The Mandeni Municipality has competitive advantages as it presents the untouched natural resources, biodiversity species, historical sites/ events and aesthetic beauty of the pristine coast. The municipality undertakes tourism development with the Ilembe District Municipality and plans to form a tourism association Section 21 company. Mandeni’s coastal location and proximity to the uThukela River provide opportunities to develop its rich cultural heritage.
Historical & Other Places Of Interest
The municipal area has a very rich historical past.The historical events which occurred in this area include: the Battle of Tugela, which was fought on the slopes of Ndondakusuka in 1838 between a group of settlers from Port Natal under John Cane and Robert Biggar, and an impi of Dingaan’s forces, and the battle of Ndondakusuka in 1856, fought between King Mpande’s sons Cetshwayo and Mbuyazwe; to contest the right of succession to the Zulu throne; and the ultimatum given to King Cetshwayo’s izinduna by the colonial authorities on 11 December 1878 at the Ultimatum Tree on the banks of the Tugela in the Mandeni Municipal area. This led to the invasion of the Kingdom of KwaZulu on 22 January 1879, and the start of the Anglo – Zulu War.
Other sites of cultural and historical interest are Cetshwayo’s Stone in eNdulinde, Nandi’s Kraal, the Swedish Mission south of Tugela, and Mpaphala, where the first registered sangoma lived.
The eNdondakusuka Military Kraal has been established to set out, in particular, the Zulu social and military system. The project includes site clearing at the Ultimatum Tree, Fort Pearson and at war graves, as well as the construction of interpretive, and arts and crafts centres.