Eshowe is a city in the South African province of KwaZulu -Natal. It is located in the municipality in the district Umlalazi uThungulu. 2011, it had 14,744 inhabitants. Eshowe is the oldest European-founded city in Zululand. The name probably comes from the isiZulu name showe or Shongwe for a certain type of milkweed plants. The name might be inspired by the noise of the wind blowing through the more than four square kilometers of jungle Dhlinza Forest.

Today Eshowe is a market town and has a catchment area with a radius of 100 kilometers, two shopping centers, a bus station, through which the hinterland is connected, a hospital and several schools.


1860 built Cetshwayo, who was only a Zuluprinz then, here a kraal, which he called Eziqwaqweni (about, den of thieves '). 1861 a mission station by the Norwegian missionary priest Ommund Oftebro was founded in Eshowe. Cetshwayo was approved for this purpose. Later the place KwaMondi mission station was called ( "place of Mondi " ), after the Zulu name, got the Oftebro.

Siege Eshowes

During the Zulukriegs of 1879 led Colonel Charles Pearson, the coastal column to Eshowe. The column arrived on Nyezane River on a portion of the Zulu army. After a brief struggle, the column was pushed back to the KwaMondi mission, which they fortified, and thence called Eshowe at Fort. The troops of Colonel Pearson was besieged ten weeks until April 3 by Lord Chelmsford, after the battle of KwaGingindlovu were freed.

Capital of Zululand

1887, the British declared the capital of Eshowe Zululand. The British Resident Melmoth Osborne lived here. According to him, the city was named Melmoth. 1891 Eshowe got city rights.

1947 visited the British royal family ( George VI. , Queen Elizabeth, Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret ) Eshowe. They were greeted by King Cyprian. They looked at the Dlinza Forest and stayed at The Residency.

Eshowe was also the seat of the first black diocesan bishops of the Anglican Communion and the Roman Catholic Church in South Africa.


  • Fort Nongqwayi, an old British fort
  • Vukani Museum, a museum of Zulu crafts

Nature parks in the area

  • ISimangaliso Wetland Park
  • Hluhluwe- Umfolozi Park
  • Ithala Game Reserve
  • Lubombo Transfrontier Conservation Area