Africa Wild Trails Ltd can provide exciting and educational experiences of the Afrikaner, Zulu, Bushman and Shangaan cultures with the majority of our expeditions

Please find information below and links to other cultural sites should you need further information or simply contact us.

The  Afrikaner 

Stephanus Johannes Paulus Kruger/ Paul Kruger (1825-1904) was the last President of the South African Republic, and generally recognised as the greatest figure Afrikanerdom ever produced. His father, Kasper Jan Hendrik Kruger, and his mother, Elsie Fransina Steyn, joined the Great Trek and Paul experienced all the hardships of the time. At 15 he was recognised as a burgher. He married at 17 and settled on his farm, Waterkloof, near Rustenburg in the Transvaal.The Afrikaner people are mainly descendants of settlers from Europe’s northwest. They came to South Africa from approximately 1650 – 1800 arriving firstly with the Dutch East India company in the Cape of Good Hope.In order to escape British domination and taxation in 1830’s and 1840’s many thousands of Afrikaners famously took part in the Great Trek to the much unexplored area of the interior of South Africa.Inevitably the Afrikaners or Boers came into contact with the impis (regiments) of the Zulu army under their Chief Dingane and much history was created including famous battles such as the one fought on the banks of a river called Ncome. Some 470 Boers fought in the region of 9,000 Zulu’s on December 16th 1838 under the command of Andries Pretorius. Due to only 3 deaths on the Boer side and 3,000 on the Zulu side the Ncome river ran red with blood and this battle was forever afterwards called The Battle of Blood River.

  1. – Afrikaner religion, population, location, politics, customs
  2. – More Afrikaner images


The Zulu

Zulu people are mainly from KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. They are traditionally agriculturalists. The Zulu language, closely related to Xhosa, belongs to the Bantu branch of the Niger-Congo family. Many Zulus are supporters of the political organisation Inkatha, founded by Chief Buthelezi in 1975.The Zulu are the largest Southern African ethnic group and played a major role in South African History during the 19th and 20th Centuries. The famous Anglo-Zulu War battles of Rorke’s Drift, Isandlwana and Ulundi are incredible tales of both British and Zulu bravery, tactics and weaponry.Experience Zulu tribal dancing at it’s absolute best, learn about their traditional homesteads, weaponry, clothing, superstitions, the history of the Zulu Kings and Shaka, the most famous of King all.The Zulu people are formed into clans whose chiefs are the genealogically senior members, they divide into age sets which form sections of the army. In the 1820s they were forged into a nation by King Shaka, who formed them into fighting regiments, conquering many neighbouring peoples. Shaka was assassinated by his brother Dingaan, who was in turn defeated by the Boers 1838–43.

In 1879 the Zulus, under King Cetewayo were defeated by the British, and Zululand was annexed by the UK, although sporadic fighting continued until 1907.

  1. – Zulu culture, cooking, cleaning, parenting, weddings, clothing & healing
  2. – More Zulu images



The Bushman

The Bushman were indigenous people of Southern Africa and inhabited areas from South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Swaziland to Botswana, Namibia, and Angola. Now the Bushman can only to be found on the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. Around 4000 years ago, nomads, calling themselves Khoi-Khoi, came into contact with the much longer established hunter-gatherers of Southern Africa, (who had occupied most parts of southern Africa for over 50 000 years.) they called them ‘San’, meaning food-gatherers. The seventeenth century Dutch colonists of the Cape of Good Hope called the hunter-gatherers who lived on the savanna or ‘boschveld’ of the Cape Interior, ‘Boschjesmannen’. Hence the name Bushman. The Bushmen are the longest-term inhabitants of Southern Africa. They are the last survivors of a Stone Age people who were once scattered all over Eastern, Central and Southern Africa.Most of the Europeans that first saw the rock art in Southern Africa were fascinated by it’s beauty but believed that these were simple depictions of Bushman life. It is only these days that the true value of this incredible art is being understood by Western people.The rock art not only shows actual events that happen day by day but they are full of messages to other Bushman coming this way of the dangers in that area and animals that may be hunted there. There are also complex symbols, metaphors and religious meanings.The earliest known rock art cave paintings in Southern Africa are around 27,000 years.

Trek into the exquisitely beautiful Drakensberg Mountains that boarder Lesotho and see with your own eyes ancient Bushman rock art ranging from 250 – 7,000 years old.

Sleep out in the caves that the Bushman themselves slept in and walk the game trails the Bushman walked many hundreds and thousands of years ago.

  1. – Tribes, trance dance, when, where, food & rock art
  2. – More Bushman images



The Shangaan

The Shangaan now primarily inhabit an area in southern Mozambique but they settled in places such as northern South Africa’s Limpopo Province where they could carry on their traditional and pastoral way of life. Soshangana fled with his people from the Zulu massacres of King Shaka.Over half of the Shangaan people live in Limpopo Province of the Republic of South Africa.  In recent years many Mozambican Shangaan have gone to South Africa for work.Shangaan is another name for the Tsongapeople, a southeastern Bantu people.  The Shangaan people are part of a larger people group also called the Tsonga.The struggle of the Shangaan people from the times of Shaka to the Portuguese rule of Mozambique is fascinating and spending time with these amazing people is time well spent as they will freely tell you their stories.

An important figure in traditional Shangaan culture, as with all the Nguni peoples of southeastern Africa, is the Sangoma, a healer and spiritual guide. The Sangoma’s medicine gourd, has become a symbol of the traditional cultural heritage of the Shangaan.  A well-known traditional art form is beadwork, formulated into geometric patterns.

Each family would traditionally live in a family village, as is common with many Bantu-speaking cultures.  The Shangaan lived in these lineage groups of polygamous extended families.  From 1964, the South African government began re-designating certain living areas for certain races or tribes.  This included resettlement of many Shangaan and others into rural villages of up to 400 residents.

The Shangaan people were among the first to be used as laborers in the diamond and gold mines of South Africa.  The Shangaan were considered superior to other peoples in this type of work.

  1. – Population, religion, history, identity, politics & language
  2. – More Shangaan images