King Shaka Archives - Tim Brown Tours
  • 31st July 2018

    Cannibalism in nature is nothing new, nor is it uncommon in our human history.
    It is just one of those topics people choose to shy away from discussing as it is so emotive!
    Watch some amazing original footage of Hyena Cannibalism and learn about some local examples.

  • 12th November 2015

    This brief write up is my understanding of the forming of the Zulu nation into a great kingdom over the years. We have to always keep in mind that almost all that is written on the Zulu nation is from word of mouth of Oral history and this could mean that it has been twisted over the years.

    The Zulu nation like any other in its early days was illiterate and it took the missionaries which came to South Africa in the 1840’s to begin with educating the Zulu people about God and Jesus as well as the other western ways.

  • 5th September 2015

    We began our Shakaland tour in Durban where I collected my clients and we covered more of the in depth history of the Zulus and the area we would be travelling into Eshowe.

    Once we arrived at Shakaland for the tour we enjoyed the shop and the amazing African crafts as well as music before the tour of the Umuzi(homestead) began!

    We learned the structure of the Zulu Umuzi and then watched a 15 minuted video clip on the movie Shaka Zulu all of this helps when you do a cultural tour from Durban of this nature.

  • 31st December 2014

    Shakaland day tour from Richards Bay 27th December 2014

     

    We began in Richards Bay were I my clients off the Ocean Nautica cruise ship and we headed up to Shakaland for a Day tour.

    It was to be a great day tour and we enjoyed the whole experience of Zulu culture, dancing, singing and tribal dress.

     

    Shakaland Day Tour entrance

    Shakaland Day Tour entrance

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After entering this Zulu cultural village where the movie Shaka Zulu was filmed in the 1980’s we had a quick look around the curio craft shops before the tour began at 11am.

    We started by entering the village and came back to the briefing and video clip which is usually show first but due to the ships being in this meant we had to beat the crowds so to speak!

    We began with learning how how King Shaka changed the face of the Zulu nation tactically and practically. We were shown by a Zulu Impi(soldier) how the spears were thrown and the structure of attack.

     

    Shakaland day tour, Zulu man with one of my clients

    Shakaland day tour, Zulu man with one of my clients

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As we continued we got to watch the display of this Zulu warrior showing us how the Zulus killed the British at the battle of Isandlwana fought on the 22nd of January 1879.

     

    Zulu man demonstrates how the Zulus killed the British

    Zulu man demonstrates how the Zulus killed the British

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We then moved on to the cooking hut which is only for the ladies as the men do not cook in Zulu culture. We watched outside the hut as a Zulu lady strained the Zulu beer in a grass strainer before throwing the remains to the chicken to feed off. The beer itself we would sample later with the chief at a gathering.

     

    Zulu woman strains the Zulu beer

    Zulu woman strains the Zulu beer

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    At this point we were invited into the Inyanga and Sangomas hut this is the Medicine man and the fortune teller. We entered in learned more about what they do for their people. A common misinterpretation is that a Sangoma is a witch doctor which is false as they are fortune tellers.

    We always greet them by saying “Makhosi”

     

    Zulu Inyanga and Zulu Sangoma

    Zulu Inyanga and Zulu Sangoma

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    At this point we headed out to meet with the chief for the tasting of Zulu beer which is only about 2 percent alcohol and brewed in 2-3 days. The beer is always a special touch to be able to taste it and be able to have western people learn more about this amazing Zulu Culture. It was amazing to see all those people there all to learn about the Zulu Culture at Shakaland.

     

    Zulu Chief samples the Zulu beer

    Zulu Chief samples the Zulu beer

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was at this point we made our way down to do a spot of shopping before visiting the hut where we watch a 15min video clip from the moving Shaka Zulu which gives a basic run down as to how Shaka grew to be the King of the Zulu nation.

    We them moved on to the Umuzi structural model so that we could view from the top the structure of the traditional Zulu village. This is always amazing and very interesting as Zulus can have any number of wived they want!

