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Richards Bay South African Information

Richards Bay South Africa

The port town of Richards Bay is named after Admiral Sir F.W.R. Richards, who was appointed Commander of the West Coast of Africa in 1878. He landed at Port Durnford on the East Coast after the British defeat at the hands of the Zulus. HMS Forrester, a ship under his command, surveyed the coastline and the Mhlathuze lagoon and recorded is as Richards Bay.

The modern, thriving town of Richards Bay has excellent accommodation facilities available such as hotels, lodges, guest houses, bed & breakfast and self catering establishments.

The focus of entertainment is at the Tuzi Gazi waterfront at the Small Crafts harbour with restaurants, craft shops and water sport facilities. Shark-netted beaches at Alkanstrand provide ample opportunity for safe bathing, fishing and picnicking.

The Bay Crocodile Sanctuary and Enseleni Nature Reserve are also well known.

Visit the Richards Bay website.

More about Richards Bay

Richards Bay, together with Empangeni, Esikhawini, Vulindlela, Feliston , Nseleni & Ngwelezane make up the city of uMhlathuze River. The City of uMhlathuze assumed city status on the 21st August 2001, and the name uMhlathuze was derived from the uMhlathuze River that meanders through the uMhlathuze municipal area.

Richards Bay's resounding success in owed to thoughtful town planning and stringent nature conservation principles. This has ensured that industry; tourism and nature coexist in harmony. The town and its surrounds have vast expanses of untouched indigenous land, and many natural lakes and marshes, making it one of the most picturesque tourist destinations in the country. The town boasts an abundance of wildlife, including leopards, hippos, crocodiles and monkeys. Over 300 species of birds can be spotted in and around town, making it a bird watcher's paradise. Humpback dolphins and whales frequently platform at Alkantstrand beach. The Enseleni Nature Reserve, which is home to wildebeest, zebra, reedbuck and other small mammals, offers hiking trails that take visitors through the Zululand bushveld, and along the banks of the Nseleni River.

Richards Bay yatch club Richards Bay is any sporting enthusiasts haven. The all year around summer and warm Indian Ocean make for an ideal training environment. The protected beaches, Tuzi Gazi Waterfront and bay area serve as a water sports playground. Over weekends a vibrant hum echoes the shores as all kinds of vessels take to the water, providing pleasant entertainment for those basking in the sun or relaxing in the cool shade of the Casuarinas tree. The roads and cycle trackers; and cyclists zooming about are a common phenomenon. The local country club boasts a 18-hole championship golf course situated on the banks of Lake Mzingazi. The breathtaking sceneries and unexpected visits from the local hippos, crocodiles, monkeys and fish eagles complement this challenging course. For those who prefer working out indoors there is a fully equipped modern Virgin Active Club. The numerous puplic swimming pools are ideal serious training venues or simply for cooling down. (VISITORS GUIDE TO THE CITY OF UMHLATHUZE)

The modern, thriving town of Richards Bay has excellent accommodation facilities available which includes modern hotels, ample bed and breakfast establishments and self catering establishments, with its Carribean look CBD and numerous shopping centres.

About Richards Bay KwaZulu Natal South Africa

Once a small fishing village, Richards Bay is today considered the industrial and tourism hub of the city of uMhlathuze. Development of the country's deepest and largest Port started here in 1976. Occupying 37% of the 796km² of the municipal area, Richards Bay has been earmarked by the Government as one of the country's growth and development points and, through the planned Industrial Development Zone (IDZ), will attract a great deal of new investments. Richards Bay is already home to some of the country's most lucrative and productive industries.



The warm Indian Ocean beaches are ideal for swimming, surfing, yachting and kayaking. Alkanstrand and Newark Beaches are protected by lifeguards and shark nets. Facilities include picnic/ barbeque sites, a super tube and putt-putt course, a restaurant and kiosk.

Dolphin Viewing Platform

Situated at the end of the North Breakwater Pier at Alkanstrand Beach, this specially erected platform allows visitors to view the Humpback Dolphins that frequent the Richards Bay coastline.

Lake Mzingazi

Lake Mzingazi Richards Bay KwaZulu Natal South Africa This 944ha freshwater natural lake is the source of Richards Bay's water. It is home to an abundance of hippos and crocodiles and is the favoured feeding place of African Fish Eagles for which the town is renowned. The lake has been left untouched and can best be viewed in its natural splendour from the Richards Bay Country Club.

Tuzi Gazi Waterfront

The Tuzi Gazi Waterfront is an ideal playground for water sport enthusiasts. The up-market office complex, numerous shops, pubs, restaurants and walk-on moorings add to the vibrant atmosphere.

Dayspring Farmyard

Situated 20 minutes drive from Richards Bay along the N2 towards Empangeni on a sugar cane farm, this animal-petting farm allows children to interact with farmyard animals whilst parents ralax in a Tea Garden. They also cater for kiddie's birthday parties.


Edupark Science Biology Education Centre Richards Bay Situated in the Zululand Chamber of Business Foundation Community Park in Alton, the Edupark is home to the Unizul Science Center, the Zululand Career Centre and the CASME Resource Centre (Science, Biology and Maths teaching resources). Workshops are conducated for school groups on request.

Harbour Lights Resort Animal Farm

Situated on a sugar estate 15 minutes drive from Richards Bay along the John Ross Parkway. Activities include an Animal and Bird farm, Putt Putt Course, volleyball court, hikes and trampoline. Day visitors are welcome.(Zululand Unwrapped- KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.)

(The following content is from "A visitors Gude to the City of uMhlathuze" brochure by Zulu Kingdom 2007)

Enseleni Nature Reserve

Situated 15 minute's drive from Richards Bay on the N2 towards Empangeni. Entrance to the reserve is free and visitors are welcome to enjoy the picnic / braai sites and self-guided nature walks. The Nkonkoni Trail is 7km and the Mvubu Trail is 3km in length. A variety of small mammals and an abundance of bird life can be seen.

Umfolozi Bird Park

Situated 20km north of Richards Bay, engulfed in a tranquil, scenic environment with its spectacular variety of birds, boasting over 40 species ranging from the parrots to guinea fowl. There are pony rides for the children and a resturant and pub on the premises.

Richards Bay Minerals

RBM offers visitors three comprehensive tours; a social investment tour, a general interest tour and an environmental tour that shows how RBM is contributing to sustainable development and gives visitors an overview of the company's operations. Two week's notice is essential for bookings, tours are usually conducted on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Hlangasa Adventure Park

Situated about 20 km out of Empangeni on the R34 offers:

  • Bike and Quad Riding on tracks
  • Self-guided outrides from the park
  • Mountain bike tracks, BMX track
  • Paintball
  • Walks in gorge & rainforest, bird viewing
  • Accommodation and Wellness Centre

Bring your own bike or hire from the park.

Source: uMhlathuze (by Zulu Kingdom 2007)