Clansthal On The South Coast
The beautiful little village of Clansthal, practically a retreat from other bustling towns on the south coast, lies snug between Umkomaas and Scottburgh, just 40 kilometres from Durban.
Clansthal is one of those gems where everything seems to take on a special quality and one manages to side step time and its demands. The beach is breathtaking – a long, secluded stretch of white sand used only by the locals and the odd shore fisherman. Watching a sunrise from here is almost surreal. One can walk along the shore all the way to the swimming beach at Scottburgh, a lovely beach and a safer swimming beach, even if it is a lot busier than Clansthal.
Between Clansthal and Scottburgh lies Green Point, a world-class surfing break behind which stands Green Point Lighthouse, on the hill above the waters. The lighthouse is a National Monument, and its beams warn ships off the famous Aliwal Shoal, just offshore. Aliwal Shoal is one of the top ten scuba diving sites in the world and a mecca for divers.
But it isn’t all about the water in Clansthal. There are a number of Nature Reserves close by, including Vernon Crookes Nature Reserve and Oribi Gorge. Vernon Crookes is largely grassland and forested ravines and lies on a plateau overlooking the green hills of KwaZulu Natal, intermittently scattered with the odd mud hut
About Green Point Light House Clansthal
Green Point lighthouse should not be confused with the other Green Point lighthouse, also often known as Mouille Point lighthouse, in Cape Town. This Green Point lighthouse stands instead in Clansthal, KwaZulu Natal, helps warn ships of the Aliwal Shoal, and was the second last lighthouse to use petroleum vapour burners.
It is also a provincial heritage site, a building or place in South Africa that has historic or cultural importance, and as such has certain legal protections. Erected in 1905 it has a rather unusual cast-iron structure and is painted in red and white striped bands.
Since 1961 the lighthouse has been fully automated and thus without any staff, which was not considered a great loss to lightkeepers, who regarded the lighthouse as isolated, particularly for families, lying as it did at the time amidst canefields.
To avoid Aliwal Shoal ships rely on three lighthouses – Ifafa Beach, Port Shepstone and Green Point. Aliwal Shoal is the rocky remains of an ancient sand dune that is now a reef roughly 5 kilometres off the coast of Umkomaas that is named after the sinking of the ship Aliwal, and houses incredible hard and soft corals and a variety of tropical and subtropical fish. In addition the lighthouse at Ifafa has a radio beacon that has helped prevent further shipwrecks along this coast