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Richards Bay (Photo:Leonard Zhukovsky/Shutterstock)
Richards Bay (Photo:Leonard Zhukovsky/Shutterstock)
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Cruise Critic Staff

Port of Richards Bay

Perched on South Africa's northeastern coastline, north of Durban and south of the border with Mozambique, the industrial port town of Richards Bay affords a gateway to regional attractions in the greater KwaZulu-Natal province. While there's little to engage visitors in the town itself, excursions further afield lead to some interesting cultural highlights in the heart of the Zulu nation, and also propose access to a duo of standout wildlife reserves at Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park and iSimangaliso Wetland Park.

Visitors looking to learn more about the Zulu people might enjoy a visit to Shakaland, a Zulu living history museum (complete with traditional Zulu dance performances), located within the onetime set of the 1980s TV show Shaka Zulu. The main regional lure, however, is for wilderness-and-wildlife lovers: The above-mentioned reserves deliver incredible encounters with a vast array of African animals, including rare black rhinos, hippos and more.

Take special note that the region is a low-risk malarial zone, so be sure to consult with your doctor ahead of time about any advisable preventative measures.

Shore Excursions

About Richards Bay


Richards Bay is the gateway port to many of the region's attractions including nature reserves


You won't find much of anything to do or see in the port itself, which is mostly industrial

Bottom Line

If you want to get a taste of African wilderness, you can do it from Richards Bay

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Currency & Best Way to Get Money

The local currency is the South African rand; current exchange rates can be verified at www.xe.com and ATMs are readily available in town.


In South Africa, you might hear chattering in any one of 11 (that's not a typo) official languages, but English is spoken pretty much everywhere. Specifically, in the Richards Bay area, after English, you're most likely to hear the isiZulu language of the Zulu people or Afrikaans.