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Ramsgate on the south coast of KwaZulu-Natal Province in South Africa is renowned for its wonderful, flat beach surrounded by natural undergrowth and a calm lagoon. The village is located in the Hibiscus Coast region, named after the large colourful flowers that break the greenery. Ramsgate is a popular holiday destination for inland residents and many families arrive here for their annual holiday year on year.
Ramsgate was first inhabited by survivors of the ship Fascadale that wrecked here in 1895. They settled in an area alongside the lagoon and called it Fascadale. The name later changed to Blue Lagoon before residents finally settled on the current name.
Ramsgate experiences over 300 days of sunshine annually, the place has a chilled holiday vibe and the sea is warm and guarded by lifeguards, all the necessary components required for a relaxing seaside vacation.
Top 8 reasons to visit Ramsgate
1. Ramsgate Beach is Blue Flag certified and the thick vegetation around the beach, Tanglewood Forest, acts as an ideal wind break for bathers. There are several fishing spots, a tidal pool and boat launch along the length of the beach.
2. A whale and dolphin deck, with adjoining environment centre, has been erected overlooking Ramsgate beach. Spend some time here on the lookout for these sea creatures or walk the 6km Marine Ramble that hugs the coast to Margate.
3. Ramsgate has two celebrated stopovers: The Waffle House is a much-frequented establishment around these parts, the menu offers a selection of heavenly waffles, sweet or savoury, and Pistols Saloon and Wild West Museum where the food is good, the museum has plenty of interesting cowboy memorabilia and there’s a live donkey hanging out in the pub!
4. Bellevue Park is a fun, hands-on place for children to appreciate the importance of conserving our wildlife and to discover creatures that occur naturally around them. The park has a small shop, a picnic area and obstacle course to keep the entire family interested.
5. Visit Pure Venom Reptile Park, one of the largest such parks in the country. Daily venomous snake demonstrations are held and there is a small animal farm for children, a crocodile enclosure and restaurant on the premises.
6. Hire clubs and head to the Margate Country Club for a game of golf on this sprawling 18-hole course north of Ramsgate. The clubhouse restaurant and pub welcomes guests.
7. Lovers of art can visit the Gaze Gallery to browse the gorgeous glasswork, ceramics and detailed paintings on display. Well known sculpture Nic Grobler is based in Ramsgate too for those in search of his unique bronze sculptings, always in demand.
8. Walk amongst indigenous butterflies from all over the country at Butterfly Valley. Check out the breeding centre to watch butterflies emerge after pupating. The venue has a section containing unusual insects, spiders and lizards to creep you out.
The nearest international airport is Durban’s King Shaka International Airport, 165km from Ramsgate. The Margate Airport is only 2km away and flights arrive from OR Tambo International in Johannesburg approximately 4 times a week. Several car rental agencies are based at Margate and at the airports or you could order a vehicle online. There are a few taxi companies operating in Margate.
Did you know?
In the 1920s a tea garden existed here but visitors had to cross the river by rowing boat to reach it. The tea garden once stood on what is today the Waffle House.
The south coast of KwaZulu-Natal has a large concentration of towns and villages, each unique and some practically on each other’s doorstep. The variety of swimming, sunbathing, fishing and surfing spots gives visitors a wide choice of destination.