Hi, I’m Priscilla Rodrigues from La Lucia in KwaZulu Natal.
LA LUCIA IS BEST KNOWN FOR its beautiful, tranquil, lush green surroundings. It is the place to come to unwind, put your feet up and de-stress … It is quiet, peaceful and calming – the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of the busy holiday towns; and relax and reflect; and yet it is still really close to all the exciting attractions and activities both Umhlanga and Durbs have to offer! You get the best of both worlds! (Could it get any better?)
GET YOUR PICTURE TAKEN AT the Durban Beachfront while taking a ride on a rickshaw.
OTHER HAPPY SNAPS AT The Golden Mile – Durban Beachfront during the flea market, Sibaya Casino, Victoria Street Market or at one of the many shows at the Barnyard Theatre in Gateway Mall and obviously any of our beautiful beaches and Ushaka Marine World!
WHEN THE WEATHER’S GOOD, I LIKE TO hit the beach. Depending what your mood is you can choose from the vibey main swimming beach in Umhlanga where there is a long promenade to stroll along and check out all the restaurants on the beach. Alternatively there are the quieter non swimming beaches, like Virginia and Glenashley beach, dotted with a few local fishermen, the occasional dog walkers, and a few groups having a chilled beach picnic.
WHEN THE WEATHER’S BAD, I LIKE TO either grab a DVD from the local DVD store or head to Gateway Theatre of Shopping – there is an indoor climbing wall and loads of shops and restaurants.
I THINK THE BEST TIME OF YEAR TO VISIT IS definitely summer, BECAUSE the days are longer so you get to fit so much more in and there is really so much to do! The sunrises and sunsets on most days are also really something to see if you are in the right spot. We don’t really have a winter so you can come anytime, but from mid September through to end of April is great!
MY FAVOURITE BREAKFAST SPOT IS possibly Café Java in Umhlanga for the vibe or the Lighthouse Café on the beach because of the sea view.
FOR LUNCH, I SUGGEST you try Col’Cacchio Pizzeria at Gateway – amazing pizza and a pleasant, enjoyable and interesting experience followed by Box Bar in Umhlanga for sundowners.
MY FAVOURITE RESTAURANT IS currently Peri Peri De Mocambique – this little restaurant is about five minutes from La Lucia in Durban North and is normally fully booked – so make sure you book. If you want to pretend you are in Mozambique for a bit then this is the place to be. They serve 2M beer, Laurentina Beer, Portuguese wines and R&R’s – Rum and Raisin – a drink imported from Mozambique! TRY THE Prego Roll (chicken) or the Peri Peri Chicken … the seafood platters are also incredible and they often have great deals – finished of with the Mozam mud pie – wow!
BEST LATE NIGHT SNACK FROM the Woolworths at the Engine Garage near the La Lucia Mall.
MY FAVOURITE hang out SPOT IS Chris Saunders Park – they often have live bands, shows, moonlight picnics (from Dial-a-Picnic) and the new “Wonder Market” (Upmarket flea-market).
FOR A NIGHT OUT ON THE TOWN TRY catching a cab into Durban – there are many clubs there. My current favourite is Rocca Bar in Umgeni Road, great music, six bars, large dance floor, inside and outside area and friendly people – they often throw fun themed parties too. If clubbing isn’t your scene you could also try Hops n Barley in Umgeni Road on a Friday or Saturday night!
IF YOU WANT TO MEET LOCALS, GO TOUmhlanga main beach, keep walking along the promenade till you hit Bronze Beach and that’s where you will find mostly locals. Or you can try the Full Moon Beach Party at Virginia Beach … whenever the full moon falls on a weekend or a public holiday there is a full moon party (weather permitting) at Virginia Beach. Best confirm with the locals first – you don’t want to end up at the beach alone at night.
La Lucia’s BEST KEPT SECRET IS Kites View Bed and Breakfast.
MY FAVOURITE THING TO DO WITH FRIENDS IS to share a focaccia or pizza and a jug of sangria at the restaurant on Umhlanga main beach or at Characters.
