Did you know?
Most traditional rural dwellings are made from thatch with walls of mud and cow dung.
Located near the Hartbeespoort Dam in South Africa's North West province, Lesedi African Lodge and Cultural Village is a flagship cultural tourism destination for visitors interested in learning more about South Africa's traditional people and cultures.
Lesedi, which means 'light' in Sotho, features traditional homesteads of the Zulu, Nguni, Xhosa, Pedi, Basotho and Ndebele people, where guests can immerse themselves in cultural activities. For guests staying over, the village offers accommodation in each homestead, ranging from luxury suites in the Nguni village to twin rooms in the Ndebele homestead.
Upon arrival at Lesedi, guests are welcomed to the Ndebele village before settling down to a multimedia presentation on the history of South Africa's rainbow nation. They are then taken on a guided tour of each of the cultural villages, where they learn the various rituals and folklore of South Africa's people, plus a few key phrases in local languages.
Traditional song and dance rounds off the day's activities, followed by a dinner buffet of African fare fit for a king, hosted in the 200-seater Nyama Choma restaurant, where you can taste impala, ostrich or crocodile meat. The newer restaurant, the Nile Room, serves delectable cuisine from North Africa. At the end of the evening, guests are invited to gather around the open fire to listen to tales of African mythology, or be escorted back to their cosy hut by members of their host family.
Overnight guests at Lesedi will wake to the sounds of the maskanda guitar (a Zulu guitar) and African melodies before being treated to a full English breakfast.
Lesedi was co-founded by National Geographic explorer Kingsley Holgate, who saw to it that every attraction hosted within the village is as authentic, alluring and enriching as the next.
The morning programme, titled the 'Monati experience', starts at 11.30am. The 'Boma experience', or afternoon programme, starts at 4.30pm. Both tours last around five hours.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Lesedi Cultural Village
Tel: +27 (0)12 205 1394
Tel: +27 (0)87 940 9933
Tel: +27 (0) 71 507 1447
How to get here
From Johannesburg, take the M1 north and then turn west on to the N1 at the Buccleuch interchange. At the Lanseria off-ramp, take the R512 north and proceed for 40km along the R512. Lesedi is clearly marked on the left-hand side of the road. There are alternative shorter routes from Sandton and the Fourways area that are well sign-posted for Sun City/Hartbeespoort Dam.
From Pretoria, proceed along Proes Street, turn right into DF Malan Street west and then left on to the N4 toll road to Rustenburg. At the end of the toll road (14km) take the Pelindaba off-ramp south and turn left and then right on to the Pelindaba Road, proceed west until the T-junction where the R512 meets Pelindaba Road (at the T-junction fruit stall). Turn south (left) on to the R512, and 7km along the road Lesedi is clearly marked on the right-hand side of the road.
Around the area
Situated close by is the Hartbeespoort Dam and surrounding town, where you can explore the many restaurants and shops in the area; or take a cable-car ride on the Harties Cableway.
Tours to do
Lesedi offers two unique day experiences that allow guests to share the excitement and warmth of true rural African culture. The morning programme starts at 11.30am and the late afternoon programme starts at 4.30pm.
Length of stay
Spend a day at Lesedi if you don't have much time to spare, but for the full experience stay overnight in the village.
What to pack
Walking shoes, sunblock, casual clothing and a camera.
Where to stay
At Lesedi you can stay in a traditional hut that offers the comfort of home.