The George Hotel
Eshowe, Kwa-Zulu Natal
The George Hotel
Built on the site of the British Residential Commissioner, Sir Charles Saunders’s residency. Originally Tavernors then The Provincial Hotel. Land was aquired in 1896 and present Hotel Built in 1906 adjacent the Great 300 hectare Dlinza Forest. The Hotel during the mining boom of the 1920s, was operated as a Stock Exchange for four months. This Hotel has been through the Bambata Rebellion, Union, Apartheid era and now part of the changing new South Africa. Ideal base to have the complete 101 Things to do in Eshowe!
For individual business, local and international travellers, groups of friends or families The George will welcome you like we have been doing for the last 110 years!
The Zululand Brewery is a South African beer company founded in 1997 by the Chennells family. One of the smallest micro-breweries in Africa started brewing out of the old shed behind the George Hotel in Eshowe, Zululand where its beers are available on tap.
Zulu Blonde has been the flagship beer of The Zululand Brewing Company for the past 18 years. Zulu Blonde is an easy drinking session beer. In 2010 Zulu Blonde the company partnered with international brewing companies and was launched in the UK in over 900 pubs where it was voted Best Beer at the Wetherspoons International Real Ale Festival. Zulu Blonde is available at selected outlets in South Africa as well as a frequent guest beer in pub chains across England and Europe.
Zululand covers an area of about 30 000km2 on the east coast of South Africa stretching from the Tugela River in the south to the Pongola river in the north. After the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879 Eshowe was established as the capital of Zululand and the towns original water supply was on main street where the brewery and hotel are based today. The brewery is the smallest on the Kwa-Zulu Natal Brew Route. All of our natural ingredients are from South Africa and abroad creating a perfect recipe of barley, wheat and hops to create the right taste and aroma we want from our hand crafted beers. Zulu Blonde, Zululand Pale Ale, Bull Horn Bitter, Assagai Lager to name a few.
We only do brewery tours for groups that are PRE-BOOKED. Our Pub opening times change and only at 4pm three times a week. If you have a group we can of course open up but please give us a heads up. Please give us a call for more info.
Things to do in Eshowe
Eshowe – ” A City set on a Hill ” Choose from a list of Activities Below.
Steeped in cultural history, Eshowe is the oldest European settlement in Zululand. It all started in 1860 when Zulu King Cetswayo, at the time only a prince, built a kraal and named the place Eziqwaqweni (the abode of robbers). The very next year a Norwegian missionary, the Reverend Ommund Oftebru, got permission from King Cetswayo to build a mission station called KwaMondi Mission Station (place of Mondi) after the Zulu name given to Oftebro.
It is said that Eshowe’s name was inspired by the sound of wind blowing through the landmark indigenous Dlinza forest although it is most likely derived from the Zulu word for the Xysmalobium shrubs, showe or shongwe.
During the 1879 Anglo-Zulu War, Colonel Charles Pearson led the coastal column to Eshowe. Before reaching the KwaMondi Mission they encountered part of the Zulu army at the Nyezane River where they engaged in a short battle before pushing on. By that time the KwaMonsi Mission had been fortified and renamed Fort Ekowe. Under Colonel Pearson the British forces were besieged for ten weeks until relieved by Lord Chelmsford after the Battle of Gingindlovu.
In 1887 Eshowe became the capital of Zululand and was the very next year officially declared a township. However, the Zulus burnt down Eshowe after the British had left.
With a grand history of being home to no less than four Zulu Kings (Shaka, Mpande, Cetswayo and Dinuzulu) and having been visited by the British Royal family members King George VI, Queen Elizabeth, Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret in 1947, Eshowe is a cross-cultural delight for inquisitive travelers.
This fascinating history is told at the Zululand Historical Museum at Fort Nongqayi, a striking white mudbrick, three-turreted fort established in 1883 as the base for the Nongqayi (a Zulu peace keeping force). A popular attraction at the museum is the John Dunn display. With 48 Zulu wives, Dunn was Africa’s only official white Zulu iNkosi. Tourists also fall in love with the Vukani Museum which houses the world’s largest collection of traditional Zulu Arts and Crafts.
Eshowe served as the seat of the first Black Diocesan Bishops in South Africa of the Anglican and Roman Catholic Church and remains the seat of the current Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Zululand.
Today Eshowe is a market town with a 100 kilometre catchment area, two shopping centres and a main bus station serving the hinterland, a major hospital and several schools. The town also offers visitors a variety of unusual attractions like the Dlinza Forest itself with hiking trails, picnic spots and the magnificent Dlinza Forest Aerial Boardwalk.
The Boardwalk is the first of its kind in Southern Africa and exclusive to Eshowe. It consists of a 150 metre walkway built above the forest floor which allows visitors to view the flora, fauna and avifauna. It ends with a 20 metre high tower, offering dramatic views of both the forest canopy and surrounding countryside.
The Boardwalk employs a number of trained birding guides who are available to show visitors some of the delights of the forest. Here one can spot the shy Narina Trogon or see Long-Crested Eagles as well as the rare Spotted Thrush and many other forest dwellers. The Ironwoods, Wild Plums and other forest giants give shelter to orchids, clivias, bushbuck, duiker, narina trogons, Delegorgue’s pigeon and wood owls. One hundred and eighty different wildflower species blossom in the grasslands, and Eshowe is one of very few towns in the country which has trees in flower every day of the year!