This year’s FIFA World Cup™ will seduce innumerable fans to South Africa. There, however, they will have considerably more to enjoy, with magnificent places to explore that are sure to leave permanent memories.
One of these locations is Durban, one of the nine Host Cities for the tournament, which will stage seven matches, including the hugely anticipated Portugal-Brazil game in Group G and one of the semi-finals. Renowned for its stunning beaches and warm climate, it is also only a short detour away from the iconic Umhlanga Rocks, which lie on the shores of the Indian Ocean, along the Kwa-Zulu Natal coastal area, and provide breathtaking views of the city of Durban.
Umhlanga is an isiZulu word which means a ‘hilly area’. Depending on who you ask, the history of Umhlanga Rocks stretches back to the early 1970s. It started as a residential resort in an exclusive suburb but, over time, started to attract huge numbers of tourists and investors. Today, Umhlanga is not only a residential area, but also a commercial zone.
It boast a number of luxurious hotels and seaside resorts which include the exclusive Beverly Hills, Oyster Box and other renowned holiday destinations. Umhlanga Rocks is about 20 to 30 minutes to Durban’s central business districts. You will also travel almost the same distance between Umhlanga and the newly-built Durban Stadium, where the city’s games at South Africa 2010 will unfold. FIFA.com has selected a few of the many interesting things to do in Umhlanga.
Take a walk along the beach
One of the favourite pastimes for Durbanites is a nice walk along the shore. The reason for this is simple: Durban has some of the finest beaches in South Africa and, in winter, the weather is often favourable. While the rest of the country is likely to be cold, Durban is relatively warm in June and July. You can also enjoy a number of activities including surfing and fishing.
Visit the Gateway Shopping centre
One of the biggest malls in the country, the Gateway Shopping Centre is among the most popular spots in Durban. This mega-mall comprises of over 360 outlets, with national and chain stores putting forward their best shopping as showcased by their Durban flagship branches anchoring each wing. Here, you will be spoilt for choice, from adventure to sporting activities, among them the Fantasy Forest, the Rock and the Wavehouse.
Umhlanga Lagoon Reserve
Game Reserves can be found all over South Africa, including in Umhlanga. The Umhlanga Game Reserve is situated on the northern boundary of Umhlanga Rocks, where the Ohlanga River flows into the Indian Ocean. It is here that you will be able to explore a number of things, including extensive bird life and some small antelopes.