Did you know?
Traditionally many African tribes use beadwork as a symbolic language to express love, encouragement, or reprimand.
Shakaland Zulu cultural village is a unique resort built amid thorn trees and aloes on the set of the movie Shaka Zulu, a movie about the most influential leader of the Zulu empire and a man credited with uniting many of the Northern Nguni people through military genius. Several authentic Zulu kraals were constructed for the film, but were all set alight after the shoot bar one, that of Shaka's father and today, Shakaland.
This South African Zulu village offers a comprehensive Zulu experience, from foot-stomping tribal dancing by assegaai-wielding warriors in traditional animal skins to consultations with a sangoma (spiritual leader believed to have the ability to communicate with the ancestors) and an inyanga (traditional herbalist).
Shakaland is divided into the 'home of the Zulus' and 55 hotel rooms in the form of beehive huts, but equipped with modern creature comforts including DStv.
Visitors can choose between a 3-hour midday tour programme, or, for a truly enriching experience affording a better understanding of the Zulu nation, its people and their intriguingly customs, there's the two day 'culture tour'. This includes a video explaining the origin and history of the Zulu people followed by an introduction to traditional Zulu social systems, fighting formations, the keeping of the home, the sangoma, the inyanga, beadwork, pottery, beer brewing and spear throwing.
The surroundings of Shakaland Zulu village are idyllic. The hills to its east offer a splendid view over the Mhlatuze Valley, where Shaka's military stronghold, KwaBulawayo, once stood. Today there is virtually nothing left of the 19th century citidel that commanded so much of the Southern African region.
Below Shakaland is Goedertrou Dam, on which you can take a spectacular sunset boat cruise.