Did you know?
Traditional medicines are made from animal parts, shrubs, leaves, tree bark and roots.
A visit to South Africa is incomplete without a visit to a cultural village, and among the most alluring is Simunye, a traditional Zulu village located near Melmouth in the dramatic Valley of a Thousand Hills. This territory is home to the Biyela Clan, blood relatives of the Zulu Royal House.
Book into the Simunye Zulu Lodge and begin a journey learning about age-old Zulu traditions and customs first hand, gaining insight into the role of these traditions in modern South African society, both rural and urban.
You are typically welcomed to the traditional Zulu village in the early evening and offered a taste of traditional Zulu beer and braised meat before being entertained by lithe young dancers whose famously energetic, foot-stomping routines to the rhythm of drums stir the heart.
The following day you are shown around the homesteads, learning of the Zulu's hut-building techniques, their social structure, inyangas (traditonal healers) and traditional medicine. You also learn the meaning of Zulu beadwork and how to brew traditional Zulu beer.
Visitors have a choice of accommodation establishments at Simunye Zulu Lodge, including charming beehive huts, rondawels or lodges. All the stayover options respect the Zulu cultural theme, while providing modern creature comforts like electricity and hot water as well as lovely views over the peacefully meandering Mfule river.
This KwaZulu-Natal cultural village is also a popular conference and wedding venue, an exotic getaway that rejuvenates the spirit, African style.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Simunye Zulu Lodge
Tel: + 27 (0)35 450 0101/450-0103
Fax: + 27 (0)35 450 0102
How to get here
Simunye is located near Melmoth, a scenic two-hour drive from Durban or a five-hour drive from Johannesburg. The turn-off is between Melmoth and Eshowe, and it is nestled at the bottom of a cliff on the banks of the Mfuli river.
Best time to visit
KwaZulu-Natal is warm all year round, but the spring and autumn months are ideal.
A programme of daily events keeps you busy.
What will it cost
R2 174 for two people sharing R1 265 for a single room
Length of stay
A weekend or three days.
Where to stay
At the Simunye Zulu Lodge, part of the Protea hotel group.
What to eat
Breakfast at Simunye Zulu Lodge is a typical farm breakfast and dinner is either a barbecue or traditional Zulu food.
Go for walks, go birding, fishing or horseriding. Picnic at the waterfall or take a dip in the pool.