Things To Do in Richards BayDurnford Lighthouse
Where? Near Richards Bay, KwaZulu Natal
How much? Price on request
An unattended aceylene gas lighthouse, Durnford was originally erected in 1916 on a headland 15 kilometres south of Richards Bay. The headland on which the lighthouse rests takes its name from a Colonel AW Durnford, who was colonial engineer for Natal in the 1870s.
Today the lighthouse looks completely different, but the original lattice steel tower stood 12 metres high with an AGA lantern similar to that at Cape St Lucia on top. One white flash was emitted every five seconds, carried some 13 sea miles out to sea.
Access to the now modern completely white stone lighthouse, with a tower that stands close to a little building, is not as difficult as it once was when animal -drawn transport was all there was to travel the barely there road. Now you can reach the lonely outpost by car. The white lighthouse tower is said to come from the plans of army watch towers and is the same as Hondeklip Baai and South Sand Bluff lighthouses.
Originally a young Zulu man was employed as a part-time custodian of the light and he maintained the grounds and reported any malfunctions to a shopkeeper in Umhlatuzi, who then let Durban know. Today the still unattended lighthouse needs constant surveillance as it has been vandalised more than a few times.