Thula Thula Game Reserve is popular for its elephants. Picture: Leon Lestrade/ANA

Empangeni is rich in cultural history and has a wealth of nature experiences. It is one town you do not want to miss when you visit KwaZulu-Natal. 

Located roughly 150km outside of Durban, the town of Empangeni was a Norwegian Missionary town and is situated along the Mpangeni River. 

Here’s how you can spend your time in the area:

Accommodation options

BON Hotel Empangeni is located in the heart of the town’s central business district, half-way between Durban and Swaziland and 15km from Richards Bay. It is a five-minute drive from museums, restaurants and a casino. Other options include Peermont Metcourt Hotel at Umfolozi and Amble Inn. 

Activities 

Empangeni Art and Cultural History Museum

Empangeni Art and Cultural History Museum is a must-visit for history and cultural buffs.

Erected in 1916 by the sugar farmers, the museum first served as the Old Town Hall. Expect to see historical objects collected to preserve the history of the town, and works by renowned artists like Andrew Verster, Trevor Makob and Bonnie Ntshali. 

Birdwatching

The Zululand birding route stretches along the east coast, spreading across towns like Eshowe, Kozi Bay, Richards Bay and St Lucia. 

Safari

Thula Thula Game Reserve is ideal for a close-up look at some of the country’s wildlife including elephants, buffalos, rhinos, leopards and birds. The reserve was established in 1911 and covers an impressive 4500 hectares of land. They have a variety of packages to choose from, including overnight options.