Created as a set for the telemovie Shaka Zulu, the slightly Disney-fied Shakaland beats up a touristy blend of perma-grin performance and informative authenticity. The Nandi Experience (Nandi was Shaka’s mother) is a display of Zulu culture and customs (including lunch); the Zulu dance performance is said to be the best in the country. You can also stay overnight in luxury beehives at the four-star hotel.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby KwaZulu-Natal attractions

1. Dlinza Forest Reserve

8.08 MILES

When war approached, King Shaka is said to have hidden his wives in the thick swath of forest that now makes up this 2-sq-km reserve. There is prolific…

2. Fort Nongqayi Museum Village

8.78 MILES

Based around three-turreted Fort Nongqayi, the museum village also includes the Zululand Historical Museum, with artefacts and Victoriana; the excellent…

3. Raffia Palm Monument

20.74 MILES

Raphia Australis palms were first planted here in 1916 from seeds. The idea was to use the palm fibres to make brooms for the prison service, but, as the…

4. Umlalazi Nature Reserve

20.9 MILES

This reserve has walking trails through the pretty dune and forest ecosystems and is great for birders. Visit the Indaba Tree, where John Dunn held his…

5. Emakhosini Ophathe Heritage Park

26.93 MILES

Ulundi lies within the Valley of the Kings, the name of which is officially promoted as Emakhosini Ophathe Heritage Park. The area is of great…

6. Mgungundlovu

27.4 MILES

The military settlement of Mgungundlovu (Ungungundhlovu), Dingaan’s capital from 1829 to 1838, is southwest of Ulundi on Rte 34 (the road linking Vryheid…

7. Spirit of Emakhosini Monument

27.48 MILES

This monument comprises a massive bronze Zulu beer pot, surrounded by 18 bronze reliefs depicting Zulu life, and seven large horns symbolising the seven…