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Eshowe - A City Set on a Hill

Eshowe, Uthungulu District, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, is the oldest town of European settlement in Zululand. Eshowe's name is said to be inspired by the sound of wind blowing through the more than 4 kmĀ² of the indigenous Eshowe Dlinza Forest, the most important and striking feature of the town. Although the name is most likely to be derived from the Zulu word for the xysmalobium shrubs, showe or shongwe. Today Eshowe is a market town, with a 100 km radius catchment area, two shopping centres, a main bus station serving the hinterland, a major hospital (Eshowe District Hospital), and several schools (Eshowe High School, Eshowe Junior School and several more). It was here that the celebrated yellow clivia (Clivia miniata var. citrina) was discovered in the 1880s and grown by the Resident Commissioner Sir Melmoth Osborne in his garden in Eshowe.
The Dlinza Forest around which Eshowe wraps itself gives the town its soul. Eshowe is in an elevated position overlooking the hot and humid coastal plain giving Eshowe its serenity. The Dlinza Forest's core of around 250-hectares is a declared nature reserve, but throughout the town tracts of the high forest and patches of wild flowers and grassland are dispersed in the leafy avenues of the town. Due to the abundant natural diversity, Eshowe can boast that it has a tree in flower every day of the year. Throughout the year, but especially in autumn, the butterflies found in and around Eshowe are most impressive. As many as 70 species - including the Gaudy Commodore, Mocker Swallowtail and the Mother of Pearl - have been recorded in the Eshowe forest.

Eshowe has so many things to do and so much to offer. Not only can you get a birds-eye view of the forest from the Dlinza Forest Aerial Boardwalk, but you can hike down to the Mpushini Waterfalls, best viewed after the first Spring rains. The Eshowe Mpushini Falls is a set of seven small waterfalls on the outskirts of town.

If you are more into history, visit the Fort Nongqayi Museum on the outskirts of Eshowe. Although the Zululand Historical Museum depicts the history of Zululand from early Iron Age, its central focus is on the fascinating cross-cultural influences of the past 200 years.

If hiking is not your thing then feel free to visit our dams. Eshlazi dam is the bigger of the two dams, found in Eshowe, also known as the top dam. The dam has several picnic areas and places to "braai" or just make a fire.

If you enjoy a spot of fishing the Eshlazi dam is the perfect spot to do so. Ruthledge Park dam is the smaller of the two dams in Eshowe and known as "the new dam" among the local Eshowe community. This dam is perfect for a quiet Sunday picnic or a small get-together between friends. Bird life is rich on these dams and is also perfect for the avid bird watcher.

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