72 Hours in Umhlanga Rocks - with a dog

Saturday, 2 February 2019

We love experiencing and holidaying in our hometown, Umhlanga Rocks. This little seaside town is no longer just the sleepy village on the east coast. These days there are new restaurants opening just as quick as the new shopping malls and residential buildings are going up. We have an average of 320 days of sunshine a year and there are many dog friendly gems you can visit. Below is a list of things I would recommend doing if you are in Umhlanga Rocks for 72 hours with your dog.

Addington Beach


DAY 1: GET TO KNOW UMHLANGA ROCKS

  • Morning: Stroll along the Umhlanga promenade and do the whole 5kms. There are two takeaway coffee shops to stop at along the way: Rox Coffee do great ice coffees (with almond milk as an alternative) and Daily Dose do a really good flat white (they also serve almond milk as well). *Note if it’s a Saturday start earlier or later as the Park run is at 8am and the promenade for an hour, is chaos. Alternatively, if you love running with your dog then join in. It’s free!
  • Late morning: Walk up from the beach to African Roots Coffee and order a croissant and coffee. They have plain croissants with cheese and jam or a variety of different fillings. The croissants here are heavenly.  They do also have other breakfast options too but order the croissant, trust me.
  • Afternoon: Spend the day on the beach. If you want to go somewhere where you can take your dog off the lead (provided they are good with other dogs and people) walk to the right of the parking lot near Daily Dose or go to the beach on Eastmoor Crescent.  
  • Evening: Night out and / or dinner in Umhlanga Village. My go to places are: Catch if you are in the mood for sushi or Mythos if you fancy Greek food. The Umhlanga Village strip is all dog friendly and you are really spoilt for choice of where to eat and drink so it all just depends what you feel like on the day.


    Coffee shops along Umhlanga Promenade

    African Roots

    Umhlanga's dog friendly beaches

    DAY 2: EXPLORE THE OTHER SIDE OF THE RIVER
      • Morning: Go to Surfriders for breakfast and / or coffee.
      • Late morning: From there rent bikes from the store by Ushaka Marine World and ride along the beach front. Or simply walk Durban’s newly renovated golden mile. Along the way you can shop at the local African souvenir stalls (I love all the handmade baskets) or walk along the piers for beautiful views of the beachfront.
      • Afternoon: Pop into Durban’s Station Drive Precint which is an old industrial area that has been bought to life by a farmer’s market, vintage stores, quaint shops and a newly opened coffee shop, Khuluma. Make sure you also get yourself an ice cream from Moment Artisan Gelato. They make their own gelato, vegan sorbets and handmade ice cream cones! Yes, this ice cream is worth every calorie.  OR go to the I Heart Market at Moses Mabhida Stadium. It only takes place on the first Saturday of every month, from 9am to 2pm so double check their Facebook page before going to make sure it is on. This market is made up of all local Durban vendors including fashion, food and crafts.
      • Evening: Finish your day off with an aperol spritz and pizza at The Oyster Box Hotel. Book ahead for dinner if you want to splash out and have an extra special dinner but if you haven’t booked or don’t want to blow your budget, there is often space upstairs at the Lighthouse Bar where you can just have a drink and / or order light snacks. We always order an aperol and pizza to share.
      Durban's beachfront

    DAY 3: HEAD UP THE HILL
    • Morning / Late Morning: Wake up early and go to Shongweni’s farmers market for breakfast and a stroll. There are always lots of other dogs and stores selling an assortment of goods from kids clothing to art. I love buying books from the SPCA store for a bargain, the fresh produce there is so fresh and affordable, and I always pick up some sort of a homemade jam or sauce to try.  Follow your nose and you will find all scrumptious street foods. I highly recommend the falafel wrap from Falafel Fundi if you’re not sure what to get.
    • Afternoon: Spend the last day relaxing on one of the beaches mentioned above.
    • Evening: Have a Durban curry. You can’t come all the way to Durban and not have one of Duban’s curries or more famously, a Bunny Chow. There are a few great Indian Restaurants and Cumin CafĂ© is highly recommended as it’s just on your doorstep in Umhlanga. I would get takeaways and have a picnic on the beach while watching the sunset so your dog could come with as they don’t have an outside area. If you go down to beach for sundowners sit on the beach between the pier and lighthouse. There are always people and security walking around, so it is safe and there is ample lighting to walk back once the sunsets. Just keep your dog on their lead there.
      The above is a list of our favourite things to do with our dog. If you end up just lying on the beach for three solid days or going on a detour that is ok. That’s the best thing about being on holiday, you can do what you like, whenever you want.
      Umhlanga's dog friendly beaches - Eastmoor Cresecent

      HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR 3 DAYS:
      • Have google maps on hand (or the good old-fashioned kind). You don't want to waste time getting lost.
      • Have sunblock in your bag, (you will get sunburnt even if it’s cloudy), doggie poop bags and a collapsible bowl like this one form Woolworths
      • Don’t forget mosquito repellent, they love to eat your ankles at night, especially in the summer.
      • Uber if you don’t have a rental car. It is quick, cheap and safe and I have ubered around for 2 years with Benji without issues. Although he is a small dog so keep that in mind. I just wrap a towel or scarf around him, so he doesn’t shed in their car and keep him on my lap.

      Where are your favourite dog friendly places to visit in South Africa?

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