Empangeni history and information - KwaZulu-Natal South Africa


About Empangeni
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Information on Empangeni, KwaZulu-Natal South Africa tourism, tourist destinations, accommodation, b&b accommodation, self catering accommodation, businesses, business sector, places to see and things to do



Empangeni has a wide variety of accommodation establishments to offer the holiday maker, tourist or businessman. The town of Empangeni abounds with B&B accommodation to suit all pockets, guest house accommodation, self catering accommodation, backpackers and lodges.

There is also an abundance of restaurants and Coffee Shops, ranging from Family restaurants, to more intimate Seafood restaurants, as well as pizzarias nd take aways.


Empangeni is a town in KwaZulu-Natal Province situated only 15 kilometers from Richards Bay, the main harbour town in KwaZulu Natal. Empangeni is approximately 160 kilometres north of Durban, situated in hilly country side of the Uthungulu District, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The City of uMhlathuze was formed by joining the towns of Empangeni and Richards Bay together. Empangeni overlooks a flat coastal plain and has a sub tropical climate with an average climate of 28.4oC in summer and 14.5oC in winter.

In 1851, the NMS (Norwegian Missionary Society) established a mission station on the banks of the Empangeni river. The Empangeni river was named after the Mpange trees (Treema guineensis) growing along its banks.

In 1906 Empangeni became a village. Rapid expansion began when a sugar mill was erected.. The establishment of the Empangeni Sugar Mill led to rapid development. Empangeni was officially proclaimed as a township in 1931 and declared a borough in 1960.

Empangeni is a wonderful place to stop on the way through Zululand. The main tourist attraction in town is the Empangeni Art and Cultural History Museum, on Turnbull St. The museum has exhibitions on traditional Zulu culture and the early days of the sugar cane industry, as well as a sizeable collection of oil paintings and temporary exhibits of local art. Highlights include photographs of early sugar farms and displays of traditional Zulu clothing and crafts. 

The Enseleni Nature Reserve, about 13km north of Empangeni on the N2, has picnic spots and a 7km hiking trail on which you may come face to face with the local animal life, mostly zebra and impala.

In fact, the whole of KZN is renowned for the Game and Nature Reserves. The most visited tourist attraction in KZN is the Umfolozi/Hluhluwe Game Park - a "must see"!


Empangeni has two major High Schools, Empangeni High, St Catherines (A catholic convent), along with three major primary schools, Grantham Park, Heuwelland and Empangeni Prep.


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