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Gooderson DumaZulu Lodge & Traditional Village

Lot H29, Bushlands Road, Hluhluwe 3960 South Africa
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#7 of 7 hotels in Hluhluwe
Experience traditional KwaZulu-Natal hospitality at Gooderson DumaZulu Traditional Zulu Village, South Africa’s biggest cultural village. Watch as locals make spears, shields, baskets and clay pots. Peek into the world of the sangoma and have a one on one reading. Experience the rhythmic drumbeat and dance of Africa. Taste Zulu beer. Watch the throwing of the bones… Situated in the heart of Zululand near Hluhluwe, Gooderson DumaZulu Traditional Zulu Village is as much a living cultural museum as it is a natural and therapeutic outdoors environment for guests to reconnect with nature. Cultural guides give guests a rare insight into local customs.
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Property amenities
Free parking
Bar / lounge
Conference facilities
Banquet room
Currency exchange
Non-smoking hotel
Outdoor pool
Breakfast available
Breakfast buffet
Laundry service
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Room features
Air conditioning
Seating area
Coffee / tea maker
Flatscreen TV
Bath / shower
Complimentary toiletries
Wake-up service / alarm clock
Hair dryer
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Room types
Non-smoking rooms
Good to know
Languages Spoken
136Reviews2Q+A5Room tips
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Popular mentions
SafariKZN-Mark wrote a review Jun 2020
Northampton, United Kingdom3173 contributions67 helpful votes
The Zulu warrior, bare chested, wearing only his cow hide ibheshu skirt, and traditional skins covering his biceps and shins, smashed his knobkerrie fighting stick against his shield. He cried out at the top of his voice what sounded like a battle cry. He stamped his feet and jumped high in the air. His small impi of men behind him shouted their encouragement while the Zulu ladies let out shrill calls to accompany their singing. He banged his fighting stick again against his shield before he charged us, feet stamping hard into the soft sand but barely making a sound. He stopped only a meter or so in front of us, like a lion making a mock charge. We were at the Gooderson DumaZulu Lodge & Village and the mock charge was part of the climax to our tour around the on-site Zulu Village. The tour had started when we were met at the gates by a Zulu elder who greeted us in his native tongue. We spoke through our guide and translator and picked up one or two Zulu words to help us on our way. Before being allowed to pass beyond the gate drums were banged to let the villagers know we were there. Our guide waited for the drums to signal we could enter. She then led us through a thatched archway and back in time. The village is surrounded by a fence which our guide told us is called a kraal, it is circular and constructed from branches of trees pushed into the ground. These fences were used to keep livestock in and wild animals out. Within the village there are a selection of traditional beehive huts built from wood, reeds and thatching grass. This is the type of home that the Zulu people traditionally lived in when European settlers first arrived in Zululand around three hundred years ago. The men in the village showed us how to make spears, both long throwing spears and shorter stabbing spears. The latter is known as an iklwa and when pronounced in Zulu it resembles the noise that the spear made as it was plunged into, them removed, from an enemy soldier during battle. After we were shown how to make the spears, we then got to launch the throwing spear ourselves. Our next meeting was with the village’s sangoma. The sangoma or healer is highly respected, powerful, and responsible for the well being of the community. They can treat and advise on all matters. Being gifted with their abilities, various methods are adopted to treat a huge array of problems. They can converse with ancestors and use the throwing of bones, pebbles and sticks to aid their powers. On meeting the ladies of the village, we learned of their crafts and the way that each of them was dressed. We were shown how clay pots, woven grass baskets, and traditional bead wear was skillfully made. Their skirts, their hats and other items of clothing told different stories and often depicted if the ladies were married or single. After being taken to the centre of the village we were greeted by a warrior who prepared for us a homemade Zulu beer in a clay pot. Beer plays a big role in Zulu culture and recipes are handed down through the generations. After careful sieving and stirring we drank from the pot and thanked him for his warm welcome. Young warriors then demonstrated their stick fighting skills. The men and ladies then came together and sang. On my travels I have been lucky enough to hear Zulu singing many times. I am yet to meet a Zulu who cannot sing. However, this was as good as any that I have heard. The singing was accompanied by drumming and whistles and we found ourselves engrossed by the sounds. The dancing is always special and maybe one day I will be able to raise my legs high enough to silently stamp them down? We stayed at the main lodge in our own traditional twin bed rondavel. Each room is dedicated to a different Southern African tribe. Our room was ‘Swazi Dlamini’ associated to the royal house of eSwatini, formerly Swaziland. The rooms are spacious and included a separate dressing room and en-suite bathroom. There is also a fridge along with tea & coffee making facilities. The accommodation, like the traditional village, is laid out in a circle amongst indigenous forest, where trees, like the marula, stood laden with fruit. Vervet monkeys and birds made the most of the abundant food supply. There were also masses of butterflies, of all sizes & colours, in the gardens and around the main lodge. The garden also has a fire pit area and swimming pool. We ate all meals in the restaurant and enjoyed a cold drink from the bar in the warm Zululand evening air. The dining area and bar are new, laid out and constructed with great thought and finished to an extremely high standard. The food was exceptional. Lunch and dinner served from a buffet, with staff on hand to talk you through each dish, and breakfast cooked to order. For lunch the stews, cooked in cast iron pots, served with traditional Zulu accompaniments included samp & beans, putu and creamed spinach. There was no shortage of anything, and buffets included, steak, boerewors, chicken, vegetables, salads, all served with beaming smiles.
