The small town of Melmoth is situated in a lush green mist belt 800m above
sea-level 50 kilometres south of Ulundi, capital city of Kwa Zulu Natal.Melmoth
was established in 1887 after the annexation of Zululand by the United Kingdom.
The town is named after Sir Melmoth Osborn, who was the commissioner of Zululand
at the time.
Vehicle license plates in Melmoth start with NO -the "N" being for Natal, and the "O" from the name Osborn. Large wattle plantations were set up in the area, and later in 1926 a wattle bark factory was established,transforming the area into what is now a long established trading and agricultural centre, with an emphasis on timber. Also in the area are many commercial citrus and avocado farms, which produce for both the local and the export markets.
Melmoth has been said to have the cleanest air in the country, making it an ideal, though slightly cold destination for outdoor activities,The area contains one of the largest conservancies in KwaZulu-Natal, which covers an approximate area of 85,000 hectares.The Melmoth Conservancy was placed in the top three in the South African Conservation Awards and top in Natal.The district is absolutely full of animals and the most extraordinary of bird types making the area a major bird sanctuary of the Zululand Birding Route. Popular activities in the area include hiking and fishing at the nearby Phobane lake which was constructed on the uMhlatuze River by the Department of Water Affairs more than 25 years ago, in order to provide water to Richards bay. As many as 24 different species of fish have been identified in Phobane Lake.Cultural experiences in the area include a visit to the Simunye Zulu lodge situated in the Mfule river valley.There also exists a unique trail passing through the Zululand Wilderness, where guests can travel on horse back, ox wagon and donkey cart, thereby experiencing a mixture of pioneering Voortrekker and Zulu cultures, although the facilities at the end of the trail are more in keeping with the comfort expected by the modern tourist.