The Ulundi Local Municipality is located on the southern boundary of the Zululand District Municipality in north-eastern KwaZulu-Natal. The Ulundi municipal area is approximately 3,250 km2 in extent and includes the towns and settlements of Ulundi, Nqulwane, Mahlabathini, Babanango, Mpungamhlophe and Ceza as well as the Traditional Authorities of Buthelezi(KwaPhindangene & KwaNondayana), Buthelezi (Empithimpithini) Mbatha, Mpungose, Ndebele, Ntombela, Ximba, Zungu, Zulu (KwaNsimbi).
The largest part of its area is rural and underdeveloped. Approximately half of the Municipal area consists of commercial farms and the area supports a substantial agricultural community. The town of Ulundi represents the only urban centre in the Ulundi Local Municipal area and accommodates approximately 40,000 people. The settlement pattern reveals a high population concentration in the town of Ulundi and densely populated peri-urban area surrounding the town and along the main routes R34, R66 and P700. Further settlement concentrations include:
- Nqulwane in the eastern part of Ulundi with the Okhukho Coal Mine;
- Babanango, which developed as a result of the agriculture and forestry industries;
- Denny Dalton/Mpungamhlophe, which developed as a result of road R34 and rail infrastructure; and
- Ceza to the north, which developed in response to the establishment of supportive land uses such as a hospital, clinic and other related social support services in the area. It is also situated on the road network system. (R66, 33, 34, P700, P701 etc) It is therefore a connection and concentration point for people and activities.
The Ulundi Municipality is one of the five local municipalities that constitute the area of jurisdiction of the Zululand District Municipality – the other four local municipalities are the éDumbe Municipality, the Abaqulusi Municipality, the uPhongolo Municipality and the Nongoma Municipality.