There are thousands of photos, paintings and memorabilia about this beautiful structure and hundreds walk past it everyday. Yet, how many of you know these facts about the lighthouse:
- The lighthouse on Umhlanga’s beach was completed in 1954 and is one of the most iconic structures on the coast of Durban
- It was 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 lighthouse is fully automatic
- The lighthouse has a mains supply with one standby diesel/alternator set
- 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.
- The official Warden of The Umhlanga Lighthouse is the Oyster Box Hotel, which was built in 1869 and was originally the first beach cottage in the area.
- The lighthouse controls are in the hotel office where staff monitor the controls and report to Transnet’s Lighthouse Service.