Did you know?
Chief Matsamo linked with King Mswