In Look to the West, the Matetwa Empire, which formed in the 1750s, has in TTL replaced the OTL Zulu polity as the largest power in southern Africa during the nineteenth century. The largest difference from OTL is that during Dingiswayo's expulsion from the Matetwa Empire during his brother Mawewe's coup, he travels to Delgola Bay and finds out new ideas directly from Portugese traders (rather than Hottentot Bushmen in OTL). This leads to many stronger military and social reforms than OTL as well as being adopted much earlier.
Another large divergence is that Shaka distinguishes himself during the Matetwa-Nadwandwe Wars of the late 1790s and becomes a high level advisor in Dingiswayo's Boma (court). The Zulu tribes never becomes more than a minor tribe within the Matetwa and eventually they are subsumed into the Swazi tribe.
Under Dingiswayo and his aide Shaka, the Matetwa began a massive expansion. In 1805, the Nadwandwe are finally destroyed (In OTL, these wars continue and eventually the power vaccuum led to the creation of the Zulu Kingdom) making the Matetwa the dominant power of Southern Africa. Dingiswayo also completely subsumed the Swazi and the Gaza directly into the Matetwa Empire by 1812.
The First European diplomatic contact came in 1812, when a British expedition led by Thomas Granville met in Dingiswayo's Boma; where they secured the BEIC's rights to settle on the coasts, forming the nuecleus for the colony of Natal.
1796- : Dingiswayo