This town is situated on the banks of the upper Illovo River in the midlands of KwaZulu-Natal, only 38km from Pietermaritzburg. The area consists mainly of dairy, livestock and sugar farming, and is surrounded by scenic rolling hills blanketed with timber plantations. Richmond came into being with the arrival of the Byrne Settlers from the British Isles in 1850. They arrived with nothing, having lost most of what they owned when their ship went down in Durban's bay. The Richmond, Byrne and District Museum, which was built as the Presbyterian manse in 1882 has many interesting artefacts.

The nearby Highover Nature Reserve which is a privately owned natural heritage site, nestled in the scenic Umkomazi Gorge is a bird lovers paradise, with over 100 recorded species. The area is home to the endangered Blue Swallow and other rare species including the Black-winged Lapwing, Black-rumped Buttonquail, Striped Flufftail, Broad-tailed Warbler, Pale-crowned Cisticola and Rufous-chested Sparrowhawk. Unsurprisingly the little settlement of Byrne is only 24 minutes' drive from Richmond via the Beaulieu Dam, a popular and pretty stop off en route. It's a great spot to catch fish and have a picnic or you can head up to the Minerva Museum and Nature Reserve right on the top of the Byrne Valley.


In and around Richmond are a series of privately owned game and nature reserves that provide one with a healthy choice of weekend escapes in which breathtaking scenery, hiking, fishing, rock climbing and white water rafting are just a few of the attractions.

How to get there

Follow the R56 from Middelburg through to Ixopo and then on to Richmond, (Odometer 735km).
Follow the R56 from Pietermaritzburg through to Richmond (Odometer 40km).

Getting Around

Self-drive would be best.

Where to Stay

Try the Oaks at Byrne, Beaulieu Lodge, Sugar Fields Lodge, Highover, Gwahumbe Game & Spa, iNsingizi Game Lodge and Spa and Duma Manzi Eco Lodge and Spa.

Where to Eat

In town there are fast food takeaway places or for Coffee lovers look for the Blu Pumpkin Café for your fix or just a bite to eat. There is also Beaulieu Lodge & Restaurant and The Oaks Hotel at Byrne Valley for a relaxing country meal.


Eastern Cape: Middelburg Karoo, Cradock, Schoombee, Hofmeyr, Venterstad, Steynsburg, Burgersdorp, Molteno, Aliwal North, Queenstown, Lady Grey, Dordrecht, Indwe, Elliot, Barkly East, Rhodes, Ugie, Maclear, Mount Fletcher, Matatiele, Cedarville.
KwaZulu-Natal: Swartberg, Kokstad, Harding, Umzimkulu, Ixopo, Bulwer, Richmond, Baynesfield, Camperdown, Pietermaritzburg.