PheZulu Safari Park

Zulu Sangoma being consulted by a Zulu dancer at PheZulu Safari Park

It’s been going for over 20 years now and there can’t be many people out there who have not heard of PheZulu Safari Park situated in Bothas Hill. Every day without fail (except of course Christmas Day and I think on Comrades) PheZulu Safari Park has been entertaining local and international visitors with their Zulu dance show, the crocodile and reptile park, a safari game drive and their wholesome, good food.

There’s more than just the crocodile park and Zulu dance show though. Every year PheZulu offers a trail run and recently, they’ve started opening up a small portion of the site to trail walkers. Also a recent edition is the small pump track for the kids to ride their bikes while parents look on with a delicious cup of coffee.

This informational post of PheZulu is quite long, so to make things a little easier I’ve created links below to quickly access what it is you’re looking for.

The Zulu Dance Show

The Zulu dance show is probably the longest running portion of PheZulu Safari Park. The show has 4 start times a day and lasts around 30 min. After being seated on the concrete steps under a thatched roof, the Zulu dancers will come in and do their thing. I personally was quite amazed to discover all the dancers are of the same family clan, the “Gasa”. The dance itself depicts the traditional course of a Zulu courtship, including a description of Sangoma’s and their role in Zulu life. 

After the show you can get the photo’s taken with the dancers (there’s no extra charge though a tip into the communal pot I’m sure would be appreciated) and then everyone is invited into the traditional”beehive” huts that surround the amphitheater. Once comfortably inside (men on the right and women on the left) there’s a tour of the interior as well as a short description of the common items found in the huts of yesteryear.

The Crocodile and Reptile Park

The crocodile park and newer reptile section offers tours every hour on the hour – though if you are happy to walk about yourself, you don’t have to join a tour – though I will say the guides make the tour really enjoyable and you will get an opportunity to hold a crocodile or even a python!

The tour takes about 30 to 45min depending on questions asked and covers both the crocodile section as well as the snakes and reptiles. There’s even a “critters” section that is home to some really cool species like giant African frogs and Jesus lizards.

If you’re feeling particularly brave, you can even order lunch to be enjoyed inside one of the crocodile pens. Yup, you read right – order a burger and chips and you can sit at the old fashioned bench and chairs inside a crocodile pen with some 20 or so crocodiles. Of course there will also be spectators watching you eat, but that’ll be the least of your worries!

The snakes are just as fascinating, with all manner of species on display, from the exotics to the local varieties found throughout KZN. The star of the show has to be Cleo though. She’s a Burmese Python that has been at PheZulu for some x years now. Every year she makes the local papers as the park celebrates her birthday by inviting a bunch of local kids to a day out at PheZulu.

The Safari Game Drive

Visit the restaurant deck and study the valley below and you may get a bit of a shock as you realise there are giraffes walking about! PheZulu Safari Park has over the years slowly been adding game to the reserve and today offers a few species to admire. Book a game drive and hop into one of the 10-seater, open vehicles with a guide and you’ll get up close to these amazing animals.

The game drives last about an hour and part of the enjoyment is the thrill in getting down the side of a scary (but exhilarating) 4×4 track onto the plains where the animals can be found! The guides are qualified and enthusiastic and can answer pretty much any questions thrown at them. Oh and for those that are fans of birding, there some great opportunities to tick off a few more birds on your list.

The Restaurant and Coffee Shop

Last and certainly not last, the Boma Restaurant. Set up inside the curio shop and on the deck overlooking the picturesque Valley of 1000 Hills, the restaurant serves a range of breakfast and lunch options. Open from 8am through to 4pm you can get everything staples like “burger and chips”, “bunny chows”, “wraps” etc to “crocodile burgers”. The portions are generous and fairly priced.

There is a selection of beers to help wash down your lunch including some locally produced craft beers (and I mean that literally, the brewer is a 10 minutes away). My personal favorite is the “boma breakfast” which has never failed to satisfy! As a bonus, while waiting for your food to arrive (it is a small kitchen with limited servers) you can kill time by shopping the impressive range of curios that not only serve as proof you’ve been to PheZulu, but in some instances actually help provide income for impoverished woman in the Valley of 1000 Hills.

PheZulu Trail Hikes

A recent development is that PheZulu have created some hiking trails through their reserve. There’s two (2) hikes available right now, a 1km hike and a 3 km hike. One thing you should know about PheZulu is that it’s located on top of a hill (that’s where the name “phezulu” comes from) which means no matter which trail, you will be hiking both up and down – though I am told you can get a lift if you’re done hiking back up!

Good To Know

  • You can buy tickets to just the portion you want to visit, so the Zulu village and dance show or the Crocodiles. Or just get a combo ticket to both.
  • PheZulu Safari Park is open from 8am to 4pm.
  • The Zulu dance show has 4 start times: 10am, 11:30am, 2pm and 3:30pm.
  • The tour of the Crocodile park takes place every hour on the hour.
  • Crocodile feeding time is at 

Contact Details

How to Get There

From Durban

PheZulu is around 35/40 min from Durban and about the same from Pietermaritzburg. From the N3 take the Shongweni / Assagay Rd turnoff towards Hillcrest and follow the road until you get to Old Main Road (it’s a T-junction and you can’t go any further). At the traffic lights turn left towards Bothas Hill and keep going 6km until you see the PheZulu Safari Park entrance gates on the right.

From Pietermaritzburg

Take the N3 to Durban and take the M13 off ramp to Hillcrest. At the traffic lights turn left into Assagay Road and follow the road all the way to the T-junction with Old Main Road. At the traffic lights turn left towards Bothas Hill and keep going 6km until you see the PheZulu Safari Park entrance gates on the right.

Other Places of Interest Nearby

Turn your trip to PheZulu Safari Park into a day trip and explore some of these other venues and attractions nearby.

  • EmboCraft
  • 1000 Hills Village
  • The Mushroom Farm
  • Shongweni Farmers Market
  • Animal Farmyard
  • Second Treasures

About This Post

I’ve done my best to ensure the information in this post is accurate and up to date. But as well all know, things change, an inevitable fact of life. So while I’ll always try keep this post up to date, it’s best giving PheZulu Safari Park a call before driving out to ensure they are open and are offering the experience you want. If there is something in this post that is out of date or simply inaccurate, just send me an email and edit it.

About Shelldon

Hi, my name is Shelldon and I'm a tour guide based in the city of Durban, South Africa. For years I've been taking visitors from around the world on trips throughout South Africa. I write about the places I've visited and things I've done.

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