Eshowe – Fit for a King

Private Property South Africa
Lea Jacobs

At the heart of the Zulu Kingdom and surrounded by the majestic Dlinza forest lies the town of Eshowe, which is situated 90km from Richards Bay and 150km north of Durban.

The lush green environment and favourable climatic conditions have been attracting human habitation for centuries and Eshowe was one of the first British settlements in Natal. Steeped in Zulu and British Colonial history, Eshowe’s colourful past has shaped the landscape of Eshowe today.

The sugar plantations and orchards that shape the topography of the environment have contributed to the success of this bustling market town. There is a wealth of tourist attractions in and around Eshowe, including the Shakaland Cultural Village which was originally built as the prop for the movie Shaka Zulu. The village gives visitors an insight into traditional Zulu culture and way of life and includes such attractions as eating traditional Zulu cuisine and beer tasting.

One of the towns more famous residents,John Dunn, a Scottish descendant who was born in the then Port Natal, went on to become one of Chief Cetshwayo personal advisors in matters relating to the British. Appointed as the first “white” Zulu Chief, Dunn was rewarded by Cetshwayo with vast amounts of land in and around Eshowe and he took 48 Zulu wives and fathered 117 children.

In the past, property in the town has been in fairly high demand with 220 sales concluded in 2009 and 211 sales concluded in 2010. As with many other areas in the country, the picture today however differs significantly and recent statistic released by Lightstone reveal that there have been a total of 24 sales concluded in the last 12 months.

Freehold property sales seem to dominate the residential sales division with 94% of the sales falling into this sector of the market. The average price paid for freehold property was R670 000 and there have been two sales concluded for more than R3m. The tenure of ownership reveals that 47% of residential property owners in the area have resided in Eshowe for less than five years and 36% of recent purchasers fell in the age category of 36-49 years of age.

Eshowe is the oldest town in Zululand and has been home to four of the most powerful Zulu Kings in the region. A visit to the Lake Phobane floating chalets just outside Eshowe serves as a unique African experience in the setting of the Umhlatuze Valley, with the Mabelebele Mountains offering a spectacular backdrop. With top-class accommodation, nature trails, breath-taking scenery, forest splendour and the second largest dam in Kwazulu Natal, the address has got to be “fit for a king”.

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