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 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 is it well placed to visit places like iMfolozi Game Reserve and St. Lucia which are less than an hour away.