10 Things to do in Richards Bay

Posted on 9 July 2024

Embarking on a journey to Richards Bay unveils a world of diverse experiences waiting to be explored. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a wildlife lover, or someone seeking tranquillity by the beach, Richards Bay offers something for everyone. In this blog post, we’ve curated a list of 10 captivating activities that will make your visit to this South African gem truly memorable. This coastal haven beckons with its rich tapestry of attractions, from pristine nature reserves to animal sanctuaries and pristine beaches. Let’s dive in and discover the top 10 things to do in Richards Bay.

1. Enseleni Nature Reserve

Enseleni Nature Reserve - Things to do in Richards Bay

Source: Facebook / @ KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission

This reserve boasts scenic walking paths, including two brief trails traverse diverse landscapes. In the summer, it teems with butterflies and insects, and Red Duiker and Banded Mongoose are often seen. It’s a prime spot to glimpse the elusive African Finfoot, but a cautious approach is necessary for photographing them along the riverbank.

A tripod-mounted camera is recommended for those capturing fleeting wildlife moments, especially around picnic areas and parking lots. If hiking in, equip yourself with a sturdy camera hiking bag and rain cover for your equipment to be prepared for unexpected showers.

2. Richards Bay Small Craft Harbour

Small Craft Harbour Richards Bay - Things to do in Richards Bay

Source: Facebook / @Small Craft Harbour Richards Bay

Nestled by the serene waters of the small craft harbour, a selection of diverse eateries awaits, offering Indian, Thai, African, Portuguese, and more. In the scorching summer heat, the ice cream shop provides a welcome break, while the atmosphere here caters to various moods, from romantic to formal. Enjoy captivating views of tugboats, cargo ships, yachts, and the local harbour dredger from the restaurant and Bon Hotel nearby.

The vibrant scene includes local bikers indulging in mutton rabbit chow and beer from K And K Curries. A visit to the small craft harbour quayside is a must during your Richards Bay trip, where you can immerse yourself in the unique waterfront atmosphere.

3. Outdoor Africa

Outdoor Africa - Things to do in Richards Bay

Source: Facebook / @Outdoor Africa

Join us for a captivating full-day beach excursion commencing from Richards Bay, where you’ll embark on an enriching journey. Explore the oldest game reserve in South Africa and immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of Zulu culture. Our partner, Outdoor Africa, stands out as one of the premier safari companies in Southern Africa. They specialise in meticulously planned photographic tours to some of the region’s most distinguished safari destinations.

These safaris are conducted with an unwavering commitment to the “safety first philosophy,” ensuring that you, your family, and friends craft unforgettable memories. On a morning game drive, be on the lookout for the renowned “Big Five” animals residing within the reserve’s boundaries, accompanied by a diverse array of over 300 bird species. The “Big Five” comprises elephants, rhinoceroses, Cape buffaloes, lions, and leopards, making your safari adventure truly remarkable.

4. Hluhluwe–iMfolozi Park

Hluhluwe Game Reserve - Things to do in Richards Bay

Source: Facebook / @Hluhluwe Game Reserve

Hluhluwe-iMfolozi, one of South Africa’s most iconic parks, boasts the serene White iMfolozi and Black iMfolozi Rivers and spans 960 square kilometres. The best time to visit is during the dry winter months (May to September), as animals gather at water sources and dense foliage thins. However, summer excursions offer their own charm, especially in the open savannah.

The park is home to lions, elephants, rhinoceroses, leopards, giraffes, buffaloes, and wild dogs. In the eastern part, the Centenary Centre, with its wildlife facilities, museum, and information centre, contributes to conservation efforts, offering glimpses of animals relocating to new homes and highlighting rhino enclosures and antelope pens.

5. iSimangaliso Wetland Park

iSimangaliso Wetland Park - Things to do in Richards Bay

Source: Facebook / @iSimangaliso Wetland Park

Nestled within one of Africa’s most pristine natural landscapes is the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, a sprawling 239,566-hectare sanctuary. This expansive territory remains virtually untouched by human influence, hosting a diverse range of marine, coastal, wetland, estuary, and terrestrial ecosystems. From coral reefs to sandy beaches, it shelters many species from Africa’s seas, wetlands, and savannahs.

