Richards Bay is a coastal town situated on a 30km² lagoon of the Mhlatuze River in KwaZulu-Natal. Situated halfway between Durban and Kosi Bay, Richards Bay boasts one of South Africa’s largest harbours and forms the tourist gateway to Zululand and Maputaland. Scroll down to view our range of accommodation in Richards Bay.
The town of Richards Bay began as a makeshift harbour set up by the Commodore of the Cape, Sir Frederick Richards, during the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879. In 1976 the Richards Bay harbour was converted into a deep water harbour with a railway and an oil/gas pipeline linking the port to Johannesburg. This has resulted in Richards Bay major spike in industrial tourism. After all, 25% of the world’s titanium, slag, zircon, rutile, and high purity pig iron are produced here. Richards Bay also holds claim as the largest coal terminal in the world. Visitors to Richards Bay can go on fascinating tours around the factories to learn how they operate.
Richards Bay boasts a favourable climate all year round, making it an ideal location for outdoor enthusiasts. Activities such as fishing, kayaking, boating, jet skiing, sailing, and kite surfing can be enjoyed here. Water sport enthusiasts will revel in scouring the waters at the Tuzi Gazi Waterfront, Naval Island, and Pelican Island. Safe swimming and surfing can be enjoyed at the Alkastrand and Newark beaches.
There is a variety of top notch game reserves and nature parks located in Richards Bay and the surrounding areas. Spend some time exploring Richards Bay Game Reserve (founded to protect the ecology around the lagoon) or drive further out to Itala Game Reserve, Pongola Game reserve, Emdoneni Cat Rehabilitation Centre, and Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Park. Nature reserves worth a visit include Umlazi Nature Reserve, Enseleni Nature Reserve, Dlinza Forest Nature Reserve, Mapelane Nature Reserve, Amatikulu Nature Reserve, and Harold Johnson Nature Reserve.
Richards Bay has some of the most awe-inspiring wetlands and unspoilt beaches on KwaZulu-Natal’s north coast. You can explore the Zululand Birding Route, which includes Richards Bay Harbour and the game reserve, and covers a geographical area of sand banks, mud flats, mangroves, freshwater pans, and forests. Visitors can expect to see rare bird species such as the cuckoo hawk and pygmy goose as well as hippos and crocodiles in Richards Bay.
Richards Bay has a wide variety of accommodation, from B&Bs to guest houses to ensure that visitors need only focus on their own personal schedules. The town boasts excellent recreational facilities. Enjoy activities such as fishing, beachcombing, canoeing, visiting art galleries, and scenic drives. Other Richards Bay attractions include Empangeni Golf Course, Greater St Lucia Wetland Park, Durnford Lighthouse, Shakaland, and The Crocodile Farm.
Experience all that Richards Bay has to offer by booking one of our fantastic accommodations available in the area.