Founded in the 1880s during the Anglo-Zulu colonial wars, Richards Bay was named after British Rear Admiral Sir Frederick William Richards, who landed a naval force here. An early claim to fame came in 1891, when colonial adventurer John Dunn killed a 22-foot crocodile in the estuary—still one of the largest ever documented—but the town remained a backwater with a population of less than 200 people until as recently as 1968. Today, Richards Bay is the major port in the region and is adjacent to significant mineral deposits, which have contributed to the town's massive growth. Visitors may be more interested in what awaits beyond in the hinterland. Richards Bay is the gateway to the land of the Zulu, one of Africa's most fascinating tribal peoples, and from here you have easy access to some of the world's finest wildlife game parks, including the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve, which protects the highest concentration of white rhino left in Africa.
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