Perched on the lagoon of the Mhlatuze River, Richards Bay is one of the largest and deepest natural harbors in South Africa. It’s also one of the main gateways to KwaZulu-Natal province and Zululand, the much larger inland region popular for its mountains, diverse wildlife, and vast surrounding savannah ecosystems.

While the town’s size is modest, the inland region is anything but. A day trip or safari excursion is a must as hundreds of thousands of hectares of wilderness, rolling hills, and exotic wildlife await. No South Africa cruise to Richards Bay is complete without touring a game reserve to explore rolling hills, open Savannah grasslands, and incredible wildlife, including black and white rhinos, lions and giraffes.

The most popular park is Hluhluwe–iMfolozi, about an hour outside of Richards Bay—it’s the oldest proclaimed nature reserve in Africa and home to the 'big five': the rhino, elephant, buffalo, lion and leopard.

If you prefer staying in town, explore a wide variety of dining and retail therapy options at the Boardwalk Mall, Zululand’s premier shopping venue, with nearly 200 stores. After shopping, retreat to one of many coastal or in-harbor beaches for a braai (Afrikaans for “grill”), and savor some local meats.

Alkantstrand Beach

Learn More +
Sunset at Alkantstrand Beach in Richards Bay, South Africa

Alkantstrand Beach

Stroll the warm waters of Alkantstrand, a Blue Flag certified beach for its excellent water quality, cleanliness, safety, and environmental standards. Swim, relax and unwind, or barbecue at one of several sites with a beautiful, scenic backdrop at the entrance of Richards Bay.

Pelican Island

Learn More +
Sunset from a beach on Pelican Island in Richards Bay, South Africa

Pelican Island

A serene, sandy beach with warm, gentle waters. Pelican Island is accessible by a land bridge within Richards Bay and offers a protected, pristine, and peaceful retreat from the bigger coastal waves on Alkantstrand Beach.

Day Tours & Safaris

Learn More +
A baby elephant and its mother, seen on safari in Richards Bay, South Africa

Day Tours & Safaris

Venture inland with one of many safari guides departing from Richards Bay. Explore sanctuaries and parks home to exotic creatures like lions, elephants, zebras, baboons, antelopes, storks, buffalos, ostrich and more.

Richards Bay, South Africa At a glance

Current Weather:
Fair (Night)
19°C / 67 °F
Partly Cloudy (Day)
Partly Cloudy (Day)
Isolated Thundershowers
Mostly Cloudy (Day)
Current Time:
8:18:17 pm2018/08/20 20:18:17 pm
Monday, August 20
UTC/GMT +02:00
Local Details:
GPS: 28°46'42.65"S 31°51'8.41"E
Size: 143.00 KM2 (55.21 MI2)
Population: 57,387
Density: 401 Pop/KM2 (155 Pop/MI2)
Country Code: 035

Featured Blogs Related To
Richards Bay, South Africa

The Big Five and Beyond: Wild for African Wildlife

One of the most exciting aspects of a trip to Africa is, hands down, the incredible wildlife you’ll see. And when you cruise to Africa with us, you’ll...

Continue Reading

Crew Q&A: Almé Morrison, Bar Manager

In 2020, we're cruising to South Africa! In fact, we're cruising to eleven different African countries in 2020. If you missed the blog post on...

Continue Reading

Cape Town 2020: We’re Cruising to South Africa!

Have you heard the news? On May 15, we revealed our 2020 itineraries—and they’re spectacular. Among the many incredible destinations we’re set...

Continue Reading

Choose Azamara®

For Your Next Voyage

Talk to an expert