Port Edward Lighthouse situated at 130 Milford Road, Port Edward on the Lower South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal
We visited the Port Edward Lighthouse on a beautiful summer’s day. It’s not on the beach, as I had imagined, but is built amongst the houses in a residential area. It is fully operational so my first thought was for the neighbours. I wondered how they slept at night as the lighthouse has two beams, is powered by half a million candlewatts and is visible for 40 kms!
It’s official name is “North Sand Bluff Lighthouse”. Here are some interesting facts:
- It is 24 metres tall;
- Was originally built in 1968;
- And rebuilt in 1999;
- It is about 5 storeys high;
- And has a spiral staircase;
- The lighthouse is owned and operated by the Transnet National Port Authority.
“Sometimes amidst all of the wars,
all you need is to become the lighthouse,
not the sword”
Although I lived in Port Shepstone for a long time, I never took much notice of the lighthouse. I rectified this on a recent trip down to the South Coast when we stopped off to take some photographs of this attractive building.
The lighthouse is situated near the mouth of the Umzimkulu River and is about 8 metres high. It is made of cast iron and was shipped from the UK to South Africa in the 1890’s. On its arrival on South African shores, it was erected at Scottburgh where it was used to indicate part of the reef of the Aliwal Shoal. It was moved from Scottburgh to Port Shepstone in about 1906 where it has stood for over a century.
The lighthouse is a National Monument and is well maintained. It is painted in black and white checkerboard style which looks beautiful and distinctive. The lighthouse’s revolving electrical light flashes once in every 6 seconds and it has a light range of 26 sea miles.
Apart from it being essential to the safety of seagoing vessels, it is also a perfect landmark which says “Welcome to Port Shepstone”.