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Shangana Cultural Village (Near Kruger National Park/Limppopo)

Come share in the way of life of the Shangaan people. The picturesque villages are set in the shade of ancient trees in a reserve of forest and grassland, and hosts a day and evening show daily.

A bustling African market village forms the centre of Shangana, where local craftspeople make and trade their craft. Midday tours are done with a lunch, and the famed Evening Festival in the Chief's Kraal.

Daytime Tours
:
Duration: 1 hour
During the day, small groups are led from the Marula Market, down through the bush and past fields, where you will be shown how food was collected from their environment, and traditional farming will be explained.

During the tour different facets of the Shangaan way of life, including their history and customs, initiation ceremonies, the practice of polygamy, the outfits and weapons of masocho (warriors), the construction of homes, ornate beadwork clothing, and the preparation of food will be explained.

Guests are encouraged to touch, feel and participate in what is happening in the village, and the guide will explain the necessary etiquette to ensure the privacy of the family is not disturbed.

The guide will lead the guests to the mystical kraal of the Sangoma (traditional healer). The Sangoma explains different mutis (medicines) and may throw his bones on request.
He is a registered member of the Traditional Healers' Association, so the advice he gives is serious!

 

Special tours for groups may be arranged where people from surrounding villages come to show off the traditional Shangaan dancing.
Daytime tours: Tours throughout the day (from 9.00 - 16.00)
Daytime tour with dance (by special arrangement)
Evening Festival
Duration: 3 hours

As the sun sets over the mountains, guests are led by a guide through the bush towards the great Kraal of Chief Soshangana. As they approach, the beating of drums grows louder and warriors usher them through a passage of stone towers and flaming torches.

This is the great Kraal of Chief Soshangana, a dramatic fire-lit circle of royal huts under the boughs of ancient trees. The Chief and his family host the Evening Festival, where choirs, actors and dancers gather to tell the story of the Shangaan people. It is a spectacular and moving experience, which shows the enormous talent of the people from this region. During the show, traditional beer is passed around and great wooden trays with local delicacies are passed around.

Halfway through the show, the wives of the chief invite guests to divide into small groups to share a traditional feast in their houses with them (Sample menu available on request). Drinks are served in handcrafted, glazed clay pots - Beer, wine, sodas, fruit juice, mineral water and popular spirits.

After this, guests return for the second half, which tells the more modern story of the Shangaans, and at the end guests are led out through a tunnel of singing choristers.
   

Shakaland (Near Richardsbaai)

Shakaland

Feel the pulsating rhythm of mysterious and magical Africa as you   re-live the excitement and romance of the days of Great King Tshaka, of the Zulus, in this authentic re-creation of the Great Kraal overlooking the Phobane Lake.

Experience the sight of assegaai-wielding warriors, share the fascinating secrets of the Sangomas and witness traditional customs such as tribal dancing, spear making and the beer-drinking ceremonies.

A traditional Zulu "Umuzi" or homestead, divided into the home of the Zulu`s and hotel rooms build in the style of traditional Zulu huts. A unique resort built on the movie set of the epic movies, Shaka Zulu.
THE NANDI PROGRAMME (Day visitors)
A three-hour midday experience running from 11H00 to 14H00 or from 12H00 to 15H00.

THE SHAKA PROGRAMME (Overnight Hotel Guests)
Commencing with Part I of the culture tour at l6H00 or 16H30, depending on the season and Zulu dancing for an hour before dinner.
Part II of the culture tour runs from 11H00 to 12h00 the next morning.

The culture tour includes:
• beerdrinking ceremony
• social systems
• fighting formations
• the greeting of the home
• the sangoma
• the nyanga
• beadwork, pottery, beer making, spear throwing etc.
   

Ndebele Cultural Village (Botshabelo near Middelburg/Mpumalanga)

 

The Ndebele Village of “Mapoch” is situated 40 km outside Pretoria.The village inhabitants still live in a traditional manner and practice their time-old customs, despite the influence of modernisation.

The village is relatively un-commercialised and you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself and experience life from a unique perspective.

Mapoch Ndebele Village is a unique place as the community still live and practice their traditional way of life, i.e traditional ceremonies, Ndebele paintings, beadwork and Ndebele culture in general.
Guided Tours will provide you with an understanding of Ndebele Culture, norms and ceremonies, as well as insight into their colourful famous geometric art patterns, painting and symbols. This is the perfect place to purchasing traditional and contemporary beading, well known for its colourful patterns. Accommodation is culturally unique and incorporates the cultural geometric art. Meals are provided by the community catering team. You may either select a traditional meal or advise us in advance so we can make arrangement for ala-carte requirements.
   
