Tourism, Accommodation and Historical Attractions in Natal, South Africa

The Natal Battlefields

The Towns of the Natal Battlefields: Ulundi.

When a new Zulu king was crowned, it was traditional to establish a new capital. and Ulundi was established by King Cetshwayo in 1873

The Towns of the Natal Battlefields: Ulundi

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The KwaZulu Cultural Museum

uluNdi or Ondini means 'the high one'. The area was the site of the final battle of the AngloZulu war of 1879 when the British finally defeated the Zulus whereupon they burned the capital to the ground.

The museum in the town houses a fine collection of Zulu cultural artifacts. The adjacent Ondini Site Museum has a partially reconstructed residence of King Cetshwayo. Visitors may experience Zulu life by staying in traditional huts.

Nearby Historic Sites

uMgungundlovu (from Ungungu We Ndlovu 'the secret meeting place of the elephant') was the capital of Dingane and the place where the Retief party of Voortrekkers met their deaths in 1838. Much of the original site has been reconstructed.

Overlooking the site is the hill of execution - kweMatiwane and the adjacent hill on which was the Rev. Owen's mission station in the time of Dingane.

There are several historical sites nearby as the area is the heartland of the Zulu nation. Nodwengu, which was the capital during the reign of Mpande (1840 - 1872) is in the centre of Ulundi. Fort Nolela is where the British camped before the battle of Ulundi and kwaGqokli is where Shaka celebrated his victory over the Nwandwe in 1818 (see Ghost Mountain).

The area around Ulundi is known as eMakhosini or 'Valley of the Kings' where most of the Zulu rulers are buried. One of the graves at Siklebeni is that of Senzangakhona, the father of three Zulu kings - Mpande, Dingane and Shaka. This area of the Umfolozi Valley demarcated the area of the Zulu clan before the time of Shaka. Nobamba was an important centre in King Shaka's time.

The Ondini Historical Reserve is the site of the last battle oif the Anglo/Zulu War of 1879 and incorporates an interpretive centre, tourist accommodation and the KwaZulu Cultural Museum.

KwaGqokhi Hill celebrates one of KIng Shaka's most significant victories. Fort Nolela marks the spot where British forces under Lord Chelmsford camped before the last battle of the Anglo/Zulu War. The Ulundi Battlefield is the site where the Zulu forces were defeated by the British.

Take the opportunity while you are in the area to stay overnight in the traditional Zulu kraal (with modern facilities). Contact the kwaZulu Monuments Council (PO Box 523, Ulundi, 3838).

Ulundi Information Bureau P/Bag X261 261, Ulundi, 3838, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa 035 8700595 Fx:035 870 0598

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Natal Accommodation Guide
Natal Accommodation Guide
Natal Accommodation Guide