Things to do in and around Ulundi

Posted on 17 April 2024 By Nomvelo Masango

Also known as Mahlabathini, Ulundi lies on the north bank of the famous Umfolozi River. The friendly and bustling town is one of KwaZulu-Natal’s most history-rich areas.

Together with its surrounds, it tell stories of the past, while also granting perspective into the present state of the province. Thus, a bit of exploration in and around Ulundi makes for an interesting, informative and worthwhile experience.

Here are a few things to do around the Ulundi area;

Thula Thula Game Reserve

Picture: Sourced / @thulathulareserve

Thula Thula is the oldest private wildlife reserve in KwaZulu-Natal. It boasts diverse landscapes and lush forests. The words ‘Thula Thula’ are taken from a Zulu childhood lullaby and loosely translate to quiet, tranquility and peace.  The reserve is steeped in history and the land was previously used as a hunting ground for King Shaka and his men.

When visiting the reserve, you can spot a number of animals including giraffes, rhinos, elephants, zebras, hyenas and over 370 species of birds. If you are an animal lover who desires a memorable wildlife experience, Thula Thula is worthy of a spot on your itinerary.

Picture: Sourced / @thulathulareserve

Address: D312 Buchanana Main Rd, Empangeni, 3880.

Emakhosini Ophathe Heritage Park

Picture: Sourced

Set in what is known as the Valley of Kings, eMakhosini Ophathe Heritage Park can be found less than 10 kilometers south of Ulundi. The Valley of Kings is the birthplace of the Zulu people. It is also where King Shaka spent much of his youth. The heritage park exists to recapture the cultural heritage of the Zulu people, as well as the natural landscape of the valley at the time of King Shaka.

Picture: Sourced

Visiting the place will grant you a deeper insight into the culture of the Zulu people and their heritage. There is also breathtaking natural beauty to admire.

Address: eMakhosini Ophathe Heritage Park, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Contact: +27 73 850 2649

Fort Nongqayi Museum Village

The inner courtyard of Fort Nongqayi. Photo from website

Built in 1883, Fort Nongqayi is a beautiful old fort originally created in the middle of the Dlinza forest. In the past, around 90 barefoot Zulu police (known as the Nongqayi) moved into the building in an effort to maintain law and order in Zululand. Today, the area functions as Zululand’s biggest museum village.

Within the Heritage Village, one can find a number of museums including the Mission Museum which pays tribute to the early Norwegian Christian missionaries, as well as the Vukani Museum of Zulu Art and Culture where some of the province’s best artwork is showcased, especially pottery and basketry.

Address: 7 Nongqayi Road, Eshowe, 3815

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ALSO READ: 10 of the Best Things to do in Polokwane

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