Richards Bay lies almost halfway between Durban and Kosi Bay and serves as an entrance to Zululand. Its spectacular scenery and unspoilt beaches has understandably become a popular holiday destination on the north coast of KwaZulu Natal.
Richards Bay has plenty to offer its visitors from art gallaries to bird-watching. The Zululand Birding Route includes the Game Reserve, also known as New Mouth, which covers freshwater pans, mud flats and extensive mangroves. The towns’ coastline stretches 350 km from the Turgela River in the south to the Mozambique border in the north and its golden shores include endless unspoilt beaches perfect for surfing, swimming, fishing and canoeing.
The Richards Bay Lagoon is 3600 hectares of salt water and used to be home to a vast number of aquatic birds, hippos and crocodiles. It was here in 1891 that John Dunn, famous hunter, shot the largest Crocodile ever recorded in South Africa. The Crocodile was an unbelievable 6.7 metres.
The town has lots to offer its visitors by way of cultural experiences as it is close to attractions such as the Zulu Homestead as well as the Zululand Heritage Route.
The town also provides ample amenities such as a shopping mall, boutique stores, arts and crafts stalls and the waterfront area is definitely worth a visit for its views and superb seafood restaurants.
Richards Bay offers a multitude of star graded accommodation from Hotels and Guesthouses to self-catering units and a wonderful Caravan and Camping Park.
Places to Visit
Things to do and see
- Durnford Lighthouse
- Boardwalk Shopping Centre
- Richards Bay Harbour
- Richards Bay Game Reserve
- Lake Mzingazi
- Enseleni Nature Reserve
- iSimangaliso Wetland Park
- Zululand Birding Route
- Route 66 Zululand Heritage Route
- Cecil Mack’s Pass
- Dlinza Forest Aerial Boardwalk
- Primitive Trail
- Zulu Homestead Visit
- Mzingazi Golf Course
- Empangeni Golf Club
Richards Bay receives most of its annual rainfall during the summer months.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 16˚C and 29˚C.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 12˚C and 23˚C.
There are daily flights between Johannesburg’s O R Tambo Airport and Richards Bay Airport which is approximately 5 km outside the city of Richards Bay. If you are travelling from any other city to Richards Bay you would have to search for flights via Johannesburg or fly into Durban’s King Shaka Airport, a two hour drive from Richards Bay. Car hire facilities are available at all Airports.
The town of Richards bay began life as a makeshift harbour set up by Sir Fredrick Richards, a Commodore of the cape during the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879. After a settlement developed around the port it was named after its founder, Richards.
The town remained a quiet fishing town for many years despite the revelation after a hydrographic survey showing the area to have more potential for development than Durban. Richards Bay only earned the title of South Africa’s largest harbour and world’s largest coal terminal in 1976.
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