Eshowe, Zululand

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.

Travellers' Reviews

2 Reviews from SA-Venues.com travellers. All reviews are verified.

Verified reviewvery good

We went to Eshowe just before Christmas to celebrate a friends wedding. Eshowe is a small town with some beautiful attractions, we spent an afternoon relaxing at the dam, otherwise it was really hot on the first day so we spent time at the George Hotel which has an airconditioned bar. We wanted to go to the Dilinza forest but the day after the wedding it poured with rain so we weren't able to - friends who had been said it was a lovely experience. There are plently of wonderful accommodation options in this small town, I would certainly recommend it for the night if you are passing through.

December 2011

Tania (Cape Town)

Verified reviewvery good

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 solitude.

December 2011

Katy Myburgh (Breede River)

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