The name “Bluff” is derived from the long bluff – two ancient sand dunes on which most of the suburbs lie. The traditional Zulu name for Bluff is isibubulungu, meaning a long, round-shaped ridge.
The Bluff Ridge is a remnant of an extensive coastal dune system that formed along the shoreline of KZN between 2 to 5 million years ago. At that time the KZN shoreline was about 120m below its present level and the edge of the continental shelf about 15km seaward. At the end of the last ice age, some 10 000 to 18 000 years ago, the sea level rose to about its present position.