The oldest town in Zululand and situated around the Dlinza indigenous forest, Eshowe
derives its name from the tranquil, whispering breezes blowing through the trees. On a plateau
protected from the sub-tropical humidity affecting surrounding areas, it was for centuries a popular
'holiday destination' for successive Zulu kings. The Norwegian missionary-settlers established the
KwaMondi Mission in 1860, around which Fort Eshowe was built and where the force of Colonel Pearston
was besieged for 10 weeks in the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879. Eshowe was in 1887 proclaimed a magistracy
and capital - when Britain annexed Zululand.
Battles & Sites
The British forces were besieged by Zulus and cut off from communication and supplies. On the 2
April 1879 at Ginginglovu, the Zulu attacked the forces attempting to relieve Eshowe. They were
repulsed and Eshowe was relieved the following day.
On 22 January 1879, the British (no 1) supply column moving up the North Coast towards Eshowe was
attacked by about 5000 Zulus as they crossed the Nyezane River. The attack was beaten off. South of
Eshowe, north of the Nyezane river.
Siege of Eshowe:
During the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879, a force of troops under Colonel Pearston was besieged for 10
weeks in the immediate are of the KwaMondi Mission Station. They built Fort Eshowe around this
mission.For more information on the above and following sites contact Eshowe Publicity Association.
This battle was a part of a civil war fought between the forces Prince Cetwayo and his brother
Mbuyasi, for the right to be king of the Zulu. This battle, fought, in 1856, is reported to have
been the bloodiest civil war battle fought in Southern Africa. Between 15 000 and 25 000 warriors
died in this skirmish. This battle established Cetshwayo as king of the Zulu. The site of this
Battle is near the John Ross Bridge, which traverses the Thukela River.
Monuments & Memorials
Marked by an Old Kei apple tree and a National Monument Council Plaque, this spot was a place of
execution in King Shaka's time. Site is off the Road between Melmoth and Eshowe.
Eshowe Jail (Gaol):
Built in 1900 as a 'second class' central prison
This mission station was founded by Bishop Schreuder of the Norwegian Mission Society in 1860, and
named after its first pastor. O.C. Oftebro, whose Zulu name was 'Mondi' after his Christian name
Ommund. During the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879, a garrison under Colonel Pearson was besieged here for
ten weeks before being relieved. The mission cemetery and soldiers graves are nearby, and evidence
can be seen of The Earthen Fort. 2,2 kms east of Eshowe along the Gezinsila Road. Tel.(035)4741141
King Cetshwayo's Memorial:
Commemorates the spot where Cetshwayo passed away on February 8th 1884, and is presumably the site
of the Gqikazi Kraal. Eshowe, south - west suburbs.
Martyrs' (Khanyile) Cross:
Commemorates the site of the execution of Eshowe's first conscientious objector, Madamusela
Khanyile, in 1877. When Cetshwayo called upon the Zulus to join his regiments, Khanyile refused on
the strength of his new found Christian beliefs. He was killed on this hill. This site is 3.5 kms
from Eshowe's College of Education. Travel along the Kangela Road (road to KwaMondi),which
intersects with the R66 to Melmoth.For more information about the above attractions contact Eshowe
The fort originally housed the Nonqai (restrainers) or Zululand police, raised in 1883 to serve as a
guard for Sir Melmoth Osborne, the Resident Commissioner. Only fifty men were in the command when it
was first formed, but the force was raised to 600 during the Anglo- Boer War. The force also served
during the Bhambatha Rebellion. The Fort now houses a fine museum. - the Zululand Historical Museum
It has a number of Zulu cultural items. Some of John Dunn's furniture, and a replica of a beer mug
given by Queen Victoria to King Cetshwayo. A good natural history display and serene picnic area and
self guided trails. On the western perimeter of Eshowe, in the Nonqai Road Open Daily between 09h00
and 16h00. Tel(035)4741141
This museum has a splendid collection of Zulu arts and crafts collected from the region over a
period of time. Post Office Building, Osborn Street .Tel. (035)4745274
Other Cultural Attractions
Favourite meditation spot of the Anglican Bishop,Bishop Carter in the 1890's. Site is in the Dlinza
Forest off Natural Arch Drive.
Home of the first Anglican Bishop, Rev W.M.Carter. It was established when the Diocese was moved
from Isandlwana to Eshowe in 1891.
Cetshwayo's Death Place:
At the time of his death, Cetshwayo was living in a small kraal on a knoll in the southern suburb of
present-day Eshowe. He died on 8 February 1884, apparently of a heart attack. He is buried in the
southern Nkandla area, and not in Eshowe. Windham Road area.
