The Valley of a Thousand Hills in KwaZulu-Natal is a truly magical place, with views of rolling hills extending as far as the eye can see. It is the valley where the Umgeni River meets the Msunduzi River, and at its peak, Botha’s Hill (named after the grandfather of General Louis Botha, South Africa’s first Prime Minister) are various restaurants and tourist sites, including the famous PheZulu Cultural Village. Run by the Gasa clan, PheZulu offers tourists a taste of traditional Zulu life, including a visit to the thatched beehive-shaped huts, a Zulu dancing show, and a taste of utshwala besiZulu, Zulu beer. It may be akin to a Zulu Disney World, but it does show authentic Zulu practices, and offers insight into cultural practices that still form an important part of Zulu life.
The Valley of a Thousand Hills is also home to thousands of families living a relatively rural existence, many of whom are struggling to make ends meet. Some of the children in the area are members of the Indigo Skate Camp, a youth empowerment programme that teaches local Zulu villagers the language of skateboarding, offering opportunities for them to experience life on the other side of the hill. It’s an amazing programme and one well worth supporting!
Image courtesy of goodthingsguy.com