Ixopo is a town situated on a tributary of the Mkhomazi River in the midlands of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa and forms part of an important sugar farming, and forestry area.
Ixopo was formerly known as Stuartstown, after M Stuart, Resident Magistrate of the Ixopo district, who was killed at the Battle of Ingogo in 1881. Its name is derived from the Zulu onomatopoeic word, eXobo, describing the sound made as cattle squelch through mud (The X sound in Zulu is pronounced as a lateral click).
Ixopo is most famously described by Alan Paton in the opening lines of Cry, The Beloved Country: "There is a lovely road which runs from Ixopo into the hills. These hills are grass covered and rolling, and they are lovely beyond any singing of it."
The town houses two schools including a high school with a large proportion of boarding pupils who live in surrounding villages (such as Bulwer, Underberg, Creighton) which are too small too to justify the erection and staffing of a high school.
Until the mid-1980s, Ixopo was served by a railway station on the Umzinto - Donnybrook narrow gauge railway
In the 1990s leading up to and after South Africa became democratic, Ixopo was the centre of a number of armed clashes between two political parties, the African National Congress and the Inkatha Freedom Party.
The Buddhist Retreat Centre, one of South Africas major Buddhist centres is located in Ixopo.