    This was great to see and then we moved on to enjoy some Zulu dancing with was hard to photograph as they move so fast!

     

    Traditional Zulu dancing

    Traditional Zulu dancing

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Zulu dancing Video:

     

     

     

    We then sat down to a lovely lunch of traditional Zulu foods and some western food for those who were not so keen on the traditional stuff. It was very tasty and after this we enjoyed some of the views over the dam before slowly making our way back to Richard Bay to catch the ship before it headed to Durban.

    It had been a lovely Durban day safari and tour of Shakaland.

     

  • 30th August 2014

    I met my clients which were a group out for a conference in Durban, at one of  the beach front hotels.

    Three of my clients had already been with me for the past 3 days on a Durban Big 5 Safari in Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve. It is always great to show off the different areas that KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa has to offer and today was no different!

    We took a leisurely drive up into the Valley of 1000 Hills and stopped at PheZulu Safari park where we would enjoy some of the views, the curios shop, Reptile park and then the Zulu Cultural village.

    Although some of my clients were not to keen on the reptile side of things they all agreed to give it a go! The Valley of 1000 Hills was once home to a Cannibalistic tribe which were chased buy the Zulus into the 1000 Hills. It was here the took refuge against the great Zulu King and his Impis (Soldiers). Unfortunately the lack of food caused them to turn on themselves in a cannibalistic nature.

    Anyway the Reptile Park where we looked as Snakes, Crocodiles and Tortoises was great and a new experience for some. It is always a great place to see some of the countries most venomous snakes behind glass and learn more about the complex venom’s they possess!

    I stupidly left my camera in the car for this one but did take it on the Zulu cultural Tour.

    At 11:30  it was time to go to the Zulu Cultural village and educate ourselves on the complex history behind the Zulu Nation. It was spectacular as ever and the Zulu Dancing and singing was great led by Chief Gaza the leader of this village who already has 3 wives.

    Zulu Boy celebrates after the acceptance of his marriage proposal during our Durban half Day Tour to the Valley of 1000 Hills

    Zulu Boy celebrates after the acceptance of his marriage proposal during our Durban half Day Tour to the Valley of 1000 Hills

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    In Zulu Culture you can have any number of Wives you want but you have to pay “Ilobola” a dowry out of respect to the parents of the girl and also to prove you can afford to take care of their daughter.

    Zulu boy consults the Sangomas or fortune tellers about his new wife to be during our Durban Zulu Cultural Tour

    Zulu boy consults the Sangomas or fortune tellers about his new wife to be during our Durban Zulu Cultural Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After the acceptance of a proposal the Zulu man consults the fortune tellers of the Sangoma and requested a look into his future. It is at this point that the man can still change his mind if the Sangoma says the girl he wishes to marry is infertile etc

    In Zulu Culture it is important to have lots of children so that the kids can help around the home, work in the fields, look after the Cows, Goats and chickens etc.

    It is also good for the man to have many daughters so that one day he too can receive Cows in exchange for his daughters hand in marriage. One son will allow his name to continue…

    The celebrations begin at the Zulu Cultural village on our Durban half Day Tour

    The celebrations begin at the Zulu Cultural village on our Durban half Day Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After all the dowry is paid the celebrations of the 3 day wedding take place from Friday to Sunday and the two are wed. 

    After a great performance of singing and dancing we headed to the traditional Zulu beehive huts. The first hut was a meeting hut where the men always sit on the right and women on the left in order to protect the women from intruders entering the hut unexpectedly. 

    Boys if they start using the left hand will be taught how to use there right hand as the spears/Assagais are held in the right hand and can be thrown at the intruder who enters the hut.

    Watch some Dancing from our Zulu Cultural Tour click link: Zulu Dancing Video

    Zulu man demonstrates how to use the long throwing spear on our Valley of 1000 Hills Zulu cultural experience

    Zulu man demonstrates how to use the long throwing spear on our Valley of 1000 Hills Zulu cultural experience

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Inside the hut the floors are polished with cow dung and the central fire sends up smoke into the Thatched roof in order to prevent the rain from penetrating the hut.

