Each year in March a marathon canoe race is held on the river, the Hansa Umkomaas River Marathon. This race covers a grueling 67 km of the Mkomazi River, starting at Hella Hella, traversing numerous grade 4 rapids, before eventually reaching the river mouth in Umkomaas.
The beach is rocky and a popular place for anglers. There is a large tidal pool which is floodlit at night. The town's official animal is the Whale, and is used around the town in colourful murals and even the uniform of the local school. Humpback Whales can be seen along Aliwal Shoal between June and October, whilst Ragged-Tooth, and Zambezi sharks have been spotted at the river mouth.
A variety of duiker, and even a few of the larger species of buck can be seen in Empisini Nature Reserve. Birdlife is abundant, providing ample opportunities for birdwatching in the area. Once in a while people are fortunate to spot small wild cats like the Genet and Civet in the region.
The Umkomaas Golf Course is an 18 hole par 72 course with beautiful view across the Indian Ocean. It is one of the oldest and most challenging courses in KZN.
There is a surprisingly large Italian community in the town of Umkomaas. Over 200 Italian technicians and artisans arrived in the area to build enormous Saiccor industrial cellulose plant nearby. Many of them decided to stay, and brought their families from Italy to join them. The Italian settlers have contributed enormously to the cultural and economic development of the town, giving it a unique flavour.