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Torsi English School Umhlanga Rocks is Durban’s best-kept secret

Published Bernice on Monday, June 6, 2022 12:00 AM

Torsi English School Umhlanga Rocks is Durban’s best-kept secret

Umhlanga derives its name from the Zulu language meaning “place of reeds” referring to the beds of reeds going along the Ohlanga River north of Umhlanga Rocks.  The iconic Umhlanga Lighthouse was installed in 1954, and today remains a landmark feature of the borough.

It has since then developed into a bustling central economic hub of Durban and features an iconic beachside hotel known as “The Oyster Box”, originally built as a beach cottage and navigational beacon in 1869. The Beverly Hills Hotel is the first 5-star hotel in South Africa and is another popular local spot which attracted celebrities like Maurice Chevalier and Marlene Dietrich.

Umhlanga Rocks was first occupied by San hunter-gatherers and later by the Nguni tribe. Artefacts and beadwork can be found at local museums and stores. The town came under British control when sugar magnate Sir Marshall Campbell arrived from Glasgow in 1850. Indian indentured labourers were brought in to work on the estates in 1860. Later, holiday cottages were built all along the shoreline by farmers.

The Whale Bone Pier, built in 2007 was voted by CNN as “The World’s Most Beautiful” in 2014 and won a national award for outstanding engineering.

The Umhlanga Lagoon is a 26 hectare (64 acres) nature reserve on the Indian Ocean shore.

The 18, 0000-year-old Hawaan forest to the north is the habitat of many wildlife species including vervet monkeys which often venture into the city in search of food, often surprising the unsuspecting tourists. The coastal dune forest boasts over 100 indigenous tree species. The name Hawaan is thought to originate from ceremonies performed by Indian labourers. Guided walks through the forest can be arranged at the Breakers Resort in Umhlanga Rocks.

The airport nearby is King Shaka International. Umhlanga is one of the most popular tourist destinations in South Africa with 1.2 million visitors in 2015, generating a GDP of R20 billion.

Umhlanga is one of the safest areas in Durban, which records lower crime rates annually due to obvious security in the area.

Umhlanga is made up of 80% first language English speakers, which makes it ideal for those agents who want to send their students to study with us.

Students can explore the laid back village lifestyle while staying well connected to convenience stores and high-speed internet. The village maintains a holiday feel with year-round warm weather, delicious food and world-class shopping at Gateway Theatre of Shopping where you can find shops like H&M, Zara, Levi’s and many more.

Torsi English offers courses for students of all ages and backgrounds. Students can book courses in packages, ranging from a week to 3 months. They can do the course while on a tourist visa for a maximum length of 3 months. Courses run in the morning from 10 am until midday when students can then go for lunch or back home and enjoy the free time to do tours and other activities.

Activities on offer are: Surfing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, hiking, walking, helicopter rides, boat rides, and game reserve trips a mere two hours outside of Durban where they can see the Big 5 (rhino, lions, giraffe, zebra and hippo). Students can enjoy the picturesque shoreline dotted with backpackers boasting Mozambican cuisine and vibrant beach parties. Or simply take a spa day and get treated to a massage at one of the area’s hotels.

There are a plethora of beach bars in the area or take a trip up north to Ballito, another famous holiday town bustling with restaurants and bars with stunning sea views, observe the myriad topical bird species and gorgeous lush greenery.

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