Zululand District Municipality, with its green hills of rich soil, waving grasslands, abundant forests, and an unhurried lifestyle, borders on the Kingdom of Swaziland, a trading partner of South Africa. The major towns of Vryheid and Ulundi, are both well located in relation to the national road and rail networks. Route P700 between Ulundi and Richards Bay is a development corridor that will facilitate eco-tourism, agricultural activities and business opportunities. The District's local municipalities comprise èDumbe, uPhongolo, Aba-Qulusi, Nongoma, and Ulundi. Approximately half of the area is under the jurisdiction of traditional authorities while the remainder is divided between commerciallyowned farms and conservation areas.
Zululand's rich diversity of wildlife attracts many tourists, both internationally and local. The Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Park, the largest reserve in KwaZulu-Natal, is a popular destination for big five sightings, and its rhino conservation programme is well known. The Ithala Game Reserve offers an extraordinary experience of geological diversity as the rock formations found here date back 3 000 million years. Zululand is also home to the second oldest reserve in the world, The Pongola Game Reserve.
Approximately half the Ulundi municipal area consists of commercial farms and the area supports a substantial agricultural community. Ulundi town represents the only urban area in the municipal area and therefore plays an important role in the provision of social and economic facilities to the total population of Ulundi.
Nongoma Local Municipality is the second largest municipality in terms of population and the second largest in terms of area. It shares its name with the town of Nongoma, the seat of the municipality. The municipality is the home of King Goodwill Zwelethini, the hereditary traditional leader of the Zulu nation, and his royal palaces are among the main tourist attractions in the region.
èDumbe Local Municipality is situated in the northwestern part of KwaZulu-Natal. Only 23% of the municipality's population live in an urban area while 77% live in the rural hinterland of the municipality. Most rural settlements developed organically and are unplanned, lack basic services and facilities and provide limited opportunities for economic development.
Together with the fragmented and sometimes dramatic topography of the area, the uPhongolo Local Municipality contains, in overall terms, very low settlement densities while on the other hand containing substantial recreational and tourism opportunities. The overall aim in terms of integrated development planning and land use management is to provide a secure environment for investment within the municipality.
AbaQulusi Local Municipality is a largely rural community with low income levels endowed with various resources, which, to date, have not yet been fully developed. AbaQulusi's main tourism potential lies in its relatively well-developed infrastructure, close links with the Battlefields Route, its conference potential, ecotourism and outdoor adventure events.
Vryheid is small enough to give a taste of the country and yet large enough to provide the infrastructure for all the essential modern conveniences. Vryheid's natural diversity is a great draw-card. It is an ecotourism delight. There are numerous game farms, sites of conservational significance, heritage sites and other areas of beauty and great interest.