Nkandla is situated in a remote area of breathtaking mountainous beauty, which consists mainly of tribal lands and state-owned land. The area has a wealth of undisturbed forests, which boast many indigenous species. Nkandla has a claim to be the ‘cradle’ of Zulu history. From Malandela to Shaka, to Dingane and Cetshwayo, Nkandla has been at the centre stage of the Zulu nation’s history. The graves of King Malandela and Cetshwayo are at Nkandla.
Nkandla Town is the only urban area in Nkandla Municipality which offers the full array of urban development, albeit at a smaller scale compared to the majority of towns in KwaZulu-Natal, are found. This includes low density residential, active and passive open space, schools, commercial areas, service-industries, churches, offices, government buildings an services, financial services, etc.
The Provincial Growth and Development Strategy has identified the need to support growth in small towns to improve the delivery of services to rural areas. This needs be informed by the identification of appropriate emerging settlements where the greatest return on social and services investment could be achieved, as well as those emerging settlements that serve a substantial hinterland. Social infrastructure required includes community facilities such as clinics, sport fields and facilities, libraries, adult education facilities, pension payout points, etc.
Given its under-development, the area is nevertheless rich in natural resources and has great potential economic growth through agriculture. A good climate and availability of land makes it a promising centre in terms of agricultural production. Livestock, timber (Qhudeni and Nkonisa), tea (Ntingwe), herbs (essential oils), peaches and vegetables are some of the products of the area.
Ntingwe is the only employer of significance and produces leaf, which is fetching top prices on the London Tea Market and is being sold as a speciality tea in the United Kingdom and the United States.
Ntingwe Tea is rated among the ten best teas in the world, according to Arnold Adhihetty, a senior buyer and blender at Taylor's of Harrogate, which markets Ntingwe Tea in the United Kingdom, selling it as a pure tea under the estate's name - in teabags marked "Zulu Tea". Yorkshire Gold, a blend of Ntingwe tea and other varieties, is a second retail brand.
Nkandla Essential Oils
The Nkandla Essential Oils project is the major out-grower scheme in the area and the second largest producer of geranium oil in the province. There are now 145 farmers growing herbs with more than 650 farmers on a waiting list via the Department of Agriculture's Asikheni Farmers Association. Oil (organically certified) is sold on the export market at premium prices.
The focus areas of the Nkandla municipality include the promotion of efficient land use, and the conservation of the rich and varied mountain natural resources.
The promotion of Nkandla as a tourist mecca is the priority of the Municipality. This region is the cradle of Zulu history and with beautiful indigenous forests, mountains and rivers, tourists have much to enjoy here. The aims and objectives for the next five years are to upgrade and publicise all the attractive sites within the jurisdiction of the municipality. The development of biking, adventure trails and hikes and areas of cultural and historical significance are of value.
Historical and Other Places of Interest
Nkandla Forest: Throughout Zulu history the beautiful indigenous Nkandla forest has been a place of mystery, a stronghold and a place of retreat. It is a high wet rain forest and home to the endangered rare Karkloof Blue butterfly. Metalworkers crafted King Shaka’s dreaded short-shafted stabbing assegais here. King Shaka and Zwide’s war was fought in the Nkandla forest. It was the place where many warriors of the famous Bambatha rebellion 1906 hid, and planned their operations.
King Cetswayo’s grave: just outside Nkandla Forest near Mome River has much potential for expansion as a tourist attraction.
Thaleni battlefield: where King Dingane’s warriors fought white settler farmers.
Sgananda’s grave: one of the leaders of the Bambatha rebellion of 1906, his grave is opposite the Ndlamadoda Mountain and about 3km from Nkandla.
Matshenezimpisi Game Reserve: established by the people of Mahlayizeni, it boasts chalets, a multi-purpose hall and game such as zebra and impala. This eco-tourism venture includes indigenous forest and a beautiful waterfall where the Ntumbeni River joins the Mhlathuze River.
Qhudeni Forest: indigenous forest with a beautiful waterfall called Manzawayo ‘falling waters’. Plans are afoot to establish a game reserve in and around this forest.
uThungulu's flagship community tourism project, the Amatshenezimpisi Resort, was officially opened west of the town on a small game reserve managed by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife. The stilted chalets offer sweeping views of the uMhlathuze River as it winds its way to the coast and the surrounding mountains. The resort is being managed by the tourism section of uThungulu while the transfer of skills to the local community takes place.
To become a model rural local municipality by providing effective and efficient sustainable services to improve the quality of life of the people of Nkandla.
We promote and facilitate social and infrastructural investment to achieve sustainable economic development and growth.