Our host, the young Prince of the Biyela Clan.
Whether you’re All South African or a visiting tourist, don’t go to KwaZulu Natal without taking the opportunity to learn more about the incredible Zulu culture and their proud heritage.
There are various options for day visits if time is of the essence, but I’ve always opted for an overnight at Simunye Zulu Lodge to maximise on the experience. Set in the mystical Mfule River Valley, this is home to the Clan, blood relatives of the Royal house of the proud and respected Zulu nation.
The visit startswith either a horse ride or walk down to the Lodge which is set in the – I strongly recommend the walk, the scenery is amazing. Accommodation is in Rock Rooms on the slope of the mountain which are very authentic, newly added Africa Rooms for luxury or Lodge Rooms across the river for standard comfort. The Rock Rooms allow you to ‘feel’ the most, with candles for light and the opportunity for a rock bath with a clabash, this is the stuff of happiness.
Activities are numerous with all gathering around the fire for tales of battles and bravery, fabulous and interesting African inspired food and then Zulu dancing. This involves kicking your leg HIGH into the sky and then stomping it on the ground. Fabulous fun!
Going to sleep to the smell of wood fire and sound of the babbling river is a treat, but being woke up by the local guitarist or wanders through the huts and plays to you as a gentle start to the day, heavenly.
The morning offers more on the Zulu culture, including lessons in stick fighting, beer tasting and blessings by a Sangoma. After this and breakfast it’s a walk back up the mountain before continuing on the journey. I have a love affair with the Zulu culture and their proud history, and every time I am in the area I learn new things and become more drawn in. I’m back for more in August, and can’t wait to experience it as though it was the first.
The Sangoma, or ‘witch doctor’ throwing the bones and blessing us, an incredible spectacle that does instill fear in a few of the fragiles …
The lady of the house with some home brewed beer in her pot waiting to be tried.
The prized Nguni Cows, or Painted Herd as they were referred to by King Shaka.