Zulu Valley of 1000 Hills KwaZulu-Natal South Africa

Valley of 1000 Hills

I got lost on the drive to Valley of 1000 Hills, but had a fun side trip in Kloof. The Valley of 1000 Hills is named for the cliffs rising above the Umgeni River as it flows from the Drakensberg Mountains to the Indian Ocean. The valley has a temperate climate and is located in a gorge between Pietermaritzburg and Durban. It’s home to the Zulu People, colorful birds, wildebeest, impala, blesbok, zebra, and giraffe.

Zulu Wood Carving


“When Europeans arrived at the Port of Natal in 1825, the Valley of 1000 Hills was a remote area teeming with birds and game. Leopards occasionally spent the night on the veranda of the Gold Fields of South Africa Ltd. homestead in what is now the town of Kloof.”


Zulu Art

A wagon route opened between Durban and the Transvaal interior. After gold was discovered in the 1880s, a railway line was built to link the goldfields with Port Natal.

Isibindi Zulu Lodge

Zulus live in the Umgeni and Shongweni Valleys near the Inanda Dam. They maintain a traditional lifestyle and “their colourful ceremonies and expressive, artistic culture give the area a vibrant atmosphere and creative energy.”

Red-Billed Oxpeckers
South African Sunbird
African Black Oystercatcher
Kori Bustard
Southern Ground Hornbill

PheZulu Safari Park offers cultural shows and traditional Zulu dancing. Visitors can enjoy game drives, shop for local curios, or explore a crocodile / snake park.” If you do nothing but sip espresso at a café, views of the Valley are phenomenal!

Valley Of 1000 Hills – sa-venues
Inanda Dam Umgeni River


Zulu villages in the Valley include hiking and mountain biking trails for visitors.


Zulu Woman in Traditional Clothes

There are authentic Zulu villages in the Valley and a network of hiking and biking trails that allow visitors to explore the river, forests, and hills. I visited today and will return to hike in the uMngeni River Nature Reserve between iSithumba and Inanda Dam.

Zulu Village

Birds were audible but elusive. I’ve attached some beautiful professional shots. It was an educational and enjoyable day!

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