"Eshowe - the old capital of Zululand" Eshowe by MikeAtSea

Eshowe Travel Guide: 7 reviews and 22 photos

The place of wind

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.

Fort Nonqai:
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.

In the surrounding of Eshowe the three following battles took place:

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.

Nyezane Battlefield:
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.

  • Last visit to Eshowe: Jan 2004
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
  • Add to Trip Planner (?)
  • Report Abuse

Reviews (1)

Comments (1)

  • carteki's Profile Photo
    Dec 27, 2005 at 1:09 AM

    Hi, great reading your page. I used to live in Eshowe in the late '80's and it brings back memories! Thanks

MikeAtSea Used To Live Here!


“Travel with your eyes wide open and experience the world!”

Online Now


Top 1,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 0 0 8 1
Forum Rank:
0 1 8 0 0

Badges & Stats in Eshowe

  • 1 Reviews
  • 9 Photos
  • 0 Forum posts
  • 1,123PageViews

Have you been to Eshowe?

  Share Your Travels  

Travel Interests

See All Travel Interests (5)