In April 1818, expecting an imminent attack from the rival Ndwandwe clan, the youthful Shaka called up all available men of the Zulu clan and devised a strategy to lure the numerically-superior Ndwandwe into an ambush on Gqokli Hill whereupon Shaka would release ‘the horns’ of his attack and envelope the enemy. His tactics worked perfectly and with the defeat of the Ndwandwe, more and more clans tendered their allegiance to the Zulu clan and by 1819 King Shaka reigned supreme in the region north of Thukela River. More than 7 000 Ndwandwe and approximately 2 000 Zulu were killed in the Battle of Gqokli Hill and it became the defining battle of Shaka’s reign.
Gqokli Hill is about 1km to the west of the R66. There is an information board about the battle on a lay-bye on the R66 after the turn-off to Ophathe Game Reserve.
- Ulundi Area, KwaZulu-Natal