The Umhlanga Lighthouse’s red and white structure shows off beautifully against the blue of the sea and sky. It is one of the most recognisable landmarks on the KwaZulu-Natal coast.
It was completed in 1954 to replace the Bluff lighthouse. It is fully automated and its light has a range of 24 sea miles. When the lighthouse’s fixed red light can be seen by sailors, it means that their ship is too close to shore. There are 95 steps up to the top of the lighthouse.
The lighthouse has never had a keeper, the official caretaker is the Oyster Box Hotel and the controls are in the hotel from where it sends regular reports to Transnet’s Lighthouse Services. The Oyster Box was built in 1869 and was the first beach cottage in the area.
A good book is a lighthouse, a wise man is a lighthouse; conscience is a lighthouse; compassion is a ighthouse; science is a lighthouse!
They all show us the true path! Keep them in your life to remain safe ………….
Mehmet Murat Ildan
The Umhlanga Rocks Lighthouse..
The original Bluff Lighthouse, constructed in 1867, was the first lighthouse built on the East Coast of Africa. It was demolished in 1941 making way for the erection of two lighthouses to serve the area. Cooper Lighthouse was erected at Brighton Beach and Umhlanga Rocks Lighthouse at Umhlanga. Cooper Lighthouse was ready for use in 1953.
Cooper Lighthouse flashes its light every 10 seconds and has a range of over 40 kms. Fortunately there is shielding on the inland side of the light, so the neighbours are able to get a good night’s sleep.
Cooper Lighthouse and Umhlanga Rocks Lighthouse are almost identical except for the colour of the towers and their distinctive lights.
The height of a lighthouse is determined by the curvature of the earth – taller lighthouses are built on low lying land and shorter lighthouses on cliffs. Cooper Lighthouse is 26 metres tall.
The lighthouse was named after Harry Claude Cooper, lighthouse engineer, who designed and built most of the KZN lighthouses. It is unusual to name a lighthouse after a person as they are generally named after geographical points.
“Inside my empty bottle I was constructing a lighthouse
while all the others were making ships.”