    The Assagai invented by the great King Shaka for close combat

    The Assagai invented by the great King Shaka for close combat

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was King Shaka who was King of the Zulus from 1816-1828 that invented this short stabbing spear for close combat with the British and the Dutch settlers. This weapon became historical as the Zulus used it to defeat the British at the 1879 Battle of Isandlwana with the then King; Cetswayo.

    After this amazing experience we moved on to Hillbillies for lunch also with a great view over the valley of 1000 hills. They also have a lot of craft markets that my clients enjoyed looking through. 

    Once we were done here I took everyone up to secret location which has brilliant views over the valley of 1000 hills and from here we started our journey back to Durban.

    It had been a very enjoyable half Day Tour in the Valley of 1000 Hills with a lovely mix of Zulu Cultural, singing and dancing!

  • 9th August 2014

    I met my client at one of the Durban hotels and as it was a large group than my vehicle can take we rented a larger vehicle to conduct the Durban Day Tour in.

    Our destination was Shakaland 160 km from the city of Durban and a functional Zulu cultural village where the film “Shaka Zulu: was filmed in the 1980’s.

    The drive to Shakaland is very interesting with the History of the Zulus being covered by myself as the guide as well as the general history of Durban and KwaZulu Natal.

    Shakaland itself is full of interesting history and culture and of course the traditional lunch we have is always great. The clients on this Durban Day Tour were very interested in the Zulu Beer until it came to tasting it! They soon realised we share the pot and pass it around, that seems to put most of them off tasting the good stuff.

    Once we arrived at Shakaland we began with understanding how a Zulu village operates by looking at a model of a traditional Zulu Homestead or Umuzi.

    Shakaland the depiction of a Zulu Homestead or Umuzi

    Shakaland the depiction of a Zulu Homestead or Umuzi

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As we continued on we watched a short video clip in Spanish so the clients could understand better. This Video clip shows sections of the life of the Great King Shaka kaSenzangakhona. It is a great tool to help people understand the history of Shaka and the Zulu nation.

    Asking for permission to enter the Homestead at Shakaland on our Durban Tour

    Asking for permission to enter the Homestead at Shakaland on our Durban Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     It is always very important to ask permission to enter into a Zulu Umuzi to show respect and of course so the King knows who to expect… either friend or foe.

    Durban Day Tour to Shakaland. The Chiefs 1st wife weaves a grass mat for sleeping.

    Durban Day Tour to Shakaland. The Chiefs 1st wife weaves a grass mat for sleeping

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The Chiefs 1st wife of this Zulu village weaves a grass mate for sleeping on. In traditional Zulu culture grass mats are used to separate the body from the floors polishes with cow dung.

    Durban Day Tour a Zulu wife strains the traditional Zulu beer at Shakaland
    Durban Day Tour a Zulu wife strains the traditional Zulu beer at Shakaland

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    In Zulu Culture the women do all the cooking and making of the Zulu beer which the men drink! She above is straining the beer out and keeping the ingredients inside the Isivovo. The ingredients of Maize, Maize malt and Saugum(which I cant spell) is all that is used apart from the water to make the Zulu beer.

    Spear throwing demonstration at Shakaland on our Durban day Tour

    Spear throwing demonstration at Shakaland on our Durban day Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We were very lucky to witness the display of spear throwing  on our Durban Day Tour, something which was done up until King Shaka invented the Short stabbing spear.

    Zulu demonstrating how the Zulus Porned the hearts of the British at Isandwana in 1879

    Zulu demonstrating how the Zulus Porned the hearts of the British at Isandwana in 1879

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It was during the great Anglo-Zulu wars in 1879 that King Cetswayo use the late king Shakas invention to good use and defeated the British at the Battle of Isandlwana.

     Zulu girl demostrates how to carry a clay pot on her head during our Durban Day Tour to Shakaland

    Zulu girl demostrates how to carry a clay pot on her head during our Durban Day Tour to Shakaland

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Clay pot was a great big part of Zulu Culture and were used for may different things like carrying water, holding beer, and separating Sour milk from the fluid.

