Apr 9, 2012


Next stop on our agenda was a visit to PheZulu in The Valley of a Thousand Hills. I haven't been there for years but thought it might be worth a visit. So off to the hills we went - Kyle and Emma, Chez and myself. Ciaran was working and Caelen opted to give it a miss - not quite his thing!. I must confess it was a bit of a hairy trip because I was worried about my car. The clutch is not right and I struggled a bit with the gears but we made it there and back safely.
The entrance
Chez checking out the entrance to the Zulu Village
It certainly has changed since I was last here. It looks very neat and orderly and they even do 4x4 safari rides.
Another of the buildings - they have accommodation round here
Kyle and Emma 
We began with a visit to the reptile section. There were some very large crocodiles basking in the sun.The oldest crocodile there was born in 1905 and weighs 600kg. The female wit him was 60 years old. They are not with these youngsters but have their own enclosure.
Getting a good look at the crocodiles
Wouldn't like to get too close to these two!
The two on either side of the middle one kept slipping in and out of the water. They are silent when they slip into the water and glide just below the surface. A trail of bubbles lets you know where they are.
Wouldn't fancy having a dip in here with this fella. I find crocodiles very sinister.
The entrance to the traditional Zulu village
In the first hut we entered our guide, Patrick told us about the daily life in a traditional Zulu household.
When we entered the next hut the women had to sit on the left side of the hut and the men on the right. Patrick explained that this was so that the men could protect the women from any intruders by throwing their spear with their right hand. 
You can see why they call it the Valley of a Thousand Hills
Patrick telling us how a Zulu courtship is conducted
The couple when they first meet and start the process
 The girl accepts the boy by placing a beaded necklace around his neck
 A sangoma (witchdoctor) and her apprentice
 Doing a dance after having been consulted by the groom to see what the bones have to say
The bride (the one wearing the hat) and her maidens dancing
 Now it's the turn of the men to celebrate and show off their dancing prowess
 More dancing to impress the maidens
Everybody is happy

It was very interesting watching the dancing and hearing the story of a traditional Zulu courtship. Nowadays things are very different. Many Zulus living in the cities have become westernized and Zulu is no longer their mother tongue. There are Zulu children in the school where I teach who cannot speak Zulu as English is their home language. Others have both and speak English at school and Zulu at home. Is it a good thing or a bad thing? I will leave that for you to decide.

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