The rich cultural history of Fort Nongqayi

The rich cultural history of Fort Nongqayi

Located in the heart of Zululand, the Fort Nongqayi Museum offers a rich and extensive view of the history of the area and South Africa.

Fort Nongqayi Museum
Supplied, Tourism KwaZulu Natal
Tourism KZN
Tourism KZN

Eshowe is a town rich with history and culture. The oldest town in Zululand was home to four historical Zulu Kings; Shaka, Mpande, Cetshwayo, and Dinuzulu. Fort Nongqayi adds much to this town’s historical importance and past.

Built in 1883 by the British to house the Zulu Native Policemen called Nongqayi, the Fort was declared a National Monument 1939. Completed in 1894, the Nongqayi were trained in this fort and were led by Colonel Addison. These Zulu Native policemen fought with bravery at the Battle of Ceza and Hlophekhulu in 1888 and during King Dinuzulu’s uprising, and also took part during the Anglo Boer War in 1899 to 1902.

The fort itself houses a number of museums on the property, including The Zululand Historical Museum, the Vukani Museum of Zulu Art and Culture, and the Mission Museum. Here you’ll be able to learn more about Iron Age settlements, traditional Zulu art and culture, natural history, missionary history, wars between kingdoms, and the historic battle against the tsetse fly.

Catch a glimpse into the life of John Dunn, the first and only white Zulu chief by visiting the recreation of his office, complete with a display of his immaculate furniture. Interestingly, Dunn took 48 wives and fathered 117 children. That’s quite a legacy.

Other interesting artefacts include King Mpande's wheelchair, brass armbands worn by Zulu kings and soldiers, and a renowned basket collection.

The Fort also offers educational programmes for schools and guided tours for visitors. Visitors can also grab a meal and refreshments at Adams Outpost Restaurant and visit the souvenir shop for a few treasures and some art to take home.

For more KZN Travels articles read below:

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  3. Microlight Tours: Enjoy a bird's-eye view of the North Coast of KwaZulu-Natal
  4. Seven adrenaline-rush activities to enjoy at Wild 5 Adventure
  5. uMkhuze – The home of the Big 5

Main image courtesy of Tourism KwaZulu-Natal

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