    Inyanga medicine man and the Sangoma the fortune teller at Shakaland during our Durban Day Tour
    Inyanga medicine man and the Sangoma the fortune teller at Shakaland during our Durban Day Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We entered into the Hut of the two most important people in the Umuzi excepting the Chief and his wives. This hut belongs to the Inyanga and the Sangoma. Please note the Elephant skull and these Pythons skin up the pole.

     The chief sits just before the drinking of Zulu Beer

    The chief sits just before the drinking of Zulu Beer

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It is only the chief or royalty that are allowed to wear the skins or Leopard or Lions. These animals are considered Royal game.

    After the drinking of the Zulu beer we moved on to the craft market and the clients could buy a few curios and things to take back as gifts for family and friends.

    We then entered into the Dancing hut where for half an hours the Zulu community performed there traditional Dancing for us. I have added a short video clip of what you can expect but its not the best video ive ever taken…

    Click this link to the Video of the Zulu Dancing at Shakaland.

    After the dancing we headed down for some lunch and then a spot of shopping.

    Once the clients were happy we departed back to Durban. We returned back after a great Durban Day Tour to Shakaland and the clients were very happy.

  • 28th July 2014

    I met my clients in Umhlanga(Durban) for there Zulu cultural Day Tour to Shakaland. Its always nice when client show a great interest in the History of Durban, KwaZulu-Natal and the Culture which is so diverse in this province.

    I was asked plenty of great questions and spent a lot of time focusing on the Zulu Kingdom and mostly the great King Shaka! Shaka was considered by the Zulu people a the King which formed the Zulu Nation. Although the Zulu nation really began around 1550 with there first King being “Malandela”, Shaka’s name always resonates through out Zulu history as he was the great inventor and tactician!

    King Shaka’s Boyhood was very troubled having been chased away from the Zulu nation due to being the bastard son of King Senzangakhona, his father. Shaka as a young man had to fight back at bullies and by a stroke of good fortune ended up with the Mthetwa people which took him in. Shaka with the Mthetwa people grew into a strong man and worked his way up from a foot soldier to the leader of the Mthetwa army. Shaka eventually returned to the Zulu nation to claim his rightful place as the first born son of the ailing King Senzangakhona and upon his death in 1816 King Shaka took over the Zulus!

    Anyway our Durban Day Tour to Shakaland where the film “Shaka Zulu” was filmed and which is a fully functional Zulu village began at 11am. We started with a short 12 minute video clip from the moving to set the scene for the day and then looked at the structure of the “umuzi” – The homestead.

    Structure of a Zulu Home Stead – Umuzi

    Structure of a Zulu Home Stead – Umuzi

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After we spat on a stone and threw it onto an Isivivane – Grave covered in Stones, all done out of respect! We moved on to be welcomed into the real Umuzi where we first were shown some of the traditional Zulu pots, strainers and baskets.

    Zulu girls demostrate how to balance pots on there heads

    Zulu girls demostrate how to balance pots on there heads

     

    Married Zulu women makes a grass mat

    Married Zulu women makes a grass mat

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Zulu woman strains the Zulu beer

    Zulu woman strains the Zulu beer

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Our next stop was to watch the Umqomboti  – Zulu Beer, being strained and to look at the different Zulu pots for carrying water, milk, Sour milk and beer.

    The chief of the Zulu village then showed us how the Zulus would fight with there shields and Assagais -Short stabbing spears which King Shaka invented, before the clients had an opportunity to pose with him.

    Zulu man demonstrates Zulu warfare on our Durban Cultural Tour

    Zulu man demonstrates Zulu warfare on our Durban Cultural Tour

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    We then moved up to the Sangoma (Fortune teller) and Inyangas (Traditional healer) huts to learn more about them and there role in the Zulu nation. Zulu Culture is really interesting and on these Durban Day Tours to Shakaland you will learn things you had no idea existed in the first place.