 

Lesedi Cultural Village (Near Hartbeespoort Dam/North West Province)

Lesedi offers two unique day experiences in themselves where guests can share the excitement and warmth of true rural African culture. The morning program at 11H30, known as the Monati experience and the late afternoon program at 16H30, known as the Boma experience.

We will organise a guided tour from your hotel to lesedi and drop off again The visitor can also stay overnight in a typical African hut, and experience night time story telling around the camp fire by The Chief. More details on asking.

   

Basotho Cultural Village

Basotho Cultural Village  
The Basotho Cultural Village nestles in the heart of the Qwaqwa National Park some mere stone's throw away from the world-renowned Golden Gate area.

The Cultural Village takes you for a walk down the pathway of time. The lifestyle and architecture of the South Sotho is accurately depicted from the sixteenth century to the dramatically colourful present.

Follow the guide's footsteps into the "khotla", the gathering place of men, and accept the Basotho hospitality by taking a sip from the traditional beer offered while listening to the rangoon and lesiba and engage in a game of marabaraba.

Consult the ngaka, the captain's advisor, in his professional capacity as traditional healer and allow him to enlighten you as he has been doing for centuries. Step into the home of either the first, second or third wife and move to the rhythm of the women grinding the maize and sifting beer. Pass the token where grandmothers used to gather the young girls around them to initiate them in folklore by ways of riddles, fables and marvellous tales.

The huts are built and furnished according to the time frame depicted by each one. The interior and exterior decoration of huts is done by the Basotho women. It is called litem' and can still be seen in the Free State rural areas. The colours are extremely vibrant and dramatic.
The art gallery boasts work of local artists and a permanent photographic exhibition of the building process of the village and litem' art in the Eastern Free State. The curio shop offers a wide variety of Basotho arts and crafts. There is nothing like a warm traditional Basotho meal in the sandstone amphitheatre and the entertaining sounds of the accordion and drum to complete an unforgettable experience.

A social ecologist and a ngaka (healer) escort the groups on this fascinating trail and their speciality is locating an array of grasses, roots, herbs, leaves and bark in the veld and then explaining how these are prepared to cure ailments ranging from toothache to sexually transmitted diseases, or again their ritual use.
The Basotho pony experience.

A visit to this panoramic region should definitely include a pony ride. This area is the home of the Basotho Pony; renowned for surefootedness, endurance and even temperament. A guided tour through the most scenic spots in the Qwaqwa National Park. View Game, such as Springbok, Eland, Blesbok, Red Hartebeest, Oribi, Duiker, Grey Rhebok, Mountain Reedbuck and Burchell's Zebra in close proximity.

   

Ma Betty's Xhosa Cultural Experience

   

Situated in the city of Oudtshoorn you can enjoy the delicious food, traditional dances and magnificent stories of the rich Xhosa culture!

A Culanary experience the old Xhosa traditional way. The dishes are prepared on open wood fires in black iron pots and therefore have a unique flavour. To experience the great taste of Xhosa cuisine we suggest you have the traditional Xhosa meal.

Besides the wonderful food Ma Betty also offers fun-filled traditional activities to make your evening complete.

Entertainment is also offered in the form of energetic dancing and stories told by a traditional healer (Sangoma) with Xhosa singing.
The women are eager to talk to the visitors about the preservation of their culture.

The traditional Xhosa wedding performance a cultural wedding ceremony can also be arranged

 
   

DumaZulu Lodge and Traditional Village

   
Situated in the heart of Zululand, near Hluhluwe where visitors are able to enjoy an authentic African cultural experience when they stay in the traditional, ethnic accommodation.

The exterior of each "hut" resembles the different tribal peoples of Southern Africa, including Zulu, Swazi, North Sotho, Xhosa, Venda, Tsonga, and Ndebele, and the interior is tastefully decorated in ethnic fabrics and tribal memorabilia. Facilities include private en-suite bathrooms with showers, air-conditioning, telephone and tea/coffee making facilities.
The lodge is connected by wooden walkways to Dumazulu Village, where guests can watch and learn about Zulu traditions including basket-weaving, spear and shield making, beadwork, pot-making, Sangoma bone-throwing and spectacular Zulu dancing.

The Dumazulu Traditional Village is home to over 50 Zulu residents forming part of a "living museum". Dumazulu - meaning " Thundering Zulu" is the largest Zulu village of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.
During a tour of the Village the various ancient manufacturing traditions and insights into the heritage and culture of the Zulu nation will be explained. The cultural experience highlights in a variety of spectacular Zulu dances.

