South Africa – few can rival South African soul in the townships. Today we explore Kwa-Zulu Natal. Walking the paths of some of the greatest leaders.
It’s another world and another time. This is part of the old Africa, where the amaZulu ruled unchallenged, a place of beaded headdresses and rawhide shields, beehive huts, and a lifestyle that properly belongs to the great age of Shaka.
Gain an insight into the amaZulus’ traditional way of life their beliefs, crafts, songs and dances at Shakaland, the open-air museum near Eshowe.
This is the oldest town in Zululand. Shakaland is also the oldest Zulu Cultural Village in Zululand, originally built as a scenery for the movie “Shaka Zulu”.
It’s been converted into a Zulu homestead with thatched beehive houses arranged in a circle around the central cattle kraal. Visitors stay in beehive houses, with all the modern conveniences.
The village overlooking the Umhlatuze Lake offers the true Zulu cultural experience and traditions, including pottery, beadwork, beer making and tasting as well as magnificent foot-stomping, ground shaking demonstrations of traditional Zulu dance.
Assegai-wielding warriors will teach you how to fight. You can also witness the age-old methods of making spears and shields, skills that are to a large extent disappearing. This is one of the few men who still know how to make the broad stabbing spear introduced by King Shaka. A memorable part of the tour is the spear throwing and stick-fighting demonstrations.
The Memorable Adventures of Zululand
The Kwa-Zulu Natal province is rooted in the legacy of the Zulu nation. There are ample opportunities to explore the fascinating world of the Zulu’s.
There are many private as well as provincial game reserves showcasing the abundance of biodiversity in the region. You get an authentic safari experience and a historical viewpoint through the battlefield routes of the historical town, Vryheid which has tea plantations and cattle ranches.
The Battlefields Route is significant as it was is where there were historical clashes between Zulu, Brit, and Boer (farmer). The Kwa Zulu Natal battlefield region extends from Thukela river at Dolphin coast to Richards Bay further in the north to Paulpietersburg.
Paulpietersburg is 50hm to the north and links the inland of South Africa with the coast of Zululand. This town is widely known for sulfur springs and therapeutic spas.
The major attractions are Zulu culture, birdlife, and many nature and game reserves.
Zulu culture is all over South Africa, but not as poignant as the Zulu kingdom.
Visitors can feel and taste true Zulu hospitality in dance, food, and song. There is an opportunity to become part of authentic Zulu weddings, assist with chores in the village and even visit a local sangoma (traditional healer).
You can take an ox-wagon visit to the Zulu beehive huts. Or even explore local shebeens, traditional medicine outlets. You get to learn how locals adapt age-old traditions into modern living.
- A Zululand heritage experience is by stopping at Melmoth ‘where the legend King Shakas was born ‘the Valley of Kings’
- The Emakhosini Valley is the site of graves of many Zulu Kings
- The Zululand Birding Route has 650 recorded species of birds. The Dlinza Nature Reserve is a popular spot for birding.
- Vast nature and game reserves from subtropical forest reserves along the coast as well as game reserves further north
The biggest attraction in the KZN region is Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park.
It is the oldest in Africa and home to the famous big 5 in Africa. Rhinos, drive game lions, elephants, buffalos and leopards. There are self-drive game as well as guided walks.
Wilderness trails provide an intimate experience in the bush
End the Zululand expedition round off will be Richards Bay. The large town boasts a stunning scenery of the wetland.