uMhlanga is sporting a brand new tourist attraction of which it is justifiably proud.

The extension of the paved uMhlanga Promenade with a  raised boardwalk into the uMhlanga Lagoon Nature Reserve has commenced, with the first 250m of construction, including a new seating area and the revamp of the old ablution blocks into a coffee kiosk, having been completed.

A project 6 years in the making, construction began in November 2020.

Led by Umhlanga UIP, and approved by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and KZN Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (KZN EDTEA), the project is community-focused and funded, and aims to enhance the area’s environmental integrity while providing a “walk in the trees” experience for locals and tourists alike.

Once the boardwalk is complete visitors will safely be able to experience the amazing coastal forest life while having negligible environmental impact on this incredible natural asset.

The boardwalk will prevent further frontal dune damage allowing for natural regeneration of degraded areas, unlocking tourism and employment opportunities and relieving congestion on the promenade.

 The long-term plan is to build an environmental education centre to host nature-based activities including guided walks, canoeing, a bird hide and children’s activities.

Constructed from recycled plastic, the raised, wheelchair-friendly boardwalk’s design will provide viewing decks overlooking the beach and lagoon and formalized access points from the boardwalk onto the beach. The infrastructure will be managed and maintained by the uMhlanga UIP.

This is a unique project allowing persons who previously may not have had an opportunity a glimpse into the unique uMhlanga Lagoon Reserve

On a good day, you may be lucky enough to glimpse a dainty red or blue duiker foraging in the shade of a Natal Hickory.

The boardwalk extension is a 6 Phase project, with a total estimated cost of just over R7,3 million.

Sadly to date, funds have only been secured for the completion of Phase 1a and b.

  • Phase 1a and b – Construction of the boardwalk from the existing Promenade to the Ablutions
  • Phase 2 – Construction of the boardwalk from the ablutions to the parking
  • Phase 3 – Construction of the forest walkway across the lagoon to the base of the dune
  • Phase 4 – Construction of the Lagoon walkway to the Lookout point
  • Phase 5 – Construction of the steps to the boardwalk
  • Phase 6 – Construction of the boardwalk from the ablutions to the lagoon along the dune

How you can help!

This is a project the uMhlanga area desperately needs.

Both as a tourist attraction to simulate the hospitality industry devastated by COVID-19 and the unrest and resultant chemical spill and beach closure, and as an environmental safeguard for this unique area we are so fortunate to have on our doorstep and be custodians of for generations to come.

If you or your company would like to make a contribution to the completion of this exceptional project, (which you can even use zapper for), you may view the details by clicking on the UIP Image below, or email the address contained in the image for legacy donations.

It should be noted this is a Non-Profit organization.

Bellezar Restaurant in uMhlanga have been hugely supportive of the initiative and have started to add a R20 donation to bills over R200 in value.

If you object to this you of course may request it be struck from the bill – If however you can afford the R20, please consider donating. This is an investment in our community’s future.

If you are a restaurant owner in the uMhlanga area, please consider joining this initiative – Let’s make a difference as a community!

*Construction of the new coffee kiosk is complete and will open to serve boardwalk users and uMhlanga enthusiasts at the end of November.*