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Ubombo is located in KwaZulu-Natal
Ubombo is located in South Africa
Ubombo is located in Africa
 Ubombo shown within KwaZulu-Natal
Coordinates: 27°34′S 32°05′E / 27.567°S 32.083°E / -27.567; 32.083Coordinates: 27°34′S 32°05′E / 27.567°S 32.083°E / -27.567; 32.083
Country South Africa
Province KwaZulu-Natal
District uMkhanyakude
Municipality Jozini
 • Total 9.44 km2 (3.64 sq mi)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 1,220
 • Density 130/km2 (330/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)[1]
 • Black African 93.0%
 • Coloured 2.9%
 • Indian/Asian 2.0%
 • White 2.0%
 • Other 0.2%
First languages (2011)[1]
 • Zulu 91.3%
 • English 6.8%
 • Other 1.9%
PO box 3970
Area code 035

Ubombo, is a small town in northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa about 17km north-east of Mkuze. It takes its name from the Lebombo Mountain range, on which it is situated. Derived from Zulu Lumbombo, ‘high mountain ridge’. The Zulu name for this village is Obonjeni, ‘on the big nose’, i.e. ‘ridge’.[2]

The site and remains believed to be those of the camp where Sir David Bruce and his wife Mary worked between 1894 and 1897, and where Bruce discovered the causative agent of nagana, African trypanosomiasis ("sleeping sickness") and its transmission by the tsetse fly were discovered here.

Bethesda district hospital, founded by the Methodist Church is in this village. It started in 1932 and was initially built by Dr Robert Albert Turner who was the medical superintendent after being the District Surgeon and was a mission training hospital.[3]

From the early 1950s, three prominent business families engaged in trade and transportation in Ubombo. Bob Uekermann and his wife Hazel and Bob's stepson David Irons operated a trading store and a bus transportation company. Percy and Sybil Hoff operated the Tradewinds Store which still exists, while Herbert (Sonny) Hoff and his wife Nina operated a store and butchery next door to the Hoff business. Percy Hoff was a respected politician and member of the Council for Coloured Affairs, and was well known for his fight for social justice and rights of the coloured people.

Percy Hoff eventually acquired Herbert Hoff's business and amalgamated the stores when Herbert's family left for present day Zimababwe in the late 1960s. Tradewinds was eventually sold to Nelson Thring when Percy Hoff moved his family to Swaziland and ultimately to Canada.


  1. ^ a b c d "Main Place Ubombo". Census 2011. 
  2. ^ "Dictionary of Southern African Place Names (Public Domain)". Human Science Research Council. p. 443. 
  3. ^ "Bethesda hospital". KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health. Retrieved 18 August 2013.