This was the second courthouse built in Eshowe. It was erected around 1895 and later extended. This
was the centre of Eshowe at the turn of the century.
Gqikazi (or Kwa Gqikazi):
This homestead was built and named 'the abode of the slave' by King Mpande at a time when he was
threatened by King Dingane. Mpande fled to Natal, but was later to overthrow Dingane (in 1840). A
second KwaGqikazi was built in Ulundi but burned by British troops after the Battle of Ulundi in
July 1879. South-West boundary of Eshowe, close to where Cetshwayo's death monument is to be found.
Site of King Shaka's Military Base. Off the R66 between Melmoth and Eshowe.Mandawe Cross:Stands high
above the Nkwaleni Valley is actually a church built by the Roman Catholic Church to commerate the
effort of the early missionaries in Zululand. The church is built in the shape of an inverted
This kraal was built for Shaka's mother Nandi, and it was her place of death in October 1827, an
event which set off the period of mourning which has become famous in various accounts, including
that of Fynn.Some 5 kms south-west of KwaBulawayo . Off R66 at P230.Some 5 kms south-west of Kwa
Bulawayo 11 and approximately 12 kms east of Mandawe's Cross.Tel.(033)394 6543
Queen Victoria Hospital:
Officially opened in 1899, it was the first cottage hospital in Natal, accommodating both white and
black patients. Today the buildings are used as private residences. The impressive gardens are open
to the public.Shakaland,
Shakaland historical Zulu village. Norman Hurst farm (035)4600912.Samarang:The oldest home in
Zululand built in 1883.Signal Hill:From this summit, signals were conveyed between Fort Pearson and
Fort Eshowe by Heliograph and Shaving Mirrors, keeping the Eshowe Garrison informed of measures
being taken for their rescue.3 kms east of Eshowe.
The New KwaMondi Mission:
Approximately 0.6kms from the original KwaMondi Mission is the new mission, dedicated in 1883 by
Ommund Oftebro. The mission is made up of a church, a mission house, schoolrooms and a small medical
Entumeni Nature Reserve:
16 km west of Eshowe on the road to Nkandla. The 750 ha reserve has small buck and rich birdlife,
including Crowned Eagle.Telephone: Eshowe Tourism
Tel (035) 474 1141
Dlinza Forest Nature Reserve:
Eshowe, 143 kms north of Durban. Lots of antelope species and birds, including the Crowned Eagle.
New Aerial boardwalk
Contact: Eshowe Tourism
Telephone: (035) 474 1141
Rutledge Park and Eshlazi Dam:
Two of Eshowe's most picturesque spots offering picnic sites.
The Zululand Birding Route
Ocean View Game Park:
The area comprises 10 ha of indigenous riverine forest and 15 ha of grassland. Blue wildebeest,
zebra, blesbuck, impala, blue duiker and bushbuck have been introduced. Within the park are two
memorials to Warrior-King Shaka. Picnic and braai sites and toilets are provided.
Contact: Eshowe Tourism
Hiking & Walking Trails
The trail(1.5hrs) starts from the picnic site in the 200ha reserve. Lots of antelope species and
birds including the Crowned Eagle. For more information contact KZN Wildlife. Tel: (033) 8451999
Entumeni Nature Reserve Trails:
16 km west of Eshowe on the road to Nkandla. Two trails (1 hr and 3 hrs) in an evergreen, mist-belt
indigenous forest. The 750 ha reserve has small buck and rich birdlife, including Crowned Eagle.
Contact: KZN Wildlife Telephone: (033)8451999
Dlinza Forest Nature Reserve Trails:
Eshowe, 143 kms north of Durban. The trail (1.5hrs) starts from the picnic sitein the 200 ha
reserve. Lots of antelope species and birds, including the Crowned Eagle.Contact: Eshowe
TourismTelephone: (035) 4741141
Starts and ends at Eshowe. From Eshowe to Entumeni, then Nkandla Forest, Insuze Gorge, Thukela River
at Jameson's Drift, Shu Shu Hot Springs, Ndondondwana, Madidima, Silambo, Mbongolwane, back to
Contact: Graham Chennells (035)474 4919/082 492 6918
John Dunn Hunters Bush and Beach Trail:
Eshowe and surrounds.The trail starts at Eshowe - to Ngoya Hils, Garland's Point, Amatikulu Estuary,
and back To Eshowe.
Contact: Graham Chennells (035)4744919/ 0824926918
The Bulls Run:
In the Eshowe area of Zululand.The route starts at Eshowe and descends into the Umhlatuze River
Valley along Old Wagon Trails and paths, to the Waterfall at Matshemhlope and returns to Eshowe.
Please note that this is a guided trail.
Contact: Graham Chennells