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Thursday, October 17, 2019

Zululand

The Zululand region lies north of the Thukela River and extends to the subtropical northern parts of KwaZulu-Natal. It is an area of breathtaking hills and valleys dotted with traditional tribal villages and quaint towns - a place where the rolling waves of the warm Indian Ocean crash onto golden beaches adjoined by lush coastal forests. Its where Zulu hospitality abounds, and you can unexpectedly be invited to share a meal or drink... or be the invited guest at a wedding or special ceremony.

zululand

For a glimpse into the history of the region, pop into the Zululand Historical Museum located within Fort Nongqavi Museum in Eshowe, the oldest town of European settlement in Zululand. The museum depicts the history of Zululand from the early Iron Age and focuses on the fascinating cross-cultural influences of the past 200 years. An interesting story is that of Hans Schreuder, a Norwegian missionary. Hans had dealings with Zulu king Mpande KaSenzangakhona who at that time was unwell, and as a result of helping the ailing king was allowed to begin teaching Christianity to the people. A first in the region.

The Vukani Zulu Cultural Museum, also within the For Nongqayi complex, houses some of the best Zulu arts and crafts work collected over the years, with several of the artists receiving international recognition for their work. The Vukani Association was formed more than 30 years ago to revive the then-dying art of basketry. Through Vukani, men and women have pooled their inherited knowledge of grasses, palm leaves, natural dyes, beadwork, woodcarving and ceramics to produce a range of contemporary items with a traditional theme which has created a new market for the crafters of Zululand.

There are many insightful opportunities for visitors to experience living Zulu culture at first hand… Zululand Eco-Adventures offers visits to local communities in the area where visitors can experience traditional Zulu hospitality, or a traditional Zulu wedding ceremony, and if you wish, visit a traditional healer. For an urban view of Zulu culture, take a township tour showcasing modern Zulu life including taverns, shebeens and traditional medicine shops.

Another traditional experience is the annual celebration of the Zulu King’s Reed Dance, the uMkhosi woMhlanga, a traditional ceremony of maidens held annually during the first weekend of September.  Maidens from all over the province and from as far afield as the Kingdom of Swaziland flock to the eNyokeni Royal Palace to participate in the traditional dance of the maidens. The girls converge in groups from the Zululand regions to the Kings Palace the day before the ceremony. The main attraction of the ceremony is the presentation of reeds to the King. Each maiden is to carry a reed from the river and present it to the King in a spectacular procession at the Palace. Zululand offers opportunities for an authentic insight into the contemporary cultural lifestyle of the average rural Zulu person, to experience village life as happens – a vibrant living culture. 

whats on in zululand

Amakhosi Safari Lodge

Amakhosi Safari Lodge, is situated in the heart Zululand on the banks of the Mkuze River, on the Amakhosi Private Game Reserve,...

Zululand Eco – Adventures

A Real Zulu Experience Zululand Eco-Adventures (est. 1995) Tour rural Zululand from Eshowe with a Zulu guide in your own vehicle. Visit schools, crèches...

Elegant Lodge Pongola

Elegant lodge Pongola is an affordable luxury guesthouse in Pongola. This upmarket Bed and Breakfast double storey guesthouse is situated opposite the Pongola Golf...

Thula Thula Private Game Reserve

  With its unique atmosphere, stylish décor and superb cuisine, Thula Thula private game reserve offers you the choice of exclusive accommodation between the Elephant...

did you know?

Within the eMakhosini Ophate Heritage Park is the ‘Valley of the Kings’, the burial places of a number of early Zulu Kings, as well as the ‘Spirit of Emakhosini’ monument. There is also Mgungundlovu, the Royal Residence of King Dingane and kwaMatiwane where Voortrekker leader Piet Retief and his men were killed and subsequently buried.

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