Situated less than a 20 minute drive from Empangeni and overlooking the beautiful uMhlathuze Valley is the site of King Shaka’s KwaBulawayo Royal Town. This site is recognised by all as being of prime importance in the Zulu Culture and History. It was here that the formation of the Zulu Nation was consolidated. KwaBulawayo was the engine of the Zulu nation’s growth.
It is fitting that this site is now also being developed as a flagship, world class, community based tourism facility. uThungulu District Municipality in conjunction with the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and uMlalazi Local Municipality have been working hand in hand with the Bhekeshowe Community Trust to develop tourism around the site.
A new tourism concept plan and sustainability plan has been developed by ETC-Africa which will see the center focused on offering a world class cultural experience, according to Duncan Pritchard of ETC-Africa;
“Our intention is to create a place where tourists, businessmen and anyone visiting the region can come and have an exceptional, authentic cultural experience, traditional meal and leave feeling like it was the most unique and fun thing they have ever done.”
The business concept for the KwaBulawayo Tourism Centre is modeled very closely on similar products in the middle east and Australia.
The KwaBulawayo Tourism Centre is also ideally located close to the N2, allowing it to service the passing tour group markets, accessible on an excellent tar road and in very close proximity to other attractions along the Zululand Heritage Route (Route 66) such as Queen Nandi’s Grave, Cowards Bush, Manadwe Cross and Ongoye Forest.
The project is expected to begin full scale development, training and capacity building early in 2012 and aims to be operational by the middle of 2012.