At Isibindi Zulu Lodge we love all things local and we encourage our guests to encounter as much as possible of the history, food and culture of this fascinating province of KwaZulu-Natal. From your beehive ‘rondavel’, to the Zulu artefacts in the main lodge, to the very African setting of aloes and acacia, we invite you to immerse yourself in this environment.
We highly recommend a Zulu cultural tour, where one of our staff will take you to a local village and introduce you to a traditional Zulu homestead. Learn about the fascinating ways in which the culture developed in response to this unique environment. You will be shown the tools used for food production, the architectural style, as well as learning about the sleeping arrangements and cultural practices around relationship dynamics. Do ask about traditional ways of showing ‘hlonipha’ (respect), which are often so opposite and contradictory to Western ways of showing respect. Learning about the importance of dignity and honour will lend insight into your interactions with the warm people from this beautiful part of the world.
A dramatic and intense Zulu cultural evening may be arranged, where Zulu maidens and warriors dance to the deep and powerful beat of a cowhide drum, sing songs and explain the rituals of love and war before an open fire under starry skies. I watch an ernest boy of about 10 dance his craft – clearly he is an artist at heart and loves to perform while at the same time honing his skills.
Following the song and dance, a traditional Zulu dinner is served at a long table, with explanations of the food preparation and serving. You may be convinced to taste Zulu beer, a mild, home-brewed alcohol and your evening is likely to end in a heated debate with proud staff, about gender norms of the highly patriarchal traditional society. Surrounded by gentle, oil-lit lamps you will feel transported into another time and place, altogether removed from your daily life, from which you may return with new insights about what it means to be human and connected with respect and dignity.