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Richards Bay South Africa Cruise Port Guide


The Port of Richards Bay is the gateway to the heart of Zululand and cruise ships are welcomed with a team of Zulu dancers and craft makers on the quayside. A tourist information office is nearby. Boardwalk Inkwazi Shopping center in Richards Bay boasts an eclectic mix of shopping options.

It is a modern, scenic marina. Most times a shuttle to a modern shopping mall is provided for.

Printable map to take along.

Cruise calendar for this port.

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Monthly Climate Averages for Richards Bay South Africa



Richards Bay is a relatively new city with the plans being laid in 1954 and not officially declared a city until 1969.

A new deep-water port inaugurated in 1976 is the second largest port in the country after Durban. In its wake, a number of large and small industries, hotels, shops and restaurants have sprung up, causing the town to develop at a record-breaking pace.

Lake Mzingazi This fresh-water lake on the outskirts of Richards Bay is home to crocodiles and hippos. The surrounding lush vegetation is a paradise for bird-watchers.

Tours Excursions Transportation:

There is an outdoor "mall" just outside the gate with a few stores are selling tours.

Most guests partake in cruise organized tours. There are several other private game reserves in the area within an hour's drive, but most of the tours occur during the high heat of the day when most animals are out of sight.

It pays to compare your cruise line tours here

Nearby Places:

The most important attractions are found outside Richards Bay in the game reserves and cultural villages. For many visitors Zululand represents some of the "real" Africa, an area that covers much of central KwaZulu-Natal, including the port of Richards Bay and the adjacent Hluhluwe Game Park. The region is dominated by the Zulu tribe; their customs, historical traditions and culture are evident throughout the region. The name Zulu derives from an early chief, whose descendants were called aba-kwa Zulu, or people of Zulu. Their capital is Ulundi, located north of the Tugela River. Much of Zululand comprises a scenic, hilly interior plus some coastal areas, where it is usually hot and humid.

Shopping and Food

Richards Bay has several shopping malls with boutiques and specialty shops selling curios. The Gallery specializes in local wood carvings from furniture to souvenir items. When buying wooden articles make sure the wood was treated for termites.


The currency is the Rand (ZAR) Automated teller machines (ATMs), linked to all major international networks, are available throughout the country. It is best to use only ATMs that are inside a mall or other building. Always be careful to make sure no one is watching you enter your PIN, and be vigilant about scams (e.g. machines that seem to eat your card and won't give it back after you enter the PIN).

Most retail stores accept credit cards.

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South Africa has 11 official languages. Most people other than rural black Africans speak English, although not many as a first language. Afrikaans is also widely-spoken, especially by the white and colored population.

The ship docks near a marina with cafes and bars and free wi-fi.

Opening Hours and Holidays:

Shopping hours Mon-Fri 0900-1700, Sat 0900-1400, although there is an increasing trend to open later and all weekend in major tourist spots. Shopping malls often stay open til' 9PM.

January 1. New Years' Day
March 21. Human Rights Day
Easter weekend. ("Good Friday", "Easter Saturday", "Easter Sunday" and "Easter Monday"): a four day long weekend in March or April set according to the Western Christian dates.
April 27. Freedom Day
May 1. Workers Day
June 16. Youth Day
August 9. Woman's Day
September 24. Heritage Day
December 16. Day of Reconciliation
December 25. Christmas Day
December 26. Day of Goodwill

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