Just North of Eshowe is the Nkwaleni Valley, steeped in history. Atop hills overlooking the valley, are the sites of three great military headquarters belonging to three powerful Zulu Kings – King Shaka’s kwaBulawayo, King Dingane’s uMgungundlovu and King Cetshwayo’s oNdini.
This valley is known as “The Valley of the Virgin Warrior”. This name reflects the strict discipline imposed by King Shaka upon his regiments. Soldiers were quartered close by the King’s seraglios, but the young men were strictly forbidden contact with the maidens, under the penalty of instant death! In the 1860’s white traders passed through the valley but did not settle. The Zulu people abandoned the area as they searched for better and safer grazing for their cattle. They were fleeing nearby Ntambanana’s tsetse fly scourge. In the 1920’s when white farmers settled, dense jungle had overtaken the valley. They cleared it and drained the swamps, turning the valley into the prosperous sugar cane and citrus area it is today.
The Valley also has several tourist attractions such as Shakaland, Kwabhekihtunga, and Phobane Lake (Zululand Birding Route).