Situated in the hills amid a beautiful indigenous forest and surrounded by green rolling hills, Eshowe has its own particular character. The centre has a rural, rough-and-tumble atmosphere, but the suburbs are leafy and quiet except for the birds. It is well placed for exploring the wider region and there are decent attractions and accommodation options.
Eshowe has been home to four Zulu Kings (Shaka, Mpande, Cetshwayo and Dinuzulu). It was Cetshwayo’s stronghold before he moved to Ondini and, like Ondini, it was destroyed during the Anglo-Zulu War. The British occupied the site and built Fort Nongqayi in 1883, establishing Eshowe as the administrative centre of their newly captured territory.