SA’s Sub-Tropical Paradise
Margate is a carefree, friendly and exciting town on the South Coast of Kwa-Zulu Natal, only an hour and half from Durban. A sub-tropical paradise of golden beaches, coastal forests and endless sunny days!
At the centre of all the activities in this resort town is the long, sandy, world class Blue Flag Margate Main Beach manned by life guards and shark nets. The beach also boasts an amusement park, flea market, Olympic size swimming pool, kids pool and other activities all surrounded by restaurants and cocktail bars. School holidays sees Margate Beach abound with extra activities and concerts by big-name bands – if you not crazy about crowds, perhaps a visit out of season is what you would prefer and because of Margate’s all year-round good weather, a definite possibility.
The warm Indian Ocean water offers an abundance of tropical fish and coral reefs and large shoals of game fish while groups of sharks congregate around diving sites such as Protea Banks which makes scuba diving and snorkelling a must in Margate. Other water activities include fishing, canoeing surfing, skiing, windsurfing and boating.
Margate offers more than fun in the sun and if you prefer to spend the day doing a little shopping there are a few fine art galleries, craft shops and the Hibiscus Shopping Mall or Southcoast Mall are also close at hand to help you with your retails therapy needs. Visitors can take in a game of golf at the well-known Margate Golf Club or stroll amongst a diverse and exquisite selection of birds at the Margate Bird Park – there is always something to satisfy your every holiday mood in Margate!
Margate offers every type of accommodation to suit every travellers pocket. Choose from self-catering apartments, B&B’s, Guesthouses, Beach cottages, camping and caravanning or 5-Star Hotels, Margate has it all!
Places to Visit
Things to do and see
- Margate Art Museum
- Margate Beach
- Lucien Beach
- Mpenjati Naturist Beach
- Skyline Nature Reserve
- Wild Swing at Oribi Gorge
- Mac Banana
- Margate Bird Park
- Butterfly Valley
- Riverbend Crocodile Farm
- Pure Venom Reptile Park
- South Coast Mall
- Hibiscus Mall
- Shelly Centre
- Margate Golf Course
- Wild Coast Sun
Margate receives approximately 717 mm of rain annually with the majority of its’ rainfall occurring during the summer months.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 18˚C and 27˚C.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 10˚C and 22˚C.
Margate was once a small fishing village with only a large, partly 12th century church of St John’s set on a hill and a track down to a cluster of houses around the harbour and was known as “Meregate”.
The first Indian labourers arrived in the British Colony in 1860 on the SS Truro from Madras, followed shortly by SS Belvedere from Calcutta. In total 384 vessels arrived with labourers from India. They were confronted with a severe labour system, first working on farmers and estates and later being assigned to the railways. Soon a growing passion for sea bathing turned Margate into a popular resort town and some special servants were required to work in Hotels, Clubs and private residences as steamships and trains brought countless visitors to the developing town.
In 1908, the English Surveyor Henry Richardson laid out the town and named it Margate after another seaside resort on the northern coast of the county of Kent in the United Kingdom. The towns popularity only grew and back in the 1920’s tourists were willing to travel two days and two nights to spend their holidays in Margate. The Margate Beach has been a best loved Kwa-Zulu Natal coastal destination for over 90 years!
Margate hit the headlines in 1922 when visitors and locals witnessed, just off the Margate Beach, what they described as an epic battle of monstrous proportions between 3 gigantic beasts. Two of the animals were clearly recognisable as whales but the third was deemed “utterly unclassifiable”. The witnesses were transfixed as the battle rages for over 3 hours. All 3 of the gigantic creatures died. However, as fascinating as the battle account may have been, the true mystery only began when later that evening a 47, foot long corpse washed up on shore.
The creature has no apparent head, yet it bore a 5, foot long trunk and a 10, foot long lobster type tail all of which was covered in 8 inch white snowy hair. Unfortunately, the 'Margate monster' was too decomposed to be identified accurately.
The Media later gave the creature the name “Trunko”.
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