The direct translation of DumaZulu is “Thundering Zulu” and it is a very apt name for a place that celebrates African culture. International and local tourists can immerse themselves in an authentic African experience by touring the traditional Zulu village or by staying in the rondavel (a traditional circular African dwelling) huts designed to resemble the different African tribes. Some of those tribes include Zulu, Swazi, North Sotho, Tsonga, Ndebele and
Xhosa. My rondavel for the night I spent at DumaZulu celebrated the Venda tribe.
If you have been living in KwaZulu-Natal your whole life or for most of it and you think you know all about Zulu life – you would be wrong! The tour of the Zulu traditional village was entertaining and very informative especially as you learn to greet and reply in isiZulu. The guide (for us it was Isaac) is very willing to answer all questions. You will learn about spears, shields, grass baskets, pots, Sangoma (traditional healer) and beading. At the end of the tour you will get to taste Zulu beer and watch a dancing display. The traditional village tour is a must do when you stay at DumaZulu.
The DumaZulu Reptile Park has the biggest collection of reptiles in Zululand and you can see Crocodiles, Terrapins and various Snake species. If you are very, very brave you can also hold the Albino Burmese Python. There is also a bird enclosure to walk through that contains a Swan, Parrots, Emu’s and lots of other bird species. Stop and listen to the drum like noise that the Emu’s make. Look out for the Golden Orb spiders in their webs. They are specialised weavers and the female spiders can reach up to 5.1cm.
DumaZulu has braai facilities, a swimming pool, jungle gym and also offers open vehicle game drives to the Hluhluwe Game Reserve . They did have a Boma and restaurant which were unfortunately destroyed by fire earlier this year. The current temporary home of the restaurant is inside the curio shop next to the traditional village. Recent upgrades included 6 additional rooms, new white linen with accent throws and bathroom renovations. The continuation of the bathroom renovations has been put on hold so that the Boma and restaurant can be re-built. Even with the fire setback management and staff produce delicious food for their guests and tourists taking the traditional village tour.
My room was comfortable and cool (thanks aircon) and a welcome relief after a very hot and busy day. All rooms contain air-conditioning, en suite bathrooms, satellite TV, a safe and tea and coffee making facilities. I stayed in a room that had a newly refurbished bathroom and I loved the walk in shower. The self catering units are air-conditioned and have en suite bathrooms but they also have a kitchen and a sleeper couch for families.
So if you are desperate for a bush weekend then either one of the Gooderson properties (Bushlands or DumaZulu) would be the perfect place to stay.
Current DumaZulu room rates :
Self Catering 4 Sleeper (room only R1 125.00
Standard Room (DBB) R1 710.00
Double Room (DBB) R 1 710.00
DumaZulu Lodge and Traditional Village, Hluhluwe
+27 (0)35 562 2260
Central reservations : +27(0)31 3374222