Zululand enjoys a rich history, punctuated by the legends of powerful Zulu kings and warriors, battling against the armed colonial and Boer settlers. Battlefields pepper the landscapes as testimony to the wars behind what is, today, a vibrant, cultural destination. Monuments stand tall in honour of those that fought so hard for this land, and cultural villages can be found throughout the borders of Zululand, inviting visitors to experience the true African spirit.
These attractions are just some of those that speak of the culture and heritage of KwaZulu-Natal and Zululand:
THE RAINBOW ROUTE
This route showcases a number of the little historical towns between Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal that may otherwise have gone below the radar. Paulpietersberg was significant in the Anglo-Zulu and Anglo-Boer wars, and boasts many relics of yesteryear. Vryheid has three museums, battlefields, and plenty of Zulu arts and crafts. Ulundi is home to the Valley of the Kings, Cetshwayo’s kraal and Piet Retief’s grave. Melmoth was one of the towns of the gold rush, while Carolina was part of the wagon route between Johannesburg and the gold fields (Kaap Valley). These are just some of the little gems along the Rainbow Route, making it a really stunning cultural treat.
DUMAZULU TRADITIONAL VILLAGE
Immerse yourself in the customs, traditions and everyday life of the local Zulu folk when you visit the DumaZulu Traditional Village in Hluhluwe. A visit includes tasting traditional Zulu beer and a hearty lunch, watching song and dance performances, meeting the locals, and getting to see what an average day in an African village is all about. Curios, arts and crafts are on sale, which uplifts the local community as they can sell their creations to their visitors.
EMPANGENI ARTS AND CULTURAL HISTORY MUSEUM
The artistic expression of the history and heritage of a place is intriguing. It is personal and completely subjective. This allows both the artist and the person enjoying the piece to see the culture being portrayed in their own unique light and perspective. The Empangeni Arts and Cultural History Museum combines the modern works of up-and-coming Zululand and KwaZulu-Natal artists with a collection of pieces that speak of the traditional and historical identity behind contemporary culture. The exhibitions are dynamic; a must for art enthusiasts.
This KwaZulu-Natal route is excellent for families and individuals that want to experience the wonder and magnitude of the wars amongst the British, Zulu and Boer people. This route includes 82 battlefields, forts, museums, and other places of remembrance; scattered throughout the KwaZulu Natal province. As an added bonus, these battlefields and related attractions are near to a host of game reserves, lodges, guesthouses, B&B’s, and towns.
THE ZULUFADDER PROJECT
This project focuses more on the modern culture of Zululand. It was started to give rural children that are affected by HIV / AIDS assistance. The aim is to give each child a sense of community, family, and a home; rather than to institutionalise them. It is based in Eshowe and a visit here can include a trip to the upliftment project to get a real taste of the positive work being done in these communities.
Zululand is a place of extraordinary variety and a deep sense of culture and heritage. It is fantastic to see with friends and family and is guaranteed to leave lasting memories.