The small village of uMzumbe, nestled in wild and thick dune forest, is situated one hundred kilometers to the South of Durban between the Mzumbe and Ingambili Rivers. It is believed that the area was once home to a vicious group of cannibals and renegades, and therefore locals named the river, or "Bad Kraal".The village grew up around a farm known as Ballymuddle in the early part of the 20th Century.
For many years uMzumbe has become known as a haven for retired people, fishermen and holidaying families who stayed in the cottages or at the rambling Pumula Hotel in the village, one of the jewels of the South Coast. Fishing and diving in the uMzumbe area is excellent while spearfishing is also popular with large brusher and garrick often being caught there. Northwards, the shallower reefs are home to monster sized crayfish, though a licence is needed to extract them. Dolphins are often seen here too, and in July and September visitors can often witness whales making their way along the coast.The area also produces great waves, resulting in excellent surfing, whilst other water sports like windsurfing are also popular.
Legend has it that the area was once inhabited by the Hlongwa people, until King Shaka overrun the settlement and drove them off. Upon his successful return he stopped on a ridge looking down on a valley, and asked his ancestors for their blessing.
He performed a local Zulu custom by picking up a pebble, spitting on it and placing it back on the ground. Shaka's army of warriors copied their king and a huge pile of pebbles was formed. The famous isivivane or "lucky pile of pebbles" can still be seen at uMzumbe today.
A huge effort has been under way for several years now to bring life back into this tired old village. A local architect has drawn up a map showing shipwrecks, forests, and nature reserves, meandering rivers, prime locations for adventure sports and sites of historical, religious and cultural significance. There's also an initiative to create a tourism route inland, one of the least-known and most beautiful areas of KwaZulu-Natal.