The Village is connected by walkways to the main dining area and bar where visitors can end their tour enjoying a delicious meal and a cup of tea or coffee, followed by a visit to the world-renowned Curio shop..

An added attraction is the snake and crocodile park which consists of many indigenous and exotic reptiles.
Game drives into the many surrounding Game Reserves and tours to nearby tourist attractions can also be arranged.

 

   
Protea Hotel Simunye
   

Simunye is a Zulu lodge that offers adventure and relaxation away from it all. Different cultures come together in an atmosphere of yesterday.
The Lodge offers an in-depth look into the lifestyle of today's rural Zulu, with the rolling hills of Zululand as a backdrop, the rivers and ravines are rich in bird life and small game.
Visits to Zulu homes and ceremonies when they are available, getting to know a true Sangoma and the use of natural remedies, herbs and medicines. Vibrant Zulu dancing - join in if you wish - or just relax as the drumbeat draws you into the pulse of Africa
Discover the mysteries of Zulu courtship, love and marriage and the messages hidden in beadwork and learn the symbolism of a bride carrying a spear, a lantern and wearing a leopard skin.
Feast at either a barbecue or traditional Zulu food.
Other leisure facilities include:- swimming, trails, farm life, horse riding or rejuvenate your body in the African spa
   

Botshabelo cultural villages

 
Botshabelo lies 12 km from Middelburg in the province of Mpumalanga and started as a mission station in 1858. Its name means “Place of Shelter” and many Pedi converts once flocked to the station to escape persecution by Chief Sekwati. The community soon became self-sufficient, even making its own bricks, cultivating its own food and operating its own postal service, bakery, school and mill. Today, the whole town is a museum and nature reserve.

The South Ndebele Open-air Museum is an extension of the Botshabelo Museum Complex and lies in the Botshabelo Nature Reserve. The museum provides a historical overview of the development of Ndebele architecture. The earliest style featured is the thatched beehive-style hut of the 17th century, the second style is the round rondavel and the third style is the more recent rectangular dwelling.

The most fascinating aspect of Ndebele architecture is the intricately designed and colorful murals with which they decorate their homes. The inhabitants themselves are not to be outdone and their traditional attire is just as colourful. The explanation of the symbolism attached to the colours and shapes is equally fascinating and gives insight into the soul of the Ndebele people. The Botshabelo village is home to a staff of craft workers who still practice the traditional art of beadwork.murals with which they decorate their homes. murals with which they decorate their homes. The inhabitants themselves are not to be outdone and their traditional attire is just as colourful. The explanation of the symbolism attached to the colours and shapes is equally fascinating and gives insight into the soul of the Ndebele people.

The Botshabelo village is home to a staff of craft workers who still practice the traditional art of beadwork.The inhabitants themselves are not to be outdone and their traditional attire is just as colourful. The explanation of the symbolism attached to the colours and shapes is equally fascinating and gives insight into the soul of the Ndebele people. The Botshabelo village is home to a staff of craft workers who still practice the traditional art of beadwork.
 

Visitors are guaranteed and authentic cultural experience as they watch the inhabitants in their traditional attire practice their art in much the same way as their early ancestors. The opportunity to have watched the artists at work always makes a purchase from them that much more special.  
Botshabelo is home to some world-famous artists such as Esther Mahlangu (who moved recently), her sister Betty and daughter-in-law Catharina, who have been commissioned to create and paint designs on such diverse objects as museum walls, passenger buses and a BMW limousine. Visitors are also invited to enjoy an overnight stay in the guest cottages.
 

Stewart's Farm Zulu Lodge

 

The tour begins that weaves an enthralling lesson in various aspects of Zulu culture & tradition.

Witness traditional customs such as tribal dancing, while the importance of the Zulu kraal, social structure, traditional dress, regalia, crops and food, hut building and the role of women and children are all explained.

Ancestral spirits play an important role in Zulu culture, with the Sangoma, holding a revered position in Zulu society; you will witness the mystery of generations-old mystical practices as the Sangoma demonstrates her ability.

To celebrate your visit the Umuzi women will create a meal of six succulent traditional dishes - prepared the Zulu way!
Experience the local community when taking a tour to the Zulu village situated behind Stewarts Farm. We visit the Sangoma's (spiritual healer) hut, where we will introduce you to his herbal & magical medicine.

For a nominal fee you can receive a personalized reading of the bones. A tour of the surrounding area portrays the Zulu's life today with many of the local people opening their homes to tourists.

Visitors are taken to the local shebeen, where you will be shown how the traditional beer is made and taste it. A tour of the local vegetable gardens will give you an idea of the subsistence way of life that the Zulu people lead.

Kids dancing

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