The revamped Umhlanga Rocks Promenade is 2.7 kms from end–to-end, running from the Umhlanga Lagoon Reserve (at the Breakers Resort) in the north, down past the apartment and resort complexes to a new parking area at Durban View, off Marine Drive in the south. The entire route is paved and is lit at night. There is 24 hour security, with guards stationed along the route, as well as patrolling. Security is vigilant when it comes to checking that no alcohol is taken onto the beach, and are in constant contact with the office via walkie-talkie. The head of security for UIP, Cyril Munsamy patrols in a golf cart – which is how I was able to make my tour!
The Durban View parking has accessible parking bays and access is the easiest. Access to the promenade is via public walkways accessed from the road between complexes. They don’t always have the correct gradient, but most are ramped. Beware: Ocean View access has steps. Some have booms to prevent vehicle access, but there are guards to assist. Fleetwood, Cabanas, Bronze Beach, Miromar, Long Beach, Hawaan View and Durban View accessways are signposted with the name and what is permitted / not permitted. There are also pathways from the private establishments.
Because this promenade is scenic it undulates so, if you want to travel along the entire length in a wheelchair, you need to have someone to assist or have a power unit. There are many areas with benches and you can enter through any of the pathways along the length and just sit. There are some lovely areas that go through the dune forest toward the northern end.
Beach access is difficult as there are steep stairs,and ramps with extremely steep gradients. Assistance is a must! The best areafor beach access is via the ski boat launch access, which is off Lagoon Drive. Thisarea has a parking area below the promenade, where you can drop off a personrequiring assistance, but you have to get authorisation first from the UIP securityoffice situated on the “Village Green” at the intersection of Lighthouse &Lagoon Drive.
Areasthat are particularly scenic, are the Lighthouse and the new Pier, which hasbeen revamped with a ‘Whale-Bone’ theme. The pieris in fact a continuation of the culvert and will extend approximately 80metres across the beach to a deep-water channel to ensure maximum dispersal ofstorm water into the sea. Much of the storm water that was discharged on to thebeach at Granny’s Pool will be rerouted to the new system and, whilst theGranny’s Pool outlet can never be completely eliminated, the quality of thebeach in this area has been greatly improved .
There are loos & and shower facilitiesalong the length, but the accessible loos are to the left of the lifesaver’sbuilding on the Main Beach, and at Bronze Beach (although these were locked attime of assessment). Dogs are allowed on the promenade on a leash, but not onthe beach. Owners have to pick up any poop and place it in the bins provided. BrianWright of the Urban Improvement Programme was extremely pleased that we decidedto assess this new project and would welcome any suggestions. Send them to meand I’ll forward them on.
If you are attending the SA Champs being heldin Durban in March, take a roll along this promenade and take in the sounds ofthe sea and the refreshing sea air!
Happy Travels !