eMakhosini Ophathe Heritage Park

Spirit of the eMakhosini - Across Africa, the beer pot symbolises people coming together in ... rel=
Spirit of the eMakhosini - Across Africa, the beer pot symbolises people coming together in friendship.
© WWF / Pam Sherriffs

Valley of the Kings

In many parts of the world, areas of great historical interest have been changed so much that they cannot recapture the environment as it was centuries ago. But in the eMakhosini Ophathe Heritage Park, outside the town of Ulundi, visitors will be able to experience the cultural heritage of the Zulu people within the natural environment that existed when King Shaka was building the nation into a force that inspired respect around the world.
Already wild animals - including black rhino - have been reintroduced into the Ophathe section of the park. And WWF is helping to make whole heritage park a reality, by funding fencing of the entire area. When the fencing is complete, then internal fences can be removed and black rhino will have more than 20,000 hectares of their historic range in which to roam again. 

eMakhosini, meaning "the Valley of the Kings" is the birthplace of the Zulus, "the people of heaven". King Shaka spent his early youth in the Valley and many of his forebears are buried here, including kings Zulu (Nkosinkulu), Phunga, Mageba, Ndaba, Jama and Senzagakhona. Many battles of historical significance occurred in the Valley. The Zulu king Dingane clashed with Voortrekkers who wanted new lands in the Zulu kingdom. Voortrekker leader Piet Retief and a group of his followers were put to death here. They are buried at kwaMatiwane, the Hill of Execution.

The home of King Goodwill Zwelithini, the only powerful monarch left in modern-day South Africa, is in the eMakhosini, which also falls within the black rhino's historical range. King Goodwill is even compared with a black rhino in some of his "praise songs".

Spirit of the eMakhosini
The Spirit of the eMakhosini is a spectacular monument sitting high on a hill from which Zulu kings have throughout the ages been able to look out over their territory. The monument consists of a circular platform decorated with bronze plaques showing scenes from Zulu life. On that is a huge imbiza , or beer pot, made from bronze.

Surrounding the pot there are six horns and an elephant tusk, which symbolise the seven kings buried in the valley. The horns represent those of a black rhino, an Nguni cow, a kudu, an eland, a reedbuck and a bushbuck, all animals that have lived in the area alongside the Zulu people.

Across Africa, the beer pot symbolises people coming together in friendship.

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