    The Inyanga – Traditional healer and his medicine

    The Inyanga – Traditional healer and his medicine

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Polygamy is one of the interesting parts to Zulu Culture which with our short sighted western minds we judge before thinking about the reasons for it. During the many battles up to 1879 so many Zulu mens lives had been lost that King Cetswayo decided in order to ensure the security of the excess women that men needed to take more than one wife. There was a catch you had to pay for your wife, a brides price a dowry or in Zulu – Lobola! This insured that only the strong successful men could have more than one wife and ensured that women were not left on there own. If a Zulu Impi(Soldier) was killed his brother would also be instructed to take over his wives and children in order to support them! Not so silly when you think about the reason for Polygamy!

    We moved on to taste Umqombothi(Traditional Zulu beer) as well as looking at the interesting bead work the ladies had put together. There were also other items like Smoking pipes and necklaces and we also watch how Maize(cheaper version of Corn) is ground up into a powder for use in cooking!

    Zulu woman showing us how to grind Maize

    Zulu woman showing us how to grind Maize

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    After this it was time to look at curios for sale to support the family before we would watch the Traditional Zulu dancing.

    My clients we keen on weaponry much like myself and purchased a few items before we entered into the Dancing hut and had a wonderful cultural experience performed by the Zulu villagers. This you have to see when you come to South Africa.

    Traditional Zulu Dancing at Shakaland

    Traditional Zulu Dancing at Shakaland

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    When the singing and dancing was over it was time to have some lunch. At Shakaland you will have a buffet but included in the buffet are some Traditional Zulu foods like: Samp and Beans, Phutu, Chakalaka and Sheba, always worth a taste.

    After a final look around for some more weaponry we departed and chatted more about the Zulu Cultural on our drive back to Durban.

  • 14th March 2014

    I collected my clients from Durban at 9am on the 11th March 2014 for there Valley of 1000 hills, Durban half day safari Tour to experience the Zulu Culture and the scenery of of the beautiful valley of 1000 hills originally home to the Debe people a cannibalistic Tribe.

    Since the Zulu Nation took over the area from the Debe people it became a strong hold for King Shakas People.

    The rain was a concern on the Durban half day Tour but it just seemed to hold off for us to complete the half day Tour and experience the great views of the valley of 1000 hills.

    We began at Phezulu Safari Park in the valley of 1000 hills overlooking where the Debe people used to rule. The Zulu cultural village experience was the first things we got to see after leaving Durban city. We first entered the Zulu traditional huts, learning about there customs and culture before tasting there tradition Zulu Beer Umqomboti.

    After this Zulu cultural experience we moved onto the Zulu Dancing where we were lucky to witness the Zulu nations great traditions and power in there dance as well as watching these Sangomas(Fortune Tellers) throw the bones to show how a young Zulu mans life will fair.

    Valley 1000 Hills half day Tours – phezulu safari Park – Sangoma

    We had a great time and took some pictures with the Zulu men and women before moving onto the crocodile center and reptile park. Here we Tour’d the enclosures of the crocodile which is becoming endangered and learned more about the prehistoric animals. After the crocodile tour it was time for the Snakes which was great as you have the chance to hold a non venomous species of snake like the Brown House snake or the African Rock Python. This is always a huge additive to a Durban Half day tour/safari.

    We then had some tea and coffee at Phezulu safari parks tea garden before driving to my old home area in Monteseel to look at the stunning views over the valley of 1000 hills, We also came across this crazy sign the the neighbourhood Watch put up to try and prevent hookers. I was to embarrassed to show the clients as they had children.

    Valley 1000 Hills Monteseel No Hooking Picture – Durban Tours

    The valley of 1000 hills is a stunning area to visit steeped in history and beauty. Phezulu safari park is my place of choice for a Zulu Cultural experience from Durban.

     Valley of 1000 Hills Safari Tour, Durban half day Tours, Zulu Cultural experience Durban, Views of the valley of 1000 hills, Phezulu safari Park, Zulu Beer, King Shaka, Zulu Nation, Zulu Culture