15 August 2012 by Ems Tsotetsi

Immerse yourself in South Africa’s cultural villages

South Africa’s population is as diverse as its countryside: from the Venda descendents of Limpopo to cultural villages in the Eastern Cape, visitors will find it tough to choose which community to experience 1<sup>st</sup>.

Visitors enjoying a dance with villagers

South Africa is considered 1 of the most culturally diverse countries in the world. Every province in South Africa has its own cultural tale to tell, and that’s why every time I visit any of the provinces, I try to make sure I visit local communities and surrounding cultural villages. 

Trying out some traditional beer Trying out some traditional beer

If you’re brave enough, you may even ask about your future.

There's so much to do and explore at these villages. Visitors can learn how to brew umqombothi (traditional beer) and enjoy a friendly game of Xhosa stick fighting; or they can learn about Zulu history on the battlefields of KwaZulu-Natal.

I remember spending a night in a hut in the Free State, and dancing the night away while locals played out a tune on their traditional instruments. They showed us traditional dance moves and explained what each step signified.

Another highlight was a visit to a sangoma (traditional healer), who explained the different types of herbs used in her practice. If you’re brave enough, you may even ask about your future.

Visit the DumaZulu Cultural Village in KwaZulu-Natal, and you'll learn about Zulu culture; take part in Zulu arts and crafts, and learn about beadwork and basket weaving; and listen to the elderly as they recite stories and tales of the Zulu nation (the pride in their voices is astonishing).

In the Eastern Cape, visitors can learn about the Xhosa tribe and take part in their ceremonies. They will get the chance to explore the Ngxingxolo village, where they’ll meet the famous Mama Tofu. She will teach you a few things about Xhosa history and customs, and later serve up local Xhosa fare.

A traditional healer showing the different herbs she uses A traditional healer showing the different herbs she uses

The Basotho Cultural Village, in Free State’s Golden Gate Highlands National Park, is also a must-see. Visitors can enjoy traditional dancing and watch the women weave baskets. This is where you’ll learn all about the intriguing history of the Basotho people.

Or you can make your way to Gauteng’s Lesedi Cultural Village, where you can explore 5 different African tribal cultures and stay overnight in traditional huts. Visitors can experience the Zulu, Xhosa, Pedi, Basotho and Ndebele cultures at this unique attraction, just outside of Johannesburg.

Cultural villages are the ultimate destination for those travellers looking to experience the playing of the marimbas and other traditional instruments.

Immerse yourself as the sounds make your entire being burst into a fit of dancing and laughter. Here in South Africa, you’ll discover it all.

Traditional huts Traditional huts

Category: Culture & History

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