KwaZulu-Natal Culture & history

Our most recommended KwaZulu-Natal Culture & history

Shakaland and Zulu Culture Full-Day Trip

1. Shakaland and Zulu Culture Full-Day Trip

The full-day tour begins at the King Shaka Memorial, which is the site of his royal homestead and also the place where he was killed. Visit Shakaland, where you’ll have the opportunity to experience Zulu culture first hand, learning about the customs and social norms of Zulu life. Taste authentic Zulu beer, meet with traditional doctors, and experience an educational and entertaining Zulu dance show. Head into the Dlinza Forest Reserve after lunch. Admire the spectacular surroundings from a high, raised boardwalk that winds its way through the forest. Take a walk along the peaceful land trails as well. Get up close and personal with the duiker, or small antelopes, that have become accustomed to the human visitors.

Drakensberg Giants Castle Cave Art & Mandela Capture Site

2. Drakensberg Giants Castle Cave Art & Mandela Capture Site

The tour starts off with a visit to Pietermaritzburg, the capital of KwaZulu-Natal. Stop at Pietermaritzburg's City Hall, which claims to be the largest brick building in the southern hemisphere. Visit the Gandhi statue also before heading towards the Drakensberg mountains and Giants Castle Reserve. Giant's Castle is situated on a grassy plateau among the deep valleys running down from the face of the High Drakensberg, offering glorious views. At Giants Castle reserve, there is a large sandstone cave containing prehistoric San rock art. The San and Khoekhoe people were hunters and gatherers who roamed South Africa for thousands of years. This cave is one of the biggest and best-preserved painted sites in southern Africa. This cave is an easy 30 minutes’ walk from the camp office and regular guided tours are taken through this unique exhibition. A visit to Giant's Castle offers the privilege of entering the world of the San as well as the opportunity to study a varied and exciting range of habitats. From there, head to the small town of Howick and visit its waterfall. Howick Falls is approximately 95m in height and lies on the Umgeni River. The Zulu people called the falls KwaNogqaza, which means "Place of the Tall One".   Then visit the Nelson Mandela Capture Site Statue and Apartheid Museum. The Nelson Mandela sculpture comprises of 50 steel column constructions, each between 6.5m and 9.5m tall, set into the Midlands landscape. The approach to the site leads you down a path towards the sculpture where, at 35 meters, a portrait of Nelson Mandela, looking west, comes into focus. The 50 linear vertical units, line up to create the illusion of a flat image. The museum is dedicated to Nelson Mandela’s life and his struggle against Apartheid. After the tour, head back to Durban by late afternoon.

From Durban: Isandlwana Rorkes Drift Battlefields Day Trip

3. From Durban: Isandlwana Rorkes Drift Battlefields Day Trip

This tour takes you into the north of KwaZulu-Natal where you will visit famous sites of the battlefields. There you will encounter museums, memorials and fields dedicated to the Anglo Zulu wars.  Your first stop will be the Isandlwana battlefield and museum. The Battle of Isandlwana on 22 January 1879 was the first major encounter in the Anglo–Zulu War between the British Empire and the Zulu Kingdom. Eleven days after the British commenced their invasion of Zululand in South Africa, a Zulu force of some 20,000 warriors attacked a portion of the British main column consisting of about 1,800 British, colonial and native troops and perhaps 400 civilians. The Zulus were equipped mainly with the traditional assegai iron spears and cow-hide shields, but also had a few muskets and old rifles though they were not formally trained in their use. Despite a vast disadvantage in weapons technology, the numerically superior Zulus ultimately overwhelmed the poorly led and badly deployed British.  The tour progresses to the Battle of Rorke's Drift, also known as the Defence of Rorke's Drift,. The defence of the mission station of Rorke's Drift immediately followed the British Army's defeat at the Battle of Isandlwana on 22 January 1879, and continued into the following day.  The last stop is Fugitives Drift and the Queens Colours memorial before we make the journey back to Durban.

Durban: Interactive Sightseeing Tour with Locals

4. Durban: Interactive Sightseeing Tour with Locals

Start the day with a pickup from your accommodation then dive straight into your Durban adventure. Stroll through Africa’s oldest surviving Botanical Gardens and tap into its history and unique collections with a passionate horticulturist. Then meet the ‘loneliest man on the planet’, which is a tree, and discover the secret to invisibility. Next, unlock the trendy suburb of Glenwood, which is considered by many as the Arts Quarter of Durban. Explore on foot with local artists, Mooki Lion or Dane Stops, and track down the public portfolios of talented street artists. On the tour, uncover the underbelly of the city as you get into a conversation about the social issues that underpin the art. Time to meet Mama Nkosi next, also known as the dancing curator of Phansi Museum, and the head honcho of one of the largest collections of indigenous art and crafts in KwaZulu Natal. Learn about indigenous beliefs, tribal culture, and how people used the therapeutic nature of song and dance to deal with their emotions and feelings. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, taste the flavors of African cuisine and sample the popular delicacies of Durban such as bunny chow. With your energy levels restored, enter into the beating heart of the city, the Markets of Warwick. In the company of a local NGO, meet merchants peddling their wares and learn about the history, significance, and future of this remarkable space.  After the market, drive through the city center as your guide brings it to life with historical anecdotes. Finish the day at the creative hub that is Station Drive Precinct and enjoy an artisan gelato tasting with local creatives. For those who'd like to test out some craft beer, stroll over the S43 and try the refreshing flavors at That Brewing Company (at own expense).

Frequently asked questions about KwaZulu-Natal

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Other Sightseeing Options in KwaZulu-Natal

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What people are saying about KwaZulu-Natal

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 47 reviews

What a wonderful and informative tour. Sotiris Spetsiotis from 1st Zulu Safaris was very informative and added value to the trip. The tour guide at the Zulu village was knowledgeable, engaging and easy to understand. The dancing was incredible. The lunch was tasty. Overall I had a very enjoyable time.

There is a lot of travel in this trip, roughly 4 hours there, but it was worth it. The guide was excellent and very chatty even though it was such a long day. If you have the time, I'd recommend this trip

I had a really awesome day and Ndu Nene was professional &informativei

My trip was a very interesting and fun one . Ndu Nene tour guide was jolly person and he taught us many interesting things.

Beautiful landscape and hike. Driving overland with real African village life

nice day trip, lots of driving but really worth it.