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© Jennifer Stern© Jennifer SternThis historically significant settlement in the heart of Zululand has so much to offer. It’s a small, very African town with all the buzz and busyness that that implies, but it also has a peaceful verdant greenery found in very few urban centres. Eshowe is built around the Dlinza State Forest – a genuine, green paradise of indigenous forest, right in the middle of town. It’s a great place for a peaceful walk, a gentle mountain bike ride or some bird watching, but its greatest attraction is the tree-top height platforms which offer birders and botanists a view right into the forest canopy.

For the more culturally minded, the Zululand Museum is housed in Fort Nongqayi and offers an insight into the history of the area – particularly relating to the Anglo-Zulu War era. The nearby Tugela and Buffalo Rivers offer exciting rafting in summer, there is a great multi-day horse trail nearby and many other adventurous activities. For the less adventurous, but equally energetic, the town has a good golf course. Other interesting outings include a brewery tour, and escorted attendance at genuine Zulu festivals, such as weddings, church services and initiations. Situated just off the N2, Eshowe is about 140km north of Durban. It is a favourite backpackers’ destination.

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