Exciting roars from our next country. Why are we excited you may ask…
It’s because we have reached the final country of our journey! Yes..we are in South Africa!
A long time ago, Zululand was a separate country. A Zulu King was in charge of the Zulu people. In 1870’s the British came in took control of the area, Zululand eventually became part of the new country called South Africa.
This part of South Africa is still called KwaZulu-Natal.
The area in the north is full of farms with sugarcane, just like Swaziland was.
It also has a lot of savannah grassland and National Parks to help protect the animals. A lot of tourists come to see the wildlife, especially the very rare Black Rhino.
The rise of the Zulu Kingdom began when Shaka Zulu took control of the tribe. He became King Shaka and made the army stronger, more organised and improved the lives of the Zulu people.
The army dominated the other tribes and eventually the Zulu Kingdom became huge.
The word Zulu means ‘heaven’ or ‘sky’.
This is a Zulu warrior performing a traditional warrior dance. We saw a group performing a Zulu Dance. Our video of the dance will be uploaded to our YouTube page..
Traditional Zulu clothing was different for everyday activities and special occasons. The women also dress differently depending on whether they are single, engaged or married! An unmarried woman wears only a short skirt made of grass or beaded cotton. Her hair must also be kept short.
An engaged woman will let her hair grow longer and wear a decorated cloth around her chest as well as the grass skirt.
A married woman covers the whole of her body.
The Zulu people used to believe in spirits called Amatongo or Amadhlozi, who had the power to change people’s lives, for good or bad.
Modern Zulus still have traditional beliefs but a lot also believe in Christian values and God as well as the Zulu beliefs.
Zulu’s believe that we are made up of several parts: the body (inyamalumzimba or umzimba); the life force (umoyalumphefumulo or umoya); and the “shadow,” personality (isithunzi).
Zulus are taught to behave with ‘ubuntu’ which means you must show respect, be generous and kind to others.
Zulus believe in traditional medicine to help influence the ancestor spirits. Herbalists mix medicines that can heal or prevent bad things happening. Zulus consult these doctors when they need help with their health or matters in their life. The doctors sometimes throw bones onto the ground and use them to predict what will happen in the future.
The Zulus had a big war with the people called the Boers. The Boers were people who had come from Holland to live in South Africa. They were escaping the British and started trying to push the Zulu’s off their land. The Boers eventually won at the ‘Battle of Blood River’ and the Zulu’s fled North towards Swaziland.
Eventually the British then went to war with the Boers in the Boer War. The Zulu King Mpande made friends with the British and things calmed down. However, in 1878 war broke out between the British and the Zulu Kingdom and the Zulu’s were defeated. Now the land is part of South Africa and the Zulu tribespeople are South African Citizens. The current Prime Minister of South Africa, Jacob Zuma is a Zulu.
We enjoyed cycling down through KwaZulu-Natal and eventually got to the city called Durban. The city is named after the first Zulu King: King Shaka International Airport.
We are going to rest by the beach for a few days before cycling on through South Africa… Big roars
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