Margate is a seaside resort town on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast, just 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 attractive beaches for swimming, snorkelling, and surfing. Many apartment
buildings offer accommodation for residents and visitors. Complemented by a nice
shopping street and lots of restaurants, pubs, and nightclubs, Margate is a spot
where lots of 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 those 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. Unfortunately the "Margate
monster" was too decomposed to be identified accurately.