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Date of stay: February 2020
SiobhanY wrote a review Dec 2019
145 contributions1 helpful vote
Hubby and I made the trip to Hluhluwe to spend a weekend at DumaZulu and it was amazing. Hearty, delicious food for both breakfast and dinner, a swimming pool and braai area, as well as a reptile park and a bird park. The traditional village is definitely worth a look in, as I'm Durban born and bred, and even having studied Zulu history in school, I learned a lot! The rooms are basic but clean and have air conditioning and DSTV, and there is wifi in the restaurant/bar area. Our only problem was having no hot water the first night, but as soon as we complained at reception it was fixed. Towels could be replaced, as they don't seem to dry as much as spread water around, but it was so damp at the time, that this could have been the reason too, from the excess moisture in the air. Very close to Hluhluwe-Imfolozi park, Emdoneni cats and more!
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Date of stay: November 2019
Room Tip: If you need quiet for sleep, choose a room further away from the braai area, as this was noisy...
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njcavalier wrote a review Sep 2019
Chatham, New Jersey336 contributions147 helpful votes
On a visit to Hluhluwe, we visited this Zulu cultural village, where we were treated to demonstrations of trafitional skills and talks about Zulu culture. We were also treated to homemade beer and to an entertaining song-and-dance show featuring traditionally garbed men and women of the village. It all had something of a Disney feel, but the visit was certainly a pleasant diversion.
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Date of stay: July 2019
Town to Town Travel wrote a review Jun 2019
Durban, South Africa194 contributions54 helpful votes
The traditional village tour and experience is geared towards tourists but explains nicely some of the traditions of the Zulus, the "performers" did a good job but there was some enthusiasm lacking which I suppose comes with having to put on the show so often. We had a good, standard lunch beforehand.
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Date of stay: February 2019
Cece wrote a review Mar 2019
Cape Town, South Africa10 contributions1 helpful vote
We didn't stay in the lodge. We only visited the reptile park. It is not worth the visit. The snakes are kept in very small enclosures and looked very stressed. The crocodiles didn't have much space either to move around and swim.
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Date of stay: March 2019
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
US$55 - US$111 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
South AfricaKwaZulu-NatalZululandHluhluwe
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Frequently Asked Questions about Gooderson DumaZulu Lodge & Traditional Village
Which popular attractions are close to Gooderson DumaZulu Lodge & Traditional Village?
Nearby attractions include Emdoneni Cheetah project (1.0 km).
What are some of the property amenities at Gooderson DumaZulu Lodge & Traditional Village?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include a pool, an on-site restaurant, and a lounge.
Which room amenities are available at Gooderson DumaZulu Lodge & Traditional Village?
Top room amenities include air conditioning, a flat screen TV, and a desk.
What food & drink options are available at Gooderson DumaZulu Lodge & Traditional Village?
Guests can enjoy an on-site restaurant, a lounge, and breakfast during their stay.
Is parking available at Gooderson DumaZulu Lodge & Traditional Village?
Yes, free parking is available to guests.
Are there opportunities to exercise at Gooderson DumaZulu Lodge & Traditional Village?
Yes, guests have access to a pool during their stay.
Does Gooderson DumaZulu Lodge & Traditional Village offer any business services?
Yes, guests have access to a banquet room and conference facilities during their stay.