Mount Moreland, Umhlanga Coast

Just 30 kilometres north of Durban, the capital city of KwaZulu-Natal and a bustling urban epicentre, is the little community of Mount Moreland. However, while small and nestled away in a conservation area, this part of the world is known for the three million European barn swallows that roost here every year between spring (beginning in September) and summer (ending around February).

The lush landscapes, ample wetlands and balmy conditions are ideal for the swallows, whose arrival is celebrated at the annual Return of the Swallows Festival. Of course, these conditions are also perfect for many other bird, plant and land-based animal varieties, and this is recognised as being a veritable green lung for this part of Africa. It is also close to Umdloti Beach, which is a little resort town that, while quiet almost all year round, comes alive with tourists in the summer holidays and around Easter.

Mount Moreland was initially established in the 1950’s as a township, or informal settlement. Today, most plots are still under private ownership, some with homes on them and some vacant. However, a recent initiative to rezone Mount Moreland means that there is a renewed focus on development within the realm of eco-friendly standards. This is exciting for local residents as well as visitors, both of whom will benefit. Locals get to enjoy the financial advantages of development and the tourism industry, while visitors are privy to being part of the celebration of the splendour of South Africa.

Mount Moreland is also conveniently situated. In addition to being just 30 minutes’ drive from Durban, it is less than three kilometres from the new King Shaka International Airport, from which many begin their South African experience. This is another important reason for its rezoning and development, as it is conveniently placed to welcome and accommodate visitors from all over the world. Still, the primary focus will be on the natural wealth and value of the area of Mount Moreland and its surrounds.

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