Township Tourism

Township Tourism


KwaZulu-Natal Province in South Africa, fondly known as the “Zulu Kingdom” presents tourists unparalleled opportunities to experience authentic Zulu and African cultures first-hand, through fascinating traditional Zulu cultural and township tours.


What is a township?

In South Africa, townships are the very pulse and heartbeat of the country. Here are a few fast facts:

  • Townships were originally established pre-democracy, when the country was under Apartheid rule.
  • Non-whites (black, coloured and Indian people), were not allowed to stay or own property in the white-only residential areas.
  • Instead– they were confined to informal settlements that were underdeveloped.

As a result, townships are still predominantly populated with black and non-white people. But since the new democratic government has been in power, these settlements have been upgraded and developed. Today, they are kaleidoscopic suburbs that capture the essence of its resilient people, filled with entrepreneurial tourism and other related small businesses, and a hip social vibe. 


Experience indigenous performance arts in KwaMashu

KwaMashu is the oldest township Durban, KZN’s largest city. It is renowned for its prolific ethnic performance arts scene. A tour through this vibrant area will give you a mesmerising glimpse into some truly unique cultural elements:

  • The life of the interesting residents of KwaMashu & sister townships Inanda & Ntuzuma
  • Hip-hop, pantsula & contemporary dancing in Kwaito style
  • Amateur drama performances
  • Mashkandi music, traditional Zulu music
  • Sangomas (traditional healers and herbalists)


Feel the spirit of Ubuntu, the spirit of humanity - in Umlazi, the 2nd biggest township in South Africa

Umlazi is said to epitomise the essence of “African-ness” with its camaraderie, vibrant culture and pulsating energy. Explore this township and you will taste, feel and see the true spirit of Africa:

  • Eat generous portions of Shesa Nyama (meat cooked over a hot fire)
  • Browse through an array of spaza shops (small informal shops run from homes)
  • Taste local beer at shebeens (African pubs)
  • Rub shoulders with the local who’s who at the trendiest eateries, clubs and bars

For information on township tours and tour operators in Durban, go to



Enjoy true Zulu hospitality with the Zulu-Mpophomeni Tourism Experience

The Zulu-Mpophomeni Tourism Experience offers an unparalleled first-hand experience of indigenous South African culture at one of the most beautiful locations on earth - the Midlands Meander. A tour will take you through real villages and communities where age-old traditions are still practised to this day.

  • Meet and greet locals at local taverns or shebeens
  • Drink traditional beers, amahewu or utshwala besizulu from clay pots
  • Watch local craftwork in action, such as beadwork and weaving of grass mats
  • Indulge in a cultural sip and dine in Zulu rondavels
  • Stay in B&Bs operated by local families

For information on the Zulu-Mpophomeni Tourism Experience, go to


Zululand, nowhere else will you experience true Zulu culture like this

The Zululand region in KwaZulu-Natal has numerous nature and game reserves that provide the African wildlife experience. What really makes this area different from anything else you’ve experienced though, are the authentic Zulu traditions and culture that is interwoven in the daily lives of its people.

  • Simunye Zulu Lodge: Based in the heart of a mountainous valley and set in a traditional Zulu kraal. It belongs to the Biyela Clan, whose ancestors led the Zulu regiment that defeated the British at Isandlwana.
  • Umuzi Wakwa Mdaka Homestead: Close to the internationally renowned Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park, the oldest nature reserve in Africa. Visitors can stay in traditional Zulu rondavels or beehive huts.

Two of the top Zulu attractions in KZN are the Shakaland Cultural Village and the DumaZulu Traditional Zulu Village. The Shaka Cultural Village is known for being “a living monument to Zulu culture” and offers insights into the life and times of the legendary Zulu warrior, King Shaka.

Click here to read more about these intriguing villages, or feel free to contact Tourism KZN for information about Zulu and cultural tours and tourist guides in the province.