Zululand, the Zulu-dominated area of what would become northern
KwaZulu-Natal Province in South Africa, extends along the coast of the Indian
Ocean from the Tugela River in the south to Pongola River in the north.
In 1816, Shaka acceded to the Zulu throne. Within a year he had conquered the neighboring clans. Shaka initiated many military, social, cultural and political reforms, forming a well-organized and centralized Zulu state. In following years the Zulu rebuffed Boer attempts to conquer them.
However, they then faced the problem of the British. In 1878, British Commissioner for South Africa, issued an ultimatum that Zulu disband their army and concede to a number of demands. The Anglo-Zulu War of 1879 resulted.
Initially the British suffered a heavy defeat at the Battle of Isandlwana. The defeat prompted a redirection of the war effort, and more British troops poured into Natal to ensure a British victory. The British victors subdivided Zululand into 13 regions, each administered by a kinglet.
On December 31, 1897 the whole Province of Zululand, became annexed to Natal.
During Zululand's period as a British territory, it operated its
own postal system and had its own postage stamps. A post office was established
in Eshowe in 1887, but an official postal system was not started until May 1,
1888, at which time both Zululand and Natal became members of the Universal
Postal Union. At first, the territory used postage stamps of Great Britain and
Natal overprinted "ZULULAND".
Regular issues with a profile of Queen Victoria, inscribed "ZULULAND" appeared in 1894 and were in use at 21 post offices, up until the annexation by Natal.