Ramsgate is a picturesque seaside village on the South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, at the mouth of a the Bilanhlolo River. In Zulu, Bilanhlolo means amazing or marvellous boiler – a reference to the strong currents which give the river its characteristic ‘boiling’ appearance. The town is named after the original farmstead in the area – Ramsgate; itself named for the popular seaside holiday town in Kent, England.
This scenic stretch of KwaZulu-Natal coastline, on which Ramsgate is situated, is known as the Hibiscus Coast. The area boasts a wonderful warm subtropical climate (and corresponding warm ocean waters) year-round. The climate is conducive, not only for tourism throughout the year, but for cultivating subtropical crops like sugarcane and bananas – which you’ll see aplenty in lush plantations on the rolling hills inland from the town. These green hills provide a pleasing backdrop to the golden sands of the beaches and the blue waters of the Indian Ocean, below.
Ramsgate Beach is a Blue Flag Beach – one of only eight such beaches in KwaZulu-Natal. A Blue Flag is an award given to beaches which meet the stringent criteria of the International Blue Flag Campaign, managed in South Africa by the Wildlife and Environmental Society of South Africa (WESSA). Blue Flag status assures you that beaches are clean, safe and environmentally friendly. A 6km beach walk – the Ramsgate Marine Ramble – links the many coves and beaches of the greater area, from Southbroom in the South to Margate in the North.
Nature & the Environment
This is an area blessed with beautiful scenery – from indigenous coastal and riverine forest, golden beaches and the blue Indian Ocean to the rolling hills cultivated with sugar cane and bananas. The many gorges, lagoons and rivers add to the scenery. Bird life is abundant and larger game can be seen in the surrounding nature reserves. Then there’s the rich marine life found off the coast – including plenty of shark species, whales and dolphins. The Community of Ramsgate is very proud of the natural beauty of Ramsgate and works hard to conserve and promote it as much as possible.
Heritage and History
Ramsgate’s colourful past contributes to its vibrant spirit, today. The area’s Zulu inhabitants were later joined by a mix-match of English, German, Dutch and Indian people. From a small farming and trading community the town had, by the 1930s established itself as a popular holiday resort for upcountry folk to take in the sunshine and sea air, whilst enjoying fine cuisine in a warm and friendly atmosphere. In this modern age of fast food and here-today-gone-tomorrow establishments, it’s good to know that you will still be treated with good, old-fashioned hospitality right here in Ramsgate!
Arts & Culture
The sea is often cited as a creative inspiration; this must be one of the reasons why so many artists and other creative people have settled in Ramsgate over the years. The area boasts a rich blend of cultural heritages, including English, Afrikaans, Zulu and Indian.
With just 1500 permanent residents, Ramsgate is the quintessential small seaside village! English, Afrikaans and Zulu are all commonly spoken here, as well as some Xhosa (given the town’s proximity to the Eastern Cape).
Safety and Security
Escape the rat race and rest awhile in a place which offers a respite from city life – a safe and secure environment, strong community spirit and concern for nature and the environment make Ramsgate one of the very best places, not only to holiday, but in which to live and work, too. It’s no wonder so many holiday makers come back here – and many times for good!