The uMgungundlovu was formerly known as Dingane's Kraal and royal Capital. He took power, after assassinating Shaka, his half-brother. Its name is derived from the Zulu phrase "ungungu we ndlovu", which means: 'the secret conclave of the elephant'. Dingane's Kraal was more or less oval in shape and it consisted of some 1700 huts that could house up to 7 000 residents! Standing six to eight deep, the huts formed a huge circle around an open arena, known as the large cattle kraal. A space also used for military parades and gatherings. Archaeological excavations have revealed that this hut, with a diameter of approximately 10m, was probably the largest hut ever built in the traditional Zulu manner. It was supported by 22 posts entirely covered in glass beads, of which the molten remains have since been recovered.
Coppersmithing appears to have thrived at uMgungundlovu and the remains of crucible shards, slag and spilt copper found at Kwambecini, West of the main complex, suggest that tis was, the coppersmithing Area.
Historians believe Dingane's execution ground, was located on a ridge, North East of the Settlement and known as; KwaMatiwane. This is where the skeletal remains of the murdered Voortrekkers were found, and the controversial land treaty reputedly retrieved from a leather bag, near the remains of Retief. The Piet Retief Memorial was erected, near uMgungundlovu.