On the northern (Zululand) side of the valley of the Tugela River, a dense forest grows along the sides of the precipice. To the Zulus it is known as Nkandla ('a place of exhaustion').

Even the modern road penetrates this forest with difficulty for its topography is extremely rugged and the vegetation dense.

In the centre of the forest is a deep gorge hemmed in by cliff faces more than 600m high. A stream, the Mome, tumbles into this gorge in a long waterfall and then flows beneath the trees to join the Tugela.

In this remote valley Cetshwayo found refuge during the incessant tribal fighting after the Anglo-Zulu War. He died on 23 April 1884 and was buried here. His grave is much revered by the Zulus.

The village of Nkandla lies at the edge of the forest. It is a small administrative and trading centre.