|Government type||Absolute Monarchy|
|Ruling party||The Conservative Faction|
|Accepted cultures||Nguni, Sotho|
Zulu is a small uncivilized state in the eastern part of modern South Africa. Historically, the Zulu nation lasted until 1879 when it was conquered by British South Africa. However, it is possible for Zulu to take a different direction. The Zulu kingdom starts with a major advantage that the Boer states and is in prime position for conquest of Africa.
At first glance Zulu's starting position is less than ideal, to say the least. West of Zulu are the Boer states, Oranje and Transvaal, who, compared to Zulu, are rolling in money and technology. To the north and south of Zulu are two colonies, Portugals East Africa and United Kingdoms South Africa, neither of which is easy to beat in outright war. Though it seems Zulu is at a major disadvantage, it has one significant strength, namely its army can overwhelm either Boer states' through sheer numbers alone.
Zulu has the unique decision Attack The Laagers, which gives 5 prestige at the cost of 5 infamy as well as reducing all Boer POPs in Durban by 40%. It is possible to take after one of the Boer States take the decision Die Groot Trek.
The first two wars
Zulu begins with a massive deficit, virtually the only way to combat this is extreme taxation and tariffs. Luckily, this doesn't have to last for long. Neighboring Zulu is Oranje and Transvaal, two (relatively) rich Boer republics ripe for conquest. They start with much better technology than Zulu, but a significantly smaller army. They will soon after 1836 have precious metal in many provinces.
Transvaal is the richest of the two with the most precious metal, so in that light one can argue that they the best to start with. On the other hand Oranje is more likely to be sphered by UK than Transvaal. One can look after increasing British influence in Oranje, and make a decision upon that. Both Transvaal and Oranje consist of mountains so make sure to spend as much as possible on military in order to minimize losses to attrition.
Successful conquests will lead to large benefits, though. Precious metal, prestige and a boost to Zulu's literacy rate and more accepted POP's
For a long time it is best to keep up good relations with UK and hopefully be sphered and allied to them.
After pacifying the Boer states, Zulu should focus on civilizing. The best way to do this is to encourage clergy and spending as much money on education as possible. Unfortunately, it still takes awhile to become civilized. During this time the player will likely face rebellions or crisis' from Oranje/Transvaal nationalists and reactionaries.
Portugal may sometimes declare war on Zulu to obtain Transvaal's territory. If this happens, one will most likely not be able to win the war, so one might have to unfortunately give up the territory.
If the army is modernized and large enough sometime into Westernization, one can also attempt to justify a Place in the Sun Casus belli against Portugal, if they have no allies winning the war is possible.
Madagascar will very soon be both sphered and annexed by France via event, so if one intends to annex it (which undoubtly is a good thing to do) one have to move fast. One needs to invest in a fleet to do so. If one gets too much Infamy from the first two wars, it might not be possible to do so.
After civilizing the player is in ample position to colonize Africa. Zulu have to westernize relatively quickly in order to colonize Africa. One should begin researching prestige gain tech, as they will help place Zulu in a secondary power position. If one managed to become a secondary power before 1870, one can colonize the fellow Africans. Secondary power should be secure from the conquest of Oranje and Transvaal. It is however best to also invest in military and fleet in order to gain military points. One does also need a good chunk of colonization points, which comes from a big fleet. Taking Portuguese Mozambique or Madagascar helps to make room for a bigger fleet.
It is important to colonize the provinces west of Transvaal as one needs to block Great Britain form colonizing more from the south. When Great Britain is one can colonize upwards. Hopefully UK starts their African adventure in Ghana rather in South Africa.
Post-westernization Zulu can choose multiple targets, possibly eventually facing the British behemoth and taking South Africa. Though it is recommended that one have powerful allies (preferably in Europe) and a good military to challenge them.
Mid Game (1861-1880)
Compared to the other colonizers Zulu has the advantage that it has its capital in Africa and there are a few accepted POP's among the unclaimed provinces. It makes it easier to turn them into states eventually.
In order to industrialize, one needs to continue the process of education the nation from westernization. POP's will not promote into craftsmen in significant numbers before having a literacy around 50-60 %