A band of Hlongwa cannibals, who had their stronghold in the valley of the Mzumbe ('the black kraal') River, were almost wiped out in 1828 when they were surprised by the Zulu King, Shaka, as he led his army down the coast.

A reminder of these times is one of ther most famous vivanes (heaps of lucky stones) in South Africa. As Shaka led his army south the ancient path they were following reached the top of a saddle of land and they looked down into the territory of several hostile tribes. To appease the spirits and ensure good fortune when he led his army down into this new world, Shaka followed an ancient custom. He picked up a pebble with the toes of his foot, transferred it to his right hand, spat on it, murmured a supplication to his ancestors and placed the pebble by the side of the path. Each member of his army repeated the ritual until there was a pile of pebbles.

At the mouth of the river is the resort of Umzumbe.