Richards Bay


Industrial centre surrounded by pristine wetland


If someone were to imagine a town housing one of South Africa’s largest harbours and the world’s largest export coal terminal they would probably envision a place covered in endless waves of black smog and stout industrial buildings without so much as a shrub in sight. This is not the case with Kwazulu Natal’s Richards Bay, which has pulled off the amazing feat of growing into a modern, industrialised business centre while retaining some of the most pristine beaches and wetlands in South Africa.

The industrial side of Richards Bay is not without its appeal, as day trips to industrial plants provide insight into the engine which keeps the town’s large industry running. However, the main attraction remains the town’s natural beauty – its pristine beaches and warm, safe waters providing a sanctuary for beachgoers. The Richards Bay Game Sanctuary protects a large swathe of wetland; home to indigenous subtropical fauna and flora ripe for observation. 

Both the Richards Bay Game Reserve and the town’s harbour form part of the Zululand Birding Route, which visitors can follow on a search to spot some of the 605 bird species recorded throughout the route. Richards Bay is also situated only 2hrs outside of Durban making it an ideal place for a KwaZulu-Natal retreat.

 
Highlights
  • Despite being an industrialised business centre, Richard’s Bay is surrounded by natural beauty
  • Pristine beaches and warm, safe waters
  • The Richards Bay Game Sanctuary protects a large area of wetland housing indigenous flora and fauna
  • Three mini resorts offer a variety of water-based activities
  • The game sanctuary and the harbour are included on the Zululand Birding Route where 605 species of bird have been recorded
  • Situated only 2 hours outside of Durban

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