|Image Credit: Magda Ehlers, Pexels|
South Africa is an amazing country, home to many cultures rich in tradition, language and the arts. When talking about visiting South Africa, people are always talking about the amazing cities, like Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, East London, and Port Elizabeth. But there is much more to explore. The real beauty of South Africa is hidden within the authenticity of rural cultures. Experience the traditional music, dance, Cuisine Xhosa, Zulu beer brewing, and the stunning clicking language of the San people. Explore South Africa’s 7 best cultural villages and wonder what surprise the country has to offer.
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This is the list of 7 stunning South African cultural villages, but before you embark on your exploration, learn about the COVID-19 information provided by the South African Government.
Shangana Cultural Village, Mpumalanga
Located halfway between the Blyde River Canyon and the de Kruger National Park, residents of this beautiful village welcome guests for a thorough insight into the lifestyle of the Shangaan people. Amidst the shade of ancient trees in a forest and grassland reserve, the village is open daily to the tourists.
The bustling Marula Market forms the center of Shangana, where artisans from across the region gather and trade their crafts. The wide circle of huts surrounded by trees is a delight in itself and is described by the tourists as the most beautiful place in Africa.
From the market, trained guides take the tourists down to the village on day trips, midday trips with lunch, and the infamous Evening Festival at Chief’s Kraal.
Basotho Cultural Village, Free State
Rested in the heart of the famous Golden Gate Upland National Park, the village allows tourists to explore the lifestyle and architecture of South Sotho from a vibrant sixteenth-century perspective. Experience authentic Basotho hospitality by taking a sip of the traditional beer, listening to Rangoon and Lesiba, and enjoying a Marabaraba game.
Some other exciting activities include a tour of the art gallery featuring local arts and crafts, a photographic exhibition of the village building process and Litem art in the Eastern Free State. Also, take a guided tour by the traditional healer Ngaka, showcasing the different herbs and medicinal roots. Accommodation facilities include sleeping rondavels 2 and 4 within the Basotho Cultural Village Rest Camp.
Botshabelo Mission Station and Historic Village, Mpumalanga
This South African Heritage site was originally founded in 1860 by Christian missionaries. The station is an open-air museum showcasing practices and arts practiced by the residents of Ndebele Village.
As the name implies, it is actually a living village of the men and women of Ndebele, descendants of original Bapets, who sought refuge at the mission station. The women are seen wearing traditional clothing and practicing traditions passed down from generation to generation.
Ndebeles is famous for its lively homes, geometric art, dolls, clothing, beadwork, neck rings and jewelry
, which is extremely beautiful and sophisticated among South African cultures.
Accommodation is available in the old mission houses, and the property includes hiking and hiking trails, game drives and horse riding.
Khaya La Bantu Cultural Village, Eastern Cape
Get a thorough insight into the rich culture of Xhosa while visiting the cultural village of Khaya La Bantu Xhosa. Apart from the authentic hospitality, experience some stunning traditional music and enjoy traditional dishes and locally brewed beer.
Learn about traditional rituals and get a unique perspective on lifestyle from Xhosa matriarch Mama Tofu and her daughter Zinzi.
While visiting Khaya La Bantu, tourists are encouraged to visit the Principal’s burial site and be introduced to the secret of Sangomas. Besides, they are treated to an exciting stick fighting show.
Khwa ttu San Cultural Center, Western Cape
Located in Yzerfontein, Western Cape ,! The Khwa ttu San Cultural Center takes the tourists back to San people’s time. The only cultural center owned and operated by San offers you a fascinating tour into the culture and history of the San community.
Get an interactive experience by learning about their history, spirituality, rock art painting skills, and their unique “click language” with the help of experienced San trailers or traditional vegetarians.
Khwa ttu has a rustic farmhouse that provides freshly prepared food and a gift shop of arts and crafts made by San people.
Matsamo Cultural Village, Mpumalanga
Discover the tourist-friendly Matsamo Cultural Village, where tourists are treated to folk songs, dance performances, music and traditional foods.
The village blends education with entertainment to promote Swazi culture by sharing insights on crop cultivation, meal preparation, and crafts. Enjoy the Swazi evening tradition of storytelling around the fire, folk music, traditional dance, and Braai dinner.
The on-site curio shop offers a wide range of Swazi cultural products from local communities.
DumaZulu Traditional Village, KwaZulu-Natal
South Africa’s largest cultural village, Dumazulu, offers tourists an authentic South African Zulu cultural experience. Gain insight into Zulu customs, the role of traditional ancestors and healers, the significance of their traditional dress, the importance of the cows and their role in love and marriage.
Tourists are offered a 90-minute guided tour, where they experience consultation with the traditional Sangoma healer, a music and dance performance, and a chance to taste the traditional beer. They also witness the manufacture of spears, shields, clay pots, beads, and baskets.
Nearby is the Bird and Reptile Park, the largest flying bird in the province, home to a wide range of native snakes, birds, frogs, crocodiles and lizards.