FOR SOME LIVE MUSIC, I LIKE TO GO TO GMT (Good Music Tuesday) at the Bat Centre in the Durban Harbour – every Tuesday local bands get together and show off their talent.
TO RELAX AND RESTORE MY SOUL, I LIKE TO either sit on one of the quieter beaches in the late afternoon in La Lucia and watch the sea or read a book. Another great way is to pop into one of the many spa’s we have for a massage – at Fairways Spa in Durban North you can have your treatment and then relax on the premises and chill in the sauna, pool and Jacuzzi.
IF YOU’RE FEELING ADVENTUROUS, TRY “the worlds only stadium swing and the largest swing of any kind anywhere” at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban! You can bungee off the top or if that’s too much, they have a little cable car that rides over the top of the stadium and you get to experience the most amazing views of Durban.
MY FAVOURITE WALK IS about a five minute drive from La Lucia – the Hawaan Forest Nature trail in Umhlanga – not very long but incredible and beautiful. Really gets you inspired!
MY FAVOURITE craft SHOP IS “Imagine That” at the The Crescent in Umhlanga. You can pick up beads and paper and paint and wood; everything for arts and crafts for those days when you have had just too much sun and want to do something creative indoors.
MY FAVOURITE dolphin and sunrise WATCHING SPOT IS the Umhlanga beach promenade.
IF YOU’RE HERE IN October until mid-April you have to make a date to see the Barn Swallow phenomenon in Mount Moreland! Pack a picnic and head over there 45 minutes before sunset – you won’t be disappointed – this is something that will stick in your mind for weeks – it’s incredible.
MY FAVOURITE GALLERY IS the NSA Gallery. CHECK OUT THE art and photos from the young and talented emerging artists.
MY FAVOURITE BUILDING IS the one in the new Chris Saunders Park, FOR ITS amphitheatre. It’s a great fresh look for Umhlanga.
TRAVELLING WITH CHILDREN? A FUN OUTING IS uShaka Marine World.
BEST CHEAP AND CHEERFUL OUTING IS packing a picnic and visiting one of the many green parks in La Lucia.
WHEN MONEY’S NO OBJECT, I LIKE TO suggest people try the Ski Boat Club on Umhlanga main beach and go on a boat ride out to sea to do some whale and dolphin watching.
THE MOST UNUSUAL THING I SEE HERE IS Fish Eagles circling the sky over La Lucia’s green belt – you can hear them some days as well! And the mongoose that crosses the street.
MY FAVOURITE WEEKEND GETAWAY IS either visiting the South Coast if I feel like small towns, sea, beach and fishing, but sometimes I prefer heading out to the bush to see the game – just three hours away and you can stay at Hluhluwe Game Reserve or on the Jozini Dam at Nkonkoni Lodge and fishing camp and experience true Africa.
WHEN I WANT TO GIVE BACK TO THE COMMUNITY, I support our local traders, like the guys that sell beautiful artwork along the roads in La Lucia, the vegetable market that happens on Wednesday in Umhlanga (just past the Sharks Board), the Victorian Market and Durban Art Gallery.
I Love La Lucia BECAUSE it’s so green and lush and tranquil, it almost feels like you are on your own little island somewhere distant … but then its also so close to everything that’s hip and happening you could never get bored.
La Lucia Links
- La Lucia Attractions
- La Lucia Accommodation
- Durban Accommodation
- KwaZulu Natal Accommodation
- KwaZulu Natal Hotels
- Accommodation South Africa
Caffé Java: +27 (0)31 563-1461
Lighthouse Café: +27 (0)31 561-5752
Col’Cacchio Gateway: +27 (0)31 566-1897
Box Bar: +27 (0)31 514-5000
Peri Peri De Mocambique: +27 (0)31 563-5546
John Doreys Gateway: +27 (0)31 566-1897
Characters: +27 (0)31 561 7031
uShaka Marine World: +27 (0)31 328-8000