Shakaland, Home of the Zulus

I thought Shakaland would have been touristy and kitschy – it wasn’t.

Located in a beautiful and tranquil area of rolling hills overlooking the Phobane Lake, Shakaland is an authentic Zulu kraal with beehive thatched huts built on the set where the movie, Shaka Zulu was filmed, the same land on which the Zulus fought many battles.

That movie was, I believe, my first introduction to King Shaka, one of Africa’s famous warrior kings and the man credited with uniting the various Nguni people into one large, proud and powerful Zulu nation whose influence can be felt today.

I didn’t watch the movie but the name stuck in my memory.

King Shaka of the Zulus, was born in 1787 and ruled for 10 years. During that time, he established himself as a military genius and a statesman.

Shakaland Building
Overlooking the lake
One of the beehive thatched huts
Replica of a Zulu kraal

Smagna, our guide, explaining the workings of the kraal. The women’s huts were always on the left, the men on the right so that they could protect the women and children from intruders. For that same reason, men would always walk ahead of the women.

Single Zulu women

Single Zulu women wearing short beaded skirts. Older women wear clothes that cover their bodies.


Zulu woman


With the chief
Traditional dancing

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