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Umhlanga lighthouse or “the place of light in the place of reeds” as it is translated from Zulu, shines a bright warning light to sailors while welcoming them to the lively port of Durban.

Candlepower 600 000 C.D.
Character of Light Group flashing, 3 every 20 seconds
Installation Date 24 November 1954
Range 24 sea miles
Structure 21 metre circular concrete tower painted white with a red top 
Type of Light Revolving electric
Other features Fully Automated lighthouse

This lighthouse is fully automated and has never been attended by a lighthouse keeper. The official warden resides at the adjacent original beach cottage of the area, which is now the Oyster Beach Hotel. Portnet Lighthouse Service receives status reports of the nautical garden from the control office that is at the hotel so that the lighthouse never needs to be manned.

Due to the crumbling condition of the original Durban Bluff Lighthouse this maritime guardian was constructed. There is also an additional red light feature on the lighthouse that acts as a secondary warning system to ships who are waiting in the outer anchorage of the busy Durban harbour. The Umhlanga lighthouse stands guard to some of the most treacherous waters of Southern Africa and warns passer by ships of the danger of these waters.

This seaside resort was originally part of the sugar estate of Sir Marshall Campbell, who introduced colourful rickshaws to Durban’s beachfront. Only once a track from the Mountain Edgercombe to Umhlanga was created, did the area then become very popular with the local farmers.

The lighthouse has become a very popular subject for photographers as well as an area landmark, standing at a staggering 21 metres, it is definitely a sight to behold.

Things to do and see

  • Lighthouse Viewing from outside
  • Umhlanga Lighthouse Beach
  • Oyster Beach Hotel
  • Lighthouse Mall, 3 minutes walking distance


There is no admission fee, viewing is permitted during daylight hours.

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