Umkomaas - Aliwal Shoal
Umkomaas is a small town on the South Coast of KwaZulu Natal famous for its amazing and renowned reef Aliwal Shoal. The reef lies approximately 5kms out at sea and is frequented by avid divers from all over the world, eager to experience the thrill of sharks nearby. Wreck diving is popular here as well, discovering life between the wrecks of the MV Produce and the SS Nebo.
The town was formed around the harbour when it was created in 1861 to export sugar. Once Durban’s harbour lifted its sandbar and became the main harbour to the province, like the other small harbours around, Umkomaas’ fell into disuse. Situated at the Mkhomazi River mouth, many water-sport enthusiasts flock to this area when there are big canoeing events. During the winter months, the river mouth often silts up, releasing again after heavy rains.
Umkomaas is possibly the best place to witness the famed Sardine Run - the annual migration of sardines from the Wild Coast to KwaZulu-Natal, usually occuring in July. This fantastic feat of nature lures a large variety of predatory fish, sharks and birds on such a scale rarely seen anywhere else in the world.
Near the town is the Empisini Nature Reserve, a spectacular area for birdwatchers to enjoy and popular with walkers. Known for its treehouses Empisini is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the outdoors with a picnic.
Accommodation in Umkomaas
Accommodation is not a problem in this pretty coastal town. There are many bed and breakfasts, self-catering cottages and camp areas. Ever popular with divers and sportsmen, Umkomaas caters for a wide-range of requirements and budgets. View the accommodation directory for information on advertisers in the area.
Aside from diving and canoeing, there are many areas where visitors can walk or go for hikes. Umkomaas does not have large shopping opportunities however, there are basic amenities providing tourists with everything they would need for an enjoyable holiday. Larger shopping centres are not too far away in the bigger towns up or down the coast.
The Umkomaas Golf Course is an excellent 18-hole course which is known to be the “friendliest club” of the area. Activity advertisers are listed under Activities.
Umkomaas is a burgeoning tourist town as more and more people realise the beauty of the area and the reef. Businesses are aimed at the tourism market, with most of them centered around diving. There are a few quaint restaurants which provide good local fare. See the business directory for further information, or add you own free business listing.