Umhlanga Rocks

Name Umhlanga Rocks
Structure 21 metre circular concrete tower painted white with a red top
Other Features The lighthouse is fully automatic
Mains supply with one standby diesel/alternator set
Date Installed 24 November 1954
Description The lighthouse on Umhlangas beach was completed in 1954 and has been the subject of numerous paintings and memorabilia. Built to replace the Bluff lighthouse, which was commissioned in 1869 but had to be abandoned due to its rapid deterioration, it stands guard to some of the most treacherous waters of Southern Africa and not only warns ships of the hidden dangers, but the flashing light is also a welcome to the ships sailing into the safety of the Durban harbour.
The circular concrete tower, painted white with a red band at the top, stands 21m above the beach and has a focal plane height of 25m. The fixed red light enables ships waiting to anchor in the outer anchorage, to monitor its position. If the red light can be seen, it suggests the ships anchors have probably dragged and is too close to shore.
This popular seaside resort was originally part of the sugar estate of Sir Marshall Campbell, who introduced the colourful rickshaws to Durbans beachfront. When a track was made from Mount Edgercombe to Umhlanga Rocks, the area became popular with the local farmers who leased small plots on the shoreline of the ocean and built vacation cottages.
Umhlanga means Place of Reeds in the Zulu language, referring to the beds of reeds that accumulate on the banks of the Ohlanga River a few Kilometers North of present day Umhlanga Rocks. The Umhlanga Lighthouse has never had a keeper, as the Oyster Box Hotel, which was built in 1869 and was originally the first beach cottage in the area, has been the official warden. The lighthouse controls are in the hotel office where staff monitor the controls and report to Portnets Lighthouse Service.

Light Type Revolving-Electric
Light Character Group flashing three every twenty seconds
Light Range 24 sea miles
Light Power 600 000 CD
Height of focal Plane 25 metres above high water

Position 29 43 41.57 South, 31 05 18.20 East