This transitional environment, shaped by significant floods and coastal storms, has fueled ongoing speciation and an unmatched species richness. Within the park’s boundaries, you’ll encounter nesting turtles, magnificent flocks of flamingos, and other captivating waterfowl, all contributing to the park’s extraordinary natural beauty.

6. Dlinza Forest Aerial Boardwalk

Dlinza Forest Aerial Boardwalk - Things to do in Richards Bay

Source: Facebook / @Dlinza Forest Aerial Boardwalk

Nestled within the lush Dlinza forest, eShowe exudes a unique charm, perched on a cool hilltop overlooking the coastal plains. The town seamlessly integrates with its surroundings, offering a tranquil haven unlike any other South African locale. The 250-hectare coastal scarp forest boasts a designated nature reserve, with eShowe’s streets adorned by high forests, wildflower meadows, and lush grasslands. Locals proudly claim a tree blooms every day of the year, a testament to the town’s rich natural diversity. Four Zulu rulers were drawn to the region’s beauty and pleasant climate, while eShowe’s modern history can be traced back to Norwegian missionaries who arrived in the mid-19th century.

For visitors, a 20-meter-high viewing tower at the end of a walkway is a must-visit. It rises above the forest canopy, offering stunning vistas of the landscape as it gently descends to meet the shoreline.

7. Flag Animal Farm

Flag Animal Farm - Things to do in Richards Bay

Source: Facebook / @Flag Animal Farm

Flag Animal Farm, the premier rescue animal farm in KZN, is a testament to their unwavering dedication to animal rescue. A visit to Flag Farm immerses you in its mission, a place where people relax, connect with like-minded animal enthusiasts, and witness the transformation of over 14,000 lives.

It’s a remarkable journey, watching animals rediscover love, trust, and a sense of security despite their past traumas. Families can enjoy an authentic farm experience as they explore our grounds, thanks to their tireless efforts.

8. Crocodile Centre

Crocodile Centre - Things to do in Richards Bay

Source: Facebook / @ Crocworld Conservation Centre

At the Crocodile Centre Saint Lucia, an enlightening facility located near the St. Lucia Estuary, visitors can engage with the world of crocodiles. This breeding and research institution, nestled within a World Heritage Site wetland reserve, offers educational tours to help guests discover the wonders of these remarkable reptiles. While here, you can interact with leopard tortoises and even hold the skull of a full-grown crocodile, all within the same habitat.

Additionally, the research facility hosts an impressive collection of snakes and alligators. After a leisurely stroll through the cycad garden, guests are invited to savour the picturesque views and indulge in a refreshing beverage and snacks at the on-site coffee shop.

9. Richards Bay Caravan Park

Richards Bay Caravan Park - Things to do in Richards Bay

Source: Facebook / @Richards Bay Caravan Park

Nestled amid South Africa’s North Coast dunes, Richards Bay Caravan Park is a haven for caravan and camping enthusiasts. The park offers a wide range of activities, including volleyball courts, swimming pools, an 18-hole mini adventure golf course, and practical amenities like braai spots, a boat wash, and a fish cleaning area. Its subtropical climate makes it a year-round camping destination, featuring 248 well-equipped campsites, each with power outlets and water supply, all shaded by lush trees.

For your comfort, the park provides sanitary facilities and various entertainment options, from trampolines, a TV room, and a general store to a BMX track, outdoor chess, and a games room. Adventure-seekers can enjoy a volleyball court and paintball, ensuring a memorable and enjoyable visit to this coastal gem.

10. Alkantstrand Beach

Alkantstrand Beach - Things to do in Richards Bay

Source: Facebook / @Alkantstrand Beach

Nestled in the heart of Zululand and Maputaland, Richards Bay welcomes you with its stunning beaches and lush landscapes, reflecting the beauty of KwaZulu-Natal. Alkantstrand, the northernmost Blue Flag beach in South Africa, stands out for its pristine condition, year-round lifeguards, and wealth of amenities, making it a must-visit destination. With wheelchair accessibility, picnic areas, and inviting white sands, it guarantees a memorable beach experience.

Explore this coastal gem and bask in a welcoming climate, perfect for sunbathing, picnics, and family fun, whether during peak travel season or the quieter months. Richards Bay offers a captivating getaway for beach lovers and nature enthusiasts alike.

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Also Read: Dining with a View: South Africa’s 12 Scenic Restaurants

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