Price range, per nightmin R max R
Ulundi is the place where the British army finally crushed the spirit of the Zulu warriors in 1879 by razing the entire royal Zulu village to the ground. How ironic it is then that Ulundi would rise up again and become the centre of Zulu culture and home town to the current Zulu monarchy.
For 10 years in South African history, Ulundi shared KwaZulu-Natal provincial capital status with Pietermaritzburg, however, it was later decided to drop Ulundi, as the infrastructure and location was too remote to effectively govern a province.
Ulundi is located in the heart of the KwaZulu-Natal Province, renowned for its scenic splendour and established game farms. Throw in exciting safaris, unique cultural experiences and historic battlegrounds and you have a dream vacation covering most tastes.
Top 5 reasons to visit Ulundi
1. Ondini is the site of Zulu king Cetshwayo’s royal kraal, ruler of the Zulu nation in late 1800s. The original kraal clay floors stood the test of time, giving archaeologists the ability to accurately record and rebuild many structures. Visit to discover the traditions and way of life realistically depicted in the cultural museum.
2. Join the Battlefield route by visiting the memorial at the Ulundi battle site, then travel south to see the impressive Spirit of eMakhosini monument located high on a hill. The area has gravesites and relics of the continuous British-Zulu wars that took place here during the 19th century.
3. A visit to the Hluhluwe–Imfolozi Park is a must. This nature reserve is Africa’s oldest and an amalgamation of two parks with distinct biomes, one area is a green forested region, the other thorny bushveld. The reserve is home to the Big 5 and houses a healthy population of black and white rhino.
4. Certain local tour operators offer a visit (and stayover, if required) to an authentic Zulu village where guests are treated to a traditional meal and singing, dancing and drumming sessions with the villagers. Truly a heart-warming experience.
5. Hiking is popular in this area, ask your host for suggested routes. A few short but interesting routes travel through the Ondini Historic Reserve.
The Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi Airport is 1km out of town. Domestic flights arrive from Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg airports. There is a car rental company located at the airport otherwise make a booking online and collect at the most convenient centre. Informal taxis operate in Ulundi, however, it’s best to hire a vehicle.
Did you know?
Married Zulu women wear colourful waistbands called ixhama (isifociya). This tradition is centuries old, all that has changed is that colour has been added to the original white beads.
South Africa’s constitution acknowledges and respects the role of traditional leaders within our democracy, thus the reason why a Zulu kingdom exists. The current king, Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu, has reigned since 1971.