The afternoon saw us arriving at the Zulu village, situated at DumaZulu Cultural Village, Bushlands (

Met at the entrance to the village by a Zulu warrior, we were immediately immersed in the Zulu language and culture: it was an experience all in itself. The whole culture revolves around their spiritual beliefs and respect for one another. Each person has a specific role designated to them: they don’t tend to adopt western practices and remain deeply entrenched within their customs.

Upon entering the village gate, the man must go first, thereby enabling him to ensure all is safe. At other times, when together the woman always keeps on her partner’s right.

For the Zulus, no holding hands, hugging or kissing in public. Neither husband or wife can prepare breakfast for one another, and they sleep upon separate mats at night because the ancestors visit and give strength to the men.When wishing to marry, the prospective groom must present a gift to the mother of the woman he wishes to have for his wife, and once the knot is tied, as a sign of respect, when he wants to speak to his mother – in – law each time a gift must be presented and he always covers her when they converse.

When eating, as a sign of respect, no – one is allowed to eat with the Grandmother. How different this is to the memories we have of meal times shared with our devoted grandmothers. Used to our European ways, their customs brought home how relaxed our own world has become.

Spear heads were formed via the heat of a fire, then shaped upon an ‘anvil’ prior to cooling.

Shields made from animal hides became so stiff they were impossible to penetrate. Three varieties were made, each performing a different role.

For this Zulu, shield making was his mode of work within the village.

Fighting shield made from hide. Bob had a ball!!!

The women looked after the young children.

Some made pots from clay, or wove baskets. Although plain in colour, there was a beauty to each.

Unmarried Zulu maids and children carried the pots and loads upon their heads: once married, the women no longer partook in this chore. Other family members then performed this duty.

Homes were built to last for a minimum of twenty years.

 The older women taught the young to do intricate bead work.

 The Zulu wedding skirt was made from hide: it was heavier than a Scottish kilt!!!

 The witch doctor who can be either male or female, is still very much required in today’s world.

 There were dances for varying reasons, war and wedding ceremonies being just two. Stamina was a major requirement.

 The children learnt young.

Learning about other cultures is one of the most interesting facets of our travel.

Upon passing a small pond set within the land of our accommodation, our evening was complete, as we came across this fella soaking within the mud upon the extremities. Curious about us, he edged forward for an improved view.

 Not the best of shots, but the only time we saw this type of bird.