The legend of Ghost Mountain
Before being conquered by Zulu leader King Shaka, the Ndwandwe tribe used the majestic, rocky slopes of Ghost Mountain as a sacred burial ground. Only tribal chiefs were buried in a high up, forbidden cave. Before burial, the chiefs were mummified and wrapped in black bulls’ skin - a sign of the highest honour.
After Shaka’s take over, a faction of the Ndwandwe tribe led by the Gaza family managed to flee. They escaped Northwards making it all the way up to Mozambique. Even after relocating all this distance, the honoured dead of the Gaza family were carried back to Ghost Mountain. No mere feat, when you consider the journey was over 1000 km.
Roughly sixty years later, the Anglo-Zulu War broke out in 1879, and the fighting was brutal. Over six months, the war grew steadily bloodier - until reaching its crescendo on Ghost Mountain. The British seeking to ‘divide and conquer’ split Zululand into 13 separately ruled states - leading to infighting among the chiefs. In one last epic battle Chief Zibhebhu retreated over the Mkuze River and up Ghost Mountain. The battle that ensued was devastating. Thousands of lives were lost. Eventually, the combined forces of the British and other Europeans fighting alongside Zulu Chief Dinuzulu overwhelmed the Zibhebhu tribe. Historical accounts describe bodies littered from the base river all the way up to the summit of Ghost Mountain.
Rumour has it that there are fragments of skeletons scattered along the mountainside. A long-standing monument to the brutality of war. Do you have what it takes to brave the climb?