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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Richards Bay

Afrikaans name: Richardsbaai

Richards Bay harbour area

Richards Bay harbour

Photo © Steven Herbert


Richards Bay is a town situated on the site of one of South Africa's biggest harbours. The town gets its name from Sir Frederick Richards, Commodore of the Cape at the time, who set up a small harbour there in the 1870's.

In 1972 work began to improve and extend the harbour with work finishing in 1976.

Richards Bay is very much an industrial town. The harbour possesses the worlds largest coal export facility as well as two aluminium smelters. Although Richards Bay has residential areas, a number of the workers live in nearby Empangeni and Esikhaweni.

Richards Bay weather


Richards Bay is also well known for a number of recreational pursuits including kite-surfing, bird-watching and fishing. Although it is not an ideal holiday spot it is well placed to visit places like iMfolozi Game Reserve and St. Lucia which are less than an hour away.


References and further reading

Book of the Road - 4th edition - Author: MapStudio - Year Published: 2019 - Page: 141

Conolly's Guide to Southern Africa - Author: Denis Conolly - Year Published: 1982 - Page: 211

Hit the Road - 2nd Edition - Author: MapStudio - Year Published: 2018 - Page: 162

On Route - A region by region guide to South Africa - Author: B.P.J. Erasmus - Year Published: 1995 - Page: 143

Reader's Digest Illustrated Guide to Southern Africa - 4th edition - Author: - Year Published: 1986 - Page: 361

Southern Africa from the Highway - Author: AA RSA - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 95

The Pictorial Motoring Atlas of South Africa - Author: Maxwell Leigh - Year Published: 1987 - Page: 134

Top Birding Spots in Southern Africa - Author: Hugh Chittenden - Year Published: 1992 - Page: 274

Where to see Birds in KwaZulu-Natal - Author: Bennett and Herbert - Year Published: 1995 - Page: 48

Where to see Birds in Natal - Author: Gordon Bennett - Year Published: 1989 - Page: 37

Where to Watch Birds in Southern Africa - Author: A. Berruti and J.C. Sinclair - Year Published: 1983 - Page: 168

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