Umhlali, Dolphin Coast

The quaint little sugar farming village of Umhlali is found on the banks of the river of the same name, where in times gone by settlers and locals would sit a while before venturing across - hence it’s name which means ‘the place of waiting’.

Umhlali lies just inland from Salt Rock and Sheffield Beach, some 50 kilometres from Durban and neighbours on trendy Ballito Bay.

Umhlali’s name is derived from the Monkey Orange tree - a small semi-deciduous tree that grows up to six metres in height, the fruit of which is a firm favourite with baboons - that is prolific along the banks of the Umhlali River. The town with its beautiful buildings and distinctly colonial atmosphere provides every reason for a visit, not least for its museum, which houses an old locomotive used to carry sugar cane to the local mill.

The sugar mill offers tours that include first-hand experience of the crushing of sugar cane and a variety of shops easily afford a morning’s worth of browsing. Umhlali’s golf course at the Umhlali country club, with sweeping fairways, exotic palm trees and seven water holes that attract antelope and zebra, gives new definition to the art of golf; and the internationally designed golf course at Zimbali provides further playing pleasure for those who avidly pursue the sport.

Other attractions include horse riding at the Horse Valley Stable Yard in Ballito, Flag Animal Farm at Salt Rock and the glorious beaches of the coast.

Travellers' Reviews

2 Reviews from travellers. All reviews are verified.

Verified reviewgood

We spent the weekend at Umhlali beach recently and drove through to the 'original' Umhlali village. Its a quaint place with a handful of interesting shops (make sure you buy a jar of lemon curd and a bag of chilli bites from Cindy's!). Also pop into Burnedale for a bite to eat or a wander around their pottery gallery. Across the highway is the 'newer' part of Umhlali - I recommend lunch at Sage or perhaps if you are there on either the 1st or 3rd Saturday of the month visit the Litchi Orchard Market.

Helen (Kearsney)

Verified reviewgood

We found that there wasn't a huge "tourist" vibe in Umhlali, but it was sweet and appealing in its own way.

Julia (Scarborough)

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