Nongoma [from Ngome (‘the mother of songs’)] was established in 1888 on the boundary between two warring Zulu factions – the uSuthu and Mandlakazi – in the hope that it would engender peace in the area. Needless to say one of the factions eventually burned it to the ground. Today, it is a busy trading village.

Near the town is the Ntendeka Wilderness Area. Adjacent to the area is the Ngome State Forest, a series of precipitous cliffs (‘Ntendeka’) that afford marvellous panoramic views of the countryside. There are more than 180 tree and shrub species and the whole area is one of peace and tranquillity. There are hiking trails and picnic spots.

The forest was used by the chief Mzilikazi who had fallen out of favour with King Shaka to hide with his supporters. Shaka eventually forced them out and they moved to what became the Transvaal and formed the Matabele nation. Eventually, a few years later the kingdom suffered disastrous defeats at the hands of the Voortrekkers and they migrated yet again to what became Zimbabwe.

Near the town is the village of Babanango with a famous pub. The name means ‘there it is’ from the hill overlooking the village.

Every year in September, in one of the palaces, the Zulu King hosts the locally famous “Royal Reed Dance“, whereby Zulu maidens gather to celebrate the preservation of womanhood. This spectaculer ceremony is an experience that truly embodies the Zulu Tradition and Heritage. It is a must see for any traveller… [click here for more info]

Nongoma is renowned for it’s surrounding Royal Palaces, filled with history and culture, they have become a major tourist attraction in South Africa.

There are also many battlefields where the history of this country can be re-lived. These being the KwaNdunu, eMsebe, eSokosoko and Otshanini.

Moreover in the nearby Nongoma forest (click here for more), one can visit King Cetshwayo’s Ngenesheni Hideout while enjoying the natural beauty of the plant and bird life in the forest.

Best of all the major attraction is our ever friendly warm South African weather, which ensures complete enjoyment of all the sights and sounds of Nongoma.

So join us at Nongoma Lodge and let the award winning Iscathamiya (zulu a’capella) and Maskandi Groups delight you with dance and song that is truly African.