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.

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.

For more information on the above and following sites contact Eshowe Publicity Association.

Further afield:

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

Coward’s Bush:
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 national monument now houses the Tugela commando. It was used as a place of refuge during the Bhambatha uprising. A large fig tree to the rear was used as a rallying point for the Zulu King Cetshwayo’s impis during the 1870’s.

Eshowe Residency:
Built in 1894 to house the magistrate, this home was declared a national monument in 1986 the present magistrate and his family live here, along with a ghost named Josephine. Windham Road, Eshowe. Not open to the public.

KwaMondi/Fort Eshowe:
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 Publicity Association.


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 Open Daily between 09h00 and 16h00. Tel(035)4741141

Vukani Museum:
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

Bishop’s Seat:
Favourite meditation spot of the Anglican Bishop,Bishop Carter in the 1890’s. Site is in the Dlinza Forest off Natural Arch Drive.

Bishop’s Lodge:
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.

Court House:
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.

KwaBulawayo II:
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 milking pail.

Mkindini Umuzi:
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)3946543

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, Goedetrou Dam:
Shakaland historical Zulu village. Norman Hurst farm (035)4600912.

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 station.

Eshowe Publicity Association can be contacted for more information on cultural attractions in the Eshowe area.