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Key Sectors


This sector has consistently grown in iLembe and offers a variety of tourism facilities that can be categorised as follows:

  • Cultural and Heritage tourism
  • Beach tourism
  • Nature-based tourism

The primary factors that attract tourists to the area are its beaches, estuaries and natural resources which include the Harold Johnson Nature Reserve and the Ingwenya Nature Reserve, and numerous historical battle sites.  Mandeni Municipality has a rich historical past, which presents major opportunities for tourism development in the area. The Tugela (correctly spelt Thukela) River is the largest river in KwaZulu-Natal, and was the historical border between Zululand and Natal. A number of significant historical events associated with the river have left a rich legacy of major historical and cultural sites.

The coastal area of the Mandeni Local Municipality is characterised by a diversity of habitats, which include the marine component, pristine sandy beaches, a prograding dune system with several vegetation stages, coastal wetlands, estuarine and freshwater systems, coastal grassland and bush thickets, coastal forest, climax dune forest, riverine and swamp forest.