Jordana Emerson

Jordana Emerson

Modified & Updated: 08 Sep 2023


Umlazi, located in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa, is a vibrant and culturally rich township that showcases the diversity and history of the country. With a population of over 400,000, Umlazi is the second-largest township in South Africa, offering a unique blend of urban development and traditional African heritage.

In this article, we will delve into 33 fascinating facts about Umlazi, shedding light on its historical significance, notable landmarks, cultural events, and the resilient spirit of its community. From the vibrant local markets to the iconic Umlazi Mega City Mall, there is certainly no shortage of interesting features that make Umlazi an intriguing destination for both locals and tourists. So, let’s embark on this journey through the heart and soul of Umlazi and discover the hidden gems that make it a true South African treasure.

Table of Contents

Umlazi is the second-largest township in South Africa.

With a population of over 400,000 people, Umlazi is a thriving hub of activity and an integral part of the greater Durban metropolitan area.

The name “Umlazi” means “place of the dog” in the Zulu language.

This unique name has its origins in the legend of a Zulu king who kept a pack of hunting dogs in the area.

Umlazi boasts a rich cultural heritage.

The township is home to a diverse community, with Zulu culture playing a significant role in shaping its identity.

Umlazi has its own dedicated railway station.

The Umlazi railway station is an important transportation hub, connecting residents to other parts of Durban and beyond.

Umlazi is known for its vibrant music scene.

The township has produced many renowned musicians, particularly in the genres of Maskandi and Kwaito.

The Umlazi Mega City shopping mall is a popular attraction.

With a wide range of stores, restaurants, and entertainment options, the mall is a favorite destination for locals and visitors alike.

Umlazi is home to several prestigious schools.

These educational institutions provide a strong foundation for the township’s youth and contribute to its overall development.

The Umlazi Township University Campus brings higher education closer to home.

Students no longer have to travel far to pursue their academic dreams, as the campus offers a variety of degree programs.

Umlazi’s sports facilities have produced top athletes.

The township has nurtured talented sportsmen and women who have excelled in various disciplines, including soccer, athletics, and boxing.

Umlazi’s traditional food will tantalize your taste buds.

From hearty stews to deliciously spiced meats, the local cuisine reflects the vibrant flavors of Zulu cooking.

Umlazi hosts vibrant cultural festivals.

The annual Umlazi Jazz Festival and Umkhosi woMhlanga (Reed Dance) showcase the township’s rich heritage and celebrate its artistic talent.

Umlazi has a vibrant street art culture.

Murals and graffiti can be found throughout the township, adding a colorful and creative touch to its urban landscape.

Umlazi is a melting pot of languages.

While Zulu is the predominant language, you will also hear English and other indigenous languages spoken in everyday conversations.

Umlazi is home to the famous Glebelands Hostel.

This large residential complex has a complex history and has been the subject of extensive media coverage.

Umlazi has a strong sense of community.

Residents often come together to support local initiatives and uplift their neighborhoods.

The Umlazi Wetland Nature Reserve offers a tranquil escape.

Amidst the urban landscape, this reserve provides a sanctuary for various plant and animal species.

The Umlazi Heritage Trail allows visitors to dive into the township’s history.

With a series of markers and informative displays, the trail offers a glimpse into Umlazi’s past.

Umlazi has a thriving informal economy.

Street vendors and informal traders provide a variety of goods and services, contributing to the local economy.

Umlazi residents are passionate about soccer.

The township has produced talented football players who have made a name for themselves in both local and international leagues.

Umlazi is a hub of entrepreneurial activity.

From small businesses and startups to innovative social enterprises, the township is a hotbed of creativity and innovation.

Umlazi’s public transportation system keeps the city connected.

Minibus taxis are the most common mode of transport, providing a reliable and affordable way to get around.

Umlazi is a center for traditional healing practices.

Sangomas, or traditional healers, play an important role in the community, offering spiritual guidance and medicinal remedies.

Umlazi is home to a vibrant theater scene.

Local theater groups showcase their talent through captivating performances that tell stories of life in the township.

Umlazi has its own community radio station.

Ukhozi FM, one of South Africa’s largest radio stations, is headquartered in Umlazi and broadcasts in Zulu.

Umlazi’s proximity to Durban allows residents to enjoy the city’s amenities.

Whether it’s the stunning beaches, vibrant nightlife, or cultural attractions, Umlazi residents have easy access to all that Durban has to offer.

Umlazi showcases remarkable architectural diversity.

From traditional rondavels to modern concrete structures, the township’s buildings reflect its evolving identity.

Umlazi residents are proud of their township.

The sense of pride and community spirit is evident in the way residents speak about and support their beloved Umlazi.

Umlazi promotes gender empowerment.

The township is home to various organizations and initiatives that focus on empowering women and girls.

Umlazi’s street fashion is a unique blend of contemporary and traditional styles.

Expressing individuality through clothing is a vibrant aspect of the township’s culture.

Umlazi has a strong focus on education.

The township is home to numerous schools and educational institutions that prioritize providing quality education to its residents.

Umlazi’s healthcare facilities cater to the community’s needs.

Hospitals, clinics, and medical centers ensure that residents have access to essential healthcare services.

Umlazi has its own local government structure.

The Umlazi Municipality works towards the development and betterment of the township and its residents.

Umlazi’s natural beauty is captivating.

The breathtaking landscapes, parks, and green spaces offer a refreshing escape from the urban environment.

These 33 facts about Umlazi only scratch the surface of the vibrant and captivating nature of this South African township. Whether it’s the rich cultural heritage, the thriving music scene, or the strong community spirit, Umlazi continues to captivate and inspire all those who have the chance to explore its wonders.


In conclusion, Umlazi is a vibrant and historic city that offers so much to its residents and visitors alike. With a rich cultural heritage, stunning natural landscapes, and a thriving economy, Umlazi is truly a city worth exploring. From its beautiful beachfront to its bustling markets, there is something for everyone in this diverse and dynamic city.Whether you’re interested in history, art, food, or simply enjoying the natural beauty of the area, Umlazi has it all. With its friendly and welcoming community, you’ll instantly feel at home in this unique city. So, plan your visit to Umlazi and experience all that it has to offer. You won’t be disappointed!


1. What is the population of Umlazi?

Umlazi has a population of over 400,000 people.

2. Is Umlazi a safe city to visit?

Like any city, Umlazi has its own share of crime, but overall it is a relatively safe city to visit. It is always a good idea to take general safety precautions and be aware of your surroundings.

3. What are the must-visit attractions in Umlazi?

Some of the must-visit attractions in Umlazi include the Umlazi Mega City Shopping Centre, Umlazi Beach, and the Umlazi Cultural and Heritage Centre.

4. Can I find accommodation options in Umlazi?

Yes, there are several accommodation options available in Umlazi, ranging from budget-friendly guesthouses to luxury hotels.

5. How can I get around in Umlazi?

Umlazi has a reliable public transportation system, including buses and taxis. You can also choose to rent a car if you prefer to explore the city at your own pace.

6. Are there any famous events or festivals in Umlazi?

Yes, Umlazi hosts various events and festivals throughout the year, including the Umlazi Jazz Festival and the Umlazi Summer Festival.