Visiting the rural village of iSithumba in the Valley of 1000 Hills is always exciting for me. I love getting out of the hustle and bustle of Durban and into the tranquility of this peaceful Zulu village. The Zulu people are always warm and friendly and so welcoming. It’s no wonder that the Zulu cultural tour to iSithumba has become a firm favorite among visitors wanting a day tour.
Zulu Cultural Tour to iSithumba
iSithumba is some 45 min west of the city of Durban. I picked my two clients up from their hotel in Durban and headed out towards the Valley of 1000 Hills. Normally I spend the time chatting about the history of the Zulu people and of course Durban and South Africa. On this occasion however the couple had spent the day with a colleague and so had already been treated to the history.
Instead we chatted a bit about what made the couple choose Durban as their holiday destination and how they were enjoying it. Turns out that Durban has become really popular with tourists seeking a true Zulu experience.
We made the trip in 60 min which included a much needed coffee break and headed into the deep valleys of KwaXimba. KwaXimba (the “x” in the word is actually a clicking sound) is actually the township in which the village of iSithumba is situated.
iSithumba Means Kidnapping
We met our local guide Jeffrey at the visitors parking area of iSithumba. After a quick introduction we started off on our short walking tour of the village. Jeffrey gre up in this village so he had some wonderful stories about growing up in this tranquil area. He also told us about the history of the name “iSithumba” (which means kidnapping) but I wont reveal the details here, you’ll have to join us for the tour to learn more!
Sangoma, a Traditional Healer
We were led around the village, stopping first at the spaza shop. This is a small type of general dealer which also is a shebeen. From there we headed onto the Sangoma, one of the traditional healers that are so important to everyday Zulu life.
We also had an opportunity to visit the sub-chief of the village, as well as one of his 3 wives. It’s here at the sub-chiefs hut that we learnt about the reason for the building of round houses in Zululand (spoiler alert: it has to do with evil spirits).
Finally we made our way down to the river where Jeffrey showed us how to make Zulu love bracelets from the grass that borders the Mgeni river. After dodging some Nguni cattle that were quite curious as to what we were doing, we headed back to the vehicle for a spot of lunch.
PheZulu Safari Park
After lunch the second part of our day tour started with a visit to the PheZulu Safari Park. Here we did a tour around the Crocodile and Reptile park. It’s amazing to think that the oldest resident crocodile at the park died at age 109!
Next up we were treated to some traditional Zulu dancing. The dancers kept us entertained for some 30 minutes with a frenetic style of dance where one kicks their legs up high and then stamps the foot hard onto the ground. I think we were all pretty impressed with their abilities.
Back to Durban
Finally though it was time to head back to Durban. On the way back we chatted quite a bit about the traditional Zulu’s place in today’s modern world. Quite a deep topic at the end of a thoroughly successful day!
Booking a Day Tour
If you would like more information about the Zulu cultural tour to iSithumba or any of the other tours Country and Coastal Touring offer, just drop us an email and we’ll get back to you.
Country and Coastal Touring are registered guides and tour operators based in the city of Durban, South Africa.