Fort Nongqayi Museum Village

The beautiful old Fort Nongqayi was originally created in the middle of the Dlinza Forest in eShowe in 1883

KwaZulu Natal Tourist AttractionsThe Fort Nongqayi Museum Village

This beautiful old fort was originally created in the middle of the Dlinza Forest in eShowe in 1883.

Where? Nongqayi Street, Eshowe, 3815, Zululand, KwaZulu Natal

How? Call +27 (0)35 474-2281

Overnight? See Eshowe accommodation, in Zululand

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 Nongqayi are a number of museums. For instance the Zululand Historical Museum, which not only journeys from the Iron Age to the present day to trace the history of the area, but also focuses on the cross-cultural influences the past 200 years have brought to bear on Zululand.

Learn about South Africa's only official white Zulu iNkosi or chief, who managed to find himself 48 wives (some sources say 49, but nonetheless he managed to father 117 children). Also find out how a Zulu hut is built, see King Mpande's wheelchair, catch a glimpse of brass armbands worn by Zulu kings and soldiers and some of the incredible mahogany and teak furniture of John Dunn, the white chief mentioned above.

Another of the museums in the village, the Vukani Museum, houses the well-known Vukani Collection - formerly owned by the Reverand Kjell L§froth, a Swedish missionary who worked with the Zulus. One of the best basket collections in the country lines the walls. What is wonderful about this museum in particular is that it has helped revive what was a dying art form of basketry. Several of the artists whose work is exhibited here have gone on to receive international recognition.

Another two buildings in the complex are the Mission Museum Chapel and Adams' Outpost. The chapel serves as a haven for meditation and lies in a particularly peaceful part of the village, used for special events like weddings and christenings. Adams' Outpost, set in the oldest Victorian residence in Zululand, is said to offer some really good nosh, if accounts are correct.

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Did you know?

The Zululand Heritage Route links the towns of Gingindlovu, Eshowe, Melmoth, Ulundi, Nongoma and Pongola tracing the oldest trade route travelled by early transport riders, missionaries, soldiers, settlers and farmers.

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