainly lost some of its charm, SC, but progress marches on.
If my memory does not fail me it is totally different to when I was there last sometime in the 1990s!
Your memory doesn’t fail you at all, newsy. That shiny new apartment block is where the old Umhlanga Rocks Hotel used to stand.