Awesome local find – Durban’s Haunted House

When visiting a place for the first time, it’s always nice to get some local recommendations. But I have never had a recommendation this awesome before. I was on a trip to Umhlanga when a local lady in the form of Mzansigirl showed me to the haunted house. The nature of this place is so ‘local’, that I can’t find it on Google and I can’t remember how to get there.

This massive house was built on the beach and abandoned decades ago. There’s nothing left but an empty shell of a building with sea sand washed onto the floors. Over the years, teenagers and young people have come here to hang out and gradually, all the walls have become covered in graffiti. There is not an inch of bricks left bare.

I joined in Instawalk to capture this epic site at sunset.

How to get there: If you can find Beach Bums in Durban, then you just have to walk onto the grassy area next to it and you’ll see the haunted house. That’s as far as my directions go.

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This was the best start I could wish for on my first visit to Umhlanga, and for that matter, KwaZulu-Natal’s coast. It’s a great place, especially when Cape Town can’t shake off her wettest winter in a long, long time.

Visit Umhlanga without breaking the bank, easily. Just have a look here: Umhlanga – vibrant and affordable


A Cape Tonian in Umhlanga

Not having been to Durban before is not uncommon in Cape Town. I don’t know whether it’s because we already have a whole heap of beaches or whether we just think that there’s no better seaside city in South Africa and therefore we won’t visit any of the others, but there really are a lot of Cape Tonians who have never been to Durban. Me included.

Until today.

Thanks to work and a press trip to San Lameer I’ll finally be able to see the Sunshine Coast. Although I won’t be spending that much time in Durban itself, I’ll be seeing quite a lot of Umhlanga Rocks. I hear it’s quite the holiday destination and, even if it’s not, it’ll be nice to soak in the sun for a few days.

So what does the Cape Tonian plan to entertain herself with while she’s in Umhlanga? Here are a few of the things I’m looking forward to.

The beach

umhlanga beach

It may look a little crowded here, but I’m hoping that the winter months bring with them fewer crowds. I love the idea that I’ll be able to swim in warm water in the middle of winter while the sun is shining. You don’t get that in Cape Town. 

The curry buffet

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From what I’ve gathered, you can’t visit Umhlanga without burying your face in the smart buffet of curries at The Oyster Box Hotel. This really is one of the things I’m looking forward to the most and I’m thinking it’s definitely going to be worth the R240.

A touch of Argentina

bar ba coa

A strange thing to look forward to in a South African seaside town, but this seems like a warm and friendly place. Also, everyone seems to love Bar Ba Coa‘s steaks, and what better way to balance out a night of curry than with a good steak?

A nature reserve and a forest


So apparently the Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Reserve is quite the treat. With pretty walkways and lots of reeds in which to loose yourself. Sounds like a good way to walk off above mentioned steak and curries. There’s also this indigenous forest called Hawaan Forest, sort of next to the nature reserve, that I’m quite amped to explore.

A shark dissection


I’m still deciding if I’m really excited about witnessing this particular experiment, but I hear it’s something the kids enjoy, so I might as well check it out. Right? This is going down at the KwaZulu Natal Sharks Board.

Getting pampered

san lameer

Not that I’m really a pamper-loving sort of girl, and not that San Lameer is anywhere close to Umhlanga, but getting a free massage has never been a bad thing.

Please post comments on the things you think I should do (or whether you think I’m being completely insane and Umhlanga is actually a horrid place where no one should set foot – which I highly doubt). I’m amped to finally see this side of my country though.