Zulu king Shaka was born in 1787, and was the illegitimate son of the Zulu
Chief Senzangakhona and Nandi who was the daughter of a neibouring chief. Due to
Shaka's illegitimacy, his life was under threat, so he fled with his mother
Nandi to Dingiswayo, to seek refuge with the Mthethwa tribe. Shaka was fortunate
to have been a tall man, almost two meters in length, as well as being well
proportioned and gifted with great strength from an early age, all of which
shaped him into a natural leader. It is said that Shaka also displayed a
commanding presence, and creative intellect. Through his fearlessness he later
achieved a position of influence and became kindly regarded by Dingiswayo.
After the death of Dingiswayo, and that of his father Senzangakhona in 1818, Shaka was named as chief of both the powerful Mhethwa tribe, and the less prominent Zulus. This was the start of Shaka's brilliant military career, which later earned him the title of "The Black Napoleon of Africa". Shaka reorganized the structure of his army, and introduced new methods of fighting such as using a second shorter spear for stabbing and night fighting, as well as merging a large number of the Nguni clans into the Zulu nation. After his various improvements, Shaka's army of almost 50 000 warriors conquered the neighbouring territories and invaded Transvaal, Mozambique and Swaziland. In so doing he launched the "Mfecane" - the wars of extermination throughout Southern Africa.
He adopted a friendly attitude to the English traders and the newly arrived white settlers at Port Natal, and entered into a treaty with them. In 1825 Shaka built his new royal kraal, Dukuza, where present day Stanger lies. This kraal consisted of about 2000 traditional Zulu beehive huts, and was used as a halfway trading station between Zululand and Natal.
On 22 September 1822 all of Shaka's regiments, except one, had been out on military expeditions. Shaka was sitting on a rock (which now stands behind his memorial) looking at some of his cattle when his two half brothers Dingaan and Mhlangana, accompanied by one of Shaka's trusted servants approached him and began stabbing him. Severely wounded from the attack, Shaka stumbled across to a big tree which presently stands behind his memorial, where he was finally killed. It is said that the dying Shaka addressing his murderers prophesied: "Do you think that you will rule the land?...Not you, but the white people will rule the land". The area where the murder took place was actually a small cattle kraal known as the Nyakamubi.
According to traditional custom Shaka's body was wrapped in the skin of a black ox, and buried the following day with all his possessions in a newly dug grain pit, and covered with rocks. In 1932 a white memorial over the grave was erected by the Zulu people, and in 1946 the rock on which he had been sitting was rolled across the road to its present site. Each year on 24 September, the Zulu king, his royal household, dignitaries and thousands of warriors gather in traditional dress at this grave to honor the man who is said to have been the founder of the Zulu nation.
After Shaka's assassination on September 24 1828, his kraal Dukuza was burnt to the ground. In 1873, European settlers built a new town on the site, and named it Stanger after William Stanger, the Surveyor-General of Natal. Today, a small museum adjoins the site of King Shaka's grave in the town centre. The King Shaka Memorial includes a monument, a podium for various events, three representative huts and King Shaka's throne: a rock next to the memorial. A 20-minute slide show on the history of King Shaka can be viewed. There is also a small curio shop and an Interpretative Centre. Open daily from 8:30am to 4:00pm.
Accommodation Near Shaka Memorial
0.7km North of centre of Shaka MemorialSiegrist Rest is a beautifully situated modern self catering dwelling situated in the exclusive, secure Prince's Grant golf estate. The house sleeps 8, with three on-suite bedrooms, and has spectacular sea views from ...
From: R 295,00Per person, per night sharing.6.6km East of centre of Shaka MemorialBlythedale Beach is located 45 mins North of Durban on the Dolphin Coast. Blythedale is a small community with stunning beaches on an unspoilt coastline. The lagoon which falls within the Umvoti conservancy provides an abundance of bird life.
6.8km South East of centre of Shaka MemorialSpacious in the old manner, sleeping ten comfortably (we can bring in a few extra beds), the house overlooks the Umvoti River Mouth and the sweep of the bay, one of the finest sea views in the country.
From: R 1 900,00Per unit, per night.6.8km East of centre of Shaka MemorialCasa Isabella is situated in Blythedale Beach which is 50 minutes North of Durban on the North Coast of Kwa Zulu Natal, known as the Dolphin Coast. It consists of 2 townhouses side by side.
From: R 1 500,00Per unit, per night.Sleeps: 20 in 2 units/rooms6.9km East of centre of Shaka MemorialLovely thatched beach-house with heated pool overlooking the Indian Ocean on the Dolphin Coast. We are situated 75km north of Durban in Blythedale Beach, 2hrs drive from big5 wildparks (Hluluwe-Umfolozi, St.Lucia, Mkuzi
From: R 650,00Per unit, per night.Sleeps: 10 in 1 unit/room6.9km East of centre of Shaka MemorialOur spacious holiday home at Blythedale Beach is situated 350m from the beach, and 800m from the swimming beach.
From: R 500,00Per unit, per night.Sleeps: 5 in 1 unit/room6.9km East of centre of Shaka MemorialUnit 26 consists of 2 bedrooms both with en-suite bathrooms. The chalet comfortably sleeps 4 to 5 adults maximum. Open plan lounge and fully kitted-out kitchen. Unit 26 has its own lock-up garage as well as parking directly in front of the chalet.
Sleeps: 4 in 2 units/rooms7.0km East of centre of Shaka MemorialBlythedale Beach is a small unspoilt beach resort situated on the North Coast of KwaZulu Natal, approx. midway between Durban and Empangeni. Two luxury double rooms, each with en-suite shower room, ceiling fan, tea and coffee making facilities, ...
Graded:7.0km East of centre of Shaka MemorialThe Lodge boasts 27 en-suite air-conditioned rooms, two superbly appointed conference facilities, a swimming pool, a fully catered and serviced dining room, bar and deck overlooking the sea. The atmosphere is comfortable and relaxed with service ...
7.0km East of centre of Shaka MemorialThis spacious beach cottage, situated at an elevated position right on the tranquil beach gives you a wonderfully peaceful view from the patio. It's ideal for family vacations and comfortably sleeps 10 people...