Margate is a seaside resort town on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast, about 20 kilometres southwest of Port Shepstone. The river which flows into the sea at Margate is called “Nkhongweni” (place of entreaty) because the original inhabitants were reputed to be so mean that travellers had to beg for hospitality. In 1908, Henry Richardson, an English surveyor laid out the town and named it Margate after another seaside resort on the northern coast of the county of Kent, in the United Kingdom.
It features Blue Flag Beaches for swimming, snorkelling, and surfing. Many apartment buildings offer accommodation for residents and visitors. It also contains a shopping street and many restaurants, pubs, and nightclubs, Margate is a spot where many South Africans and foreign visitors spend their vacation.
Margate is busiest during school and public holidays when inland residents travel to the coast. Christmas and Easter are especially busy times, with Margate’s main street often clogged with heavy traffic during these times.
Margate hit the world headlines in 1922 (although this date is often disputed and stated as 1924) when an enormous, white, furry creature (dubbed “Trunko” due to it having an elephantine trunk) was washed up on the beach. The “Margate monster” was too decomposed to be identified accurately.
Margate is a popular seaside resort town on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast, just about 20 kilometres southwest of Port Shepstone. In 1908, Henry Richardson, an English surveyor laid out the town and named it Margate after another seaside resort on the northern coast of the county of Kent, in the United Kingdom.
With a number of Blue Flag beaches (meaning it is clean and safe), warm ocean temperatures and a fascinating underwater-world, Margate makes for an ideal summer holiday spot and is chock a block with holiday accommodation.
While on holiday in Margate, the heart of the Hibiscus Coast, take advantage of the area’s ideal conditions for scuba diving, snorkelling diving, surfing and water-skiing. Prime beaches to check out in Margate include Lucien Beach, which is quiet but popular and accessible by a steep set of stairs. Margate Beach itself is most popular with holiday-makers due to its proximity to restaurants, shops and hotels. Further afield Marina Beach in san lameer or the Ramsgate Beach also offers the ultimate in beaching experiences.
If you want continue the water sports but with a break from the beach, the Margate Lagoon is a popular spot for water-skiing and boating.
Other attractions in Margate include the Oribi Gorge, a national park, providing a home to a variety of mammals and bird species. You could also get up and close and personal with crocodiles at the Croc world Conservation Centre. The Margate Bird Park or the Butterfly Valley in Scottburgh is also a lovely day out for the whole family.
Golfers will enjoy the Margate Country Club, with its superb greens in the St. Andrews tradition. For those who would prefer a little shopping, Margate boasts fine art galleries and craft shops. During South Africa’s holidays, especially the Christmas and Easter school holidays, the town pumps and nightlife picks up with parties spilling over onto the beach, and during the day the main street is packed with vibrant crowds. Students wanting to save their pennies while partying it up can take advantage of the cheap accommodation options in and around Margate.
Whether you’d like to appreciate it at its busiest and vibiest or during the quieter times of year when there are some major out of season accommodation specials, Margate is the ultimate beach holiday.