View of the skyline and beach of Umhlanga Rocks
|• Councillor||Heinz de Boer (DA)|
|• Total||16.75 km2 (6.47 sq mi)|
|• Density||1,400/km2 (3,700/sq mi)|
|Racial makeup (2011)|
|• Black African||17.1%|
|First languages (2011)|
Umhlanga is a residential, commercial and resort town north of Durban on the coast of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. It is part of the eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality, created in 2000, which includes the greater Durban area. Commonly and erroneously pronounced (by residents and visitors alike) as Umshlanga (the correct pronunciation of "hl" in Umhlanga is similar to the Welsh "ll"), the name means "place of reeds" in isiZulu.
The Oyster Box, a luxury hotel since the 1930s, was originally built as a beach cottage in 1869, before the town had even been founded.
In 1895, Sir Marshall Campbell founded Umhlanga. The town's first hotel was established in 1920, followed by a shop, a lighthouse, the Natal Anti Shark Measures Board (today called the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board) and further hotel developments.
In the 1980s, development expanded inland.
Umhlanga, specifically the former sugarcane fields of Umhlanga Ridge, has become the focus of development in the greater Durban area with many businesses relocating offices from central Durban (similarly to Sandton forming the new centre of Johannesburg), a move that has been criticized for "fragmenting the urban fabric" and furthering "the new apartheid" in Durban. In 2010, Durban International Airport was moved to La Mercy, near Umhlanga, and reopened as King Shaka International Airport.
Umhlanga Rocks has many luxury hotels and apartments right on the beach, including the Cabana Beach Hotel, the Beverly Hills Hotel, the Oyster Box Hotel, the Umhlanga Sands Hotel and Pearls of Umhlanga apartments. Many of these have views of the landmark lighthouse.
Umhlanga Ridge is a new retail, office and residential node situated on a hill overlooking the Indian Ocean. It was largely developed on sugarcane land by property development company, Moreland Estates, owned by the Tongaat-Hulett sugar group. Located on the ridge are Gateway Theatre of Shopping and other shopping centres, motor dealerships, a private hospital and many offices.
Umhlanga Ridge Town Centre is connected by a series of pedestrian-friendly roads, parks and public spaces. The Town Centre is easily accessed by a network of major roads, including the N2.
The Umhlanga Ridge New Town Centre has been under construction for almost a decade. Vela VKE consulted on the structural input for the design of the grade separation bridge and two parking court structures. Civil infrastructure costs amount to R200 million to date.
Together, Umhlanga and Umdloti form the Sugar Coast of KwaZulu-Natal.
Other places of interest in Umhlanga are the Umhlanga Country Club and The Mount Edgecombe Country Club in nearby Mount Edgecombe.
- Official tourism site
- Umhlanga Ridge Town Centre photo gallery
- The Umhlanga Magazine
- Umhlanga's Online Newspaper