The Zulus were the original inhabitants of the region in Umkomaas which in Zulu “uMkomazi” means, the place of cow whales. Sadly that major attraction has long since been forgotten. According to tales the whales used the mouth of the Umkomaas River as a safe nursery.
Umkomaas is a sugar export harbour which was established established around 1861. With the advent of more cost effective transportation, the harbour became derelict and the town had by this time become a tourist haven amongst locals and South African tourist and holiday/ pleasure seekers in general. These regions in KZN are sustained primarily by sugarcane and secondly through forestry for the paper industry which are both beneficial and have some adverse health risks too.
Sub-tropical weather conditions are a huge advantage for coastal towns like Umkomaas for the tourism industry as this attracts seasonal tourist on a constant and annual basis. Tourism is one of the ways in which towns are developed and promoted to potential investors.
The demand for holiday and residential property has thus increased.
The Umkomaas River is the largest river on the KZN South Coast. The other tourist attraction which has further prompted the tourism industry are the exclusive golf courses and hotels which have been developed in the town.
Mats Wilander, famous tennis player was reputed to have owned a hotel in town around the early to mid-‘90’s.
Umkomaas has loads to offer for tourist not satisfied with basking in the glorious sun like;
· Whale watching during June and October
· Diving the Aliwal Shoal
· Freeland Park
· Have fun in the sardine run season with buckets, but beware of the sharks though.
· Tour the lush natural forest vegetation in surrounding parks and hiking trails