The Zulu name for the Port town of Richard's Bay lying on Natal's north coast is Cwebeni, meaning 'at the lagoon'. The lagoon was first used as a harbour in 1879 during the Anglo Boer War, when the Commodore of the Cape Station of The Royal Navy, Sir Frederick Richards, landed supplies for the army fighting the Zulu.
The 3500 hectare salt water lagoon was initially home to a vast number of aquatic birds, hippos and crocodiles. South Africa's largest ever recorded crocodile was shot in the Richards Bay Lagoon in 1891 by John Dunn, the famous hunter and only white man to become an African Chief. The crocodile measured an unbelievable 6.7 metres.
Although the Richards Bay Lagoon and its surrounds were proclaimed a Nature Reserve in 1935, the inevitable decision to turn it into a port was taken in the 1960s. Richards Bay is South Africa's largest port and is now home to several heavy industries making it a large industrial town.
Having all the amenities a large town offers its citizens, Richards Bay is also within comfortable driving distance of the cultural and game attractions that make Zululand such a popular tourist destination.