All that remains of a large piece of coastal dune forest situated right next door to Breakers Resort, and regarded as the last of its kind, the Hawaan Forest is set on a sand dune that dates back 18 000 years. In the 1960s Hawaan was one of many patches of indigenous forest on the coast.
The name Hawaan is thought to originate from ceremonies performed in the forest by Indian labourers that worked on sugar farms in the area. A Havan is a sacred fire ritual involving a ceramic oven called an Ohavan Kund. The forest was probably used for wood, fruits and honey burned to placate the gods.
The fifty five hectare Hawaan forest, situated near the Umhlanga lagoon is a climax dry coastal dune forest, and the last of its kind on the KwaZulu Natal coast. The forest is a unique indigenous woodland area that supports a massive variety of bird and wildlife. Mammals found in the forest include mongoose, vervet monkeys, bushbuck and red duiker.The forest is also said to house more varieties of trees than the entire area of Europe.
Visitors describe the Hawaan Forest as similar to Burman Bush and incredibly interesting. You can now only walk through the forest with a guide as a result of a recent WESSA project to maintain the pathways and improve the level of safety.
The project included training three of the forest clearers to guide walking trails. To preserve the forest, the Hawaan trails are closed to the public and walks need to be arranged at the Breakers Resort in Umhlanga Rocks.
Breakers is one of the most popular resorts in Umhlanga. Just twenty minutes drive from Durban and 22 km from King Shaka International Airport, the resort is easily accessible and close to all the sights and activities. Breakers boasts many facilities including a daily activity programme, swimming pool, tennis court, volleyball, jungle gym, trampoline, communal braai, laundromat, beauty salon, action cricket, restaurants and a conference centre.