The Nguni herd of Napier, South Africa.

“The Nguni is a cattle breed indigenous to Southern Africa. A hybrid of different Indian and later European cattle breeds, they were introduced by Bantu-speaking tribes (Nguni people) to Southern Africa during their migration from the North of the continent.

Nguni cattle are known for their fertility and resistance to diseases, being the favourite breed amongst the local Bantu-speaking people of Southern Africa . They are characterised by their multicoloured skin, which can present many different patterns, but their noses are always black-tipped. 

They are a principal form of Sanga cattle, which originated as hybrids of Zebu and humpless cattle in East Africa. DNA analyses have confirmed that they are a combination of Bos indicus and Bos taurus, that is a combination of different Zebu and European cattle breeds”. (from Wikipedia)

The almost white Nguni calf of Napier, South Africa.

In Zulu culture ‘White is the colour of the ancestors, diviners and protection against lightning. As a result of this significance any white calf born in the byre of a commoner was automatically given to the king’.

In Napier, South Africa, recently a virtually white Nguni calf was born. Unfortunately (fortunately for the owner) Shaka Zulu does not live anymore.


“Nguni cattle descend from both Bos taurus and Bos indicus cattle and entered Africa around 8000 years ago. As the tribes migrated south into Africa they took their cattle along. Through natural selection and environmental interaction the cattle evolved into the hardy breed we know today as the Nguni. As the tribes settled in different areas, distinctive cattle ecotypes developed, but are essentially still Ngunis. Only in 1932 did the late Professor HH Curzon make an effort to breed true to type Nguni cattle which resulted in the formation of the Bartlow Combine breeding station in the late 1940’s. Another milestone in the recognition of the Nguni breed was the Bonsma report of 1950 on indigenous cattle in South Africa where the appreciation of this adapted breed was highlighted”. – from