Once you've booked your Eshowe accommodation explore our pages for info on attractions and what to do in Eshowe.
Eshowe, the oldest town of European settlement in Zululand, lies just below a ridge of hills that are home to an indigenous forest known as Dlinza Forest. The sound of wind blowing through the forest is thought to have inspired Eshowe’s name, although it is more likely named after the isiZulu word ‘ishongwe’, which refers to the prevalence of milkbush shrubs in the area.
Only 25 km from the beach, lagoons and wetlands, Eshowe lies in the Uthungulu district of Zululand and was King Cetshwayo’s headquarters when in 1860 he built a kraal here. Eshowe’s position on a plateau earned it the status of capital of Zululand when it was annexed by the British in 1887 and the ‘Beau Geste’ type of fort, which now houses the Zululand Historical Museum, is one of the sites in Eshowe that forms part of the Battlefields Route in KwaZulu Natal.
Eshowe no longer retains this status but its location protects it from the sub-tropical humidity that affects this region and has made it a popular holiday destination for centuries - initially with Zulu kings and today with holiday makers - to escape the heat at the coast.
Activities include the 200 ha Dlinza forest, which offers some wonderful walks and trails, the only aerial boardwalk in the Southern Hemisphere and is home to birds, vervet monkeys, wild pigs, blue and red duikers, bushbuck and other creatures; the Entumi Nature Reserve - another indigenous forest with some wonderful examples of birdlife; Mpushini Falls and the Vukani Museum, which houses examples of Zulu pottery, basketry, beadwork and tapestries.
Get the Scoop
"I personally liked the cooler weather and natural "look" of Eshowe, although I didn't spend very long there. We visited the forest and really enjoyed the ..." - Katy Myburgh, Breede River
Visitorials: We Love South Africa
Featured in: Visitorials: We Love South Africa
We’ve asked those in the know to share their favourites things about Eshowe. Find out where locals go for the best cup of coffee, lunch suggestions and much more. We’re letting you in on all of their secrets ... I Love Eshowe because ...
Featured Attractions in (or near) Eshowe
Roughly an hour's drive from Durban, the Amatikulu Nature Reserve is one of those rare natural spaces where, not only will you be one of few people (particularly during the week), but you can see wildlife feeding on forested dunes overlooking the sea – there aren't many spots elsewhere in ... more information
The KwaZulu Natal hinterland has witnessed some of the most brutal and significant battles to be fought in South Africa. These historical sites form part of the Battlefields Route, a trip through 14 historical towns whose surrounding areas boast the largest concentration of battlefields in South Africa ... more information
Found just outside the little town of Eshowe, the Dlinza Forest is one of two indigenous forests that lie close to one another in this southern part of Zululand; the other is Entumeni. Dlinza, 250-hectares of incredibly beautiful forest bisected by numerous walking trails and a 10-metre high aerial boardwalk, is ... more information
The Eshowe Country Club is situated on the Eshowe Hills Eco Estate in Eshowe and as such meanders through the famous Dhlinza Forest and grasslands which are rich in indigenous fauna and flora. Strict environmental controls have ensured that the local birdlife and animals have been well catered for - the Dhlinza ... more information
This beautiful old fort was originally created in the middle of the Dlinza Forest in eShowe in 1883. Around 90 barefoot Zulu police (known as the Nongqayi or 'restrainers') moved into the building to maintain law and order in Zululand in what today functions as Zululand's biggest museum village. Within the village of Fort ... more information
56 kilometres north-west of the town of Eshowe, once the capital of Zululand, is a beautiful forest; one of the most magnificently beautiful in the province. Nkandla Forest is a rare type of high wet rain forest of which there are few examples left. Nkandla covers the ridge ... more information
Ngoye Forest Reserve, better known as the Ongoye Forest Reserve, lies in the north of KwaZulu-Natal between Mtunzini, Eshowe and Emangeni, some 150 kilometres north of Durban. Ongoye is regarded as one of the 'gems' along the Zululand Birding Route for its rather impressive 605 bird species, particularly ... more information
Whilst the name of the route brings the battlefields of Ladysmith, Colenso, Dundee and Volksrust to mind, Route 66 is of a slightly different nature. Rather than heading up and around the N3, Route 66 takes one along a parallel route, slightly further north east, that links the towns of Gingindlovu, Eshowe, Melmoth, Ulundi ... more information
Thula Thula is a private game reserve, said to be the oldest such reserve in KwaZulu Natal and set in a malaria free zone on the Elephant Coast roughly two hours' from Durban. As such it is family operated and lies in the heart of Zululand with a history that dates back to the days in which Shaka and his men held ... more information
Umlalazi Nature Reserve is a strip of green on KwaZulu-Natal's north coast at the town of Mtunzini, roughly half an hour's drive from Richards Bay. The reserve is probably most famous for its protected group of Palmnut vultures, and the raphia palm forest, even if this (the forest) is strictly ... more information
Things To Do in Eshowe
Events and/or Festivals in Eshowe