Ulundi (ōlōnˈdē) [key] [Zulu, = the high place], town, part and seat of Ulundi local municipality (2011 pop. 187,271), KwaZulu-Natal prov., SE South Africa. Situated on a hill overlooking the White Mfolozi River, the town possesses a modern administrative complex that is among the largest in the country. It is linked to other urban areas by road, railroad, and air. Its relatively few factories process locally grown foods, tobacco, and lumber.
Ulundi became the Zulu capital in 1873 when, shortly after his accession to the throne, King Cetshwayo established his kraal just northeast of the present town. In 1879 it was the site of the final battle of the Anglo-Zulu war, a defeat that resulted in the slaughter of 1,500 Zulus (13 Britons were killed) and the burning of the town by the British. A silver-domed stone temple at the battlefield now serves as a memorial. In 1980, the capital of the bantustan of KwaZulu was moved there, and from 1994 to 2004 Ulundi was co-capital (with the city of Pietermaritzburg) of KwaZulu-Natal. Located in Ulundi is the KwaZulu Cultural Museum–Ondini, the restored site of the original royal kraal along with a museum of Zulu history and culture. The local municipality also includes the communities of Buthelezi Empithimpithini, Nobamba, Mpungose, and Ximba.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.