The Zulu name for the Port town of Richard's Bay lying on KwaZulu Natal's north coast is Cwebeni, meaning 'at the lagoon'. The Richards Bay lagoon was first used as a harbour in 1879 during the Anglo Boer War, when the Commodore of the Cape Station of The Royal Navy, Sir Frederick Richards, landed supplies for the army fighting in the Zulu Wars.
The Richards Bay lagoon is 3500 hectare of salt water and was initially home to a vast number of aquatic birds, hippos and crocodiles. South Africa's largest ever recorded crocodile was shot in the Richards Bay Lagoon in 1891 by John Dunn, the famous hunter and the only white man to become an African Chief. The crocodile measured an unbelievable 6.7 metres.
Although the Richards Bay Lagoon and its surrounds were proclaimed a Nature Reserve in 1935, the inevitable decision to turn it into Richards Bay Port was taken in the 1960s. Richards Bay Port is South Africa's largest port and is now home to several heavy industries making Richards Bay a large, successful industrial town.
Richards Bay accommodation and all of the regular amenities and shopping malls make it a town that has much to offer it's Zululand citizens. Richards Bay is also within comfortable driving distance of the Zulu cultural attractions and Zululand game park attractions which make Zululand such a popular tourist destination.
Accommodation in Richards Bay which is only 20km east of Empangeni attracts tourists from all over South Africa and around the world, due to the industrial and tourist opportunities that the Richards Bay area has to offer. Richards Bay Hotels and bed and breakfast accommodation in Richards Bay are plentiful and of a very satisfactory standard. A multitude of star graded accommodation in Richards Bay should be a preferred choice if ever in doubt (see Where to Stay list of star graded accommodation under our special accommodationcategories).
Self catering accommodation in Richards Bay is available throughout the suburbs including accommodation in Meerensee which is a popular suburb of Richards Bay. The Richards Bay Waterfront accommodation is definitely worth a visit and you will be flooded with a diversity of excellent seafood and other restaurants. Hotel accommodation on Richards Bay Waterfront is also very highly recommended - the views are spectacular.
My Trip Through Richards bay
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"To end our Kruger Park / golf tour we decided to stop in at Richards Bay in order to interrupt the 6 hour trip home to Durban.
We booked into the Richards Protea Hotel and visited the Waterfront only a very short drive away.
Our hotel room was more than adequate and we enjoyed watching The Springboks drilling Scotland on the TV in the cosy hotel pub
A few fine restaurants were positioned on the Richards Bay Waterfront and we weren't dissappointed with our meal at "Porky's"
Overlooking the yacht basin with a few bottles of red wine floating around our table, it was the perfect ending to our great round trip to The Kruger National Park area.
A quick 18 holes at the Richards Bay Country Club was pleasant and a good test of golf.
Golf Course conditions could have been a bit better - there was a slight lack of golf course manicuring which was probably due to budget constraints but green fees and golf cart hire were so low that there was no room for complaints
Nice tidy town, Richards Bay - well done to the locals. There was plenty of options available for self catering and B&B accommodation in Richards Bay
We left straight after the game for the 2 hour trip back to Durban." - Avril and Frank