Tourism, Accommodation and Historical Attractions in Natal, South Africa
The Natal Coast
The Natal North Coast
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This busy seaside resort also acts as a dormitory town to the adjacent city of Durban. there is a vibrant shopping area with plenty of shops and eateries and a well developed beach area.
Towards the northern border of Umhlanga is the Hawaan Forest, a patch of local bush that is still in pristine condition. Although not open to the public, access may be gained through the Umhlanga Centre of the Wildlife Society (5611682).
At the north end of the beach is a trail through coastal dune forest to the Umhlanga Lagoon, ending in a number of braai spots. There is a raised walkway over the lower reaches of the lagoon. The trail takes around 20 minutes.
The best known landmark is the lighthouse, completed in 1954. It projects a fixed red light that warns vessels waiting in the roadstead to enter Durban Bay that they are too close to shore.
On the hill above Umhlanga is the Natal Sharks Board. This body is reasponsible for protecting bathers against shark attacks by installing and maintaing shark nets off the most popular beaches. It also engages in an active research programme to learn more about sharks and to devise more acceptable ways to prevent shark attacks.
There are daily shark dissections and a display hall with mounted exhibits and a curio shop.
Adjacent to the Sharks Board is the new Gateway Shopping Centre, the largest such structure in the southern hemisphere.