Situated about 160km from Durban and is surrounded by the quintessential KwaZulu Natal rolling hills beauty. The area around Empangeni is known for its sugarcane and cotton plantations, as well as timber and cattle farming, despite its development into a modern town.
According to local folklore, the name Empangeni comes from the Zulu word “pangaed” which means ‘grabbed’, and is thought to refer to the number of crocodile attacks on water bearers in the nearby eMpangeni stream.
Today the town has grown into a modern town that serves the local farmers and the industry it generates. Despite this growth, the town has retained its small-town charm and residents are warm and welcoming in true Zululand style.
Temperatures in the area are hot and humid - the mercury can rise as high as 45° Celsius and it would be advised to employ energy-efficient methods of cooling down your home or business. However, this also means that the weather throughout the year is subtropical and winters won’t be as harsh as other areas.
Empangeni is also only 15km away from Richards Bay, which means that commuting is a viable option for those wanting to live close to the bigger cities without all the rush and buzz it brings with it.
Weekend warriors are spoilt for choice when looking for an outdoorsy outing as the Enseleni Nature Reserve is about 13 km north of Empangeni and offers a 7km hiking trail in amongst the local animal life, mostly zebra and impala, and a number of picnic spots.
There is also the impressive 18-hole Empangeni Golf Course for golf enthusiasts. If you are thinking about investing in tourist-driven property Empangeni forms the gateway to the reserves of Hluhluwe and Umfolozi and is a good stopover before venturing further afield.