Margate is a seaside resort town in the south of the KwaZulu-Natal coast, just about 20 kilometres southeast 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.