A visit to the local village immerses you into this rich culture like nowhere else would…
Located in the heart of Zululand, Zulu culture is deeply engrained in the ethos of Thanda Safari Lodge. Even the architecture replicates an umuzi, the spherical-shaped homestead of a Zulu village. Above all, we pride ourselves on the majority-Zulu staff all hailing from the surrounding area. A visit to the local village is one of those rare privileges that immerses you into this rich culture like nowhere else would.
Thanda’s game reserve sits on what used to be the Zulu King’s hunting grounds. When visiting the neighbouring village you might hear stories about the legendary King Shaka Zulu, the founding monarch whose original traditions still remain intact. The first thing you’ll see, aside from excited children waving to greet you, is a cluster of huts revolving around a cattle kraal, cattle being the spiritual and social core of Zulu lifestyle. Your guide, a local, will introduce you to this welcoming community known for its ancestral past and fervently strong identity.
While talking to residents the conversation could lead you to a lesson in how they cultivate corn or store food. Stop by the home of the village healer, known as a sangoma, whose divine job is to bridge the physical world and the afterlife. You may be treated to the transfixing melody of a Zulu song sung by a choir or a war dance – a powerful vision of drumming and flare. Back at Thanda you might see your newfound Zulu friends again spontaneously singing gospel to guests over supper. This is made even more special by the fact you know all their names.
Your journey will start with one of our UK team – someone like Laura, who's travelled extensively in South Africa. They’ll shape your ideas into the trip of a lifetime. But they won't do it alone. They'll draw on the expertise of our contacts on the ground, connecting you to the people who'll make your holiday one you'll always remember - ex banker who can show you the hottest foodie spots in Cape Town, the award-winning young sommelier who can introduce you to Stellenbosch's finest wines and the walking safari ranger who can guide you to the best game.
Freephone an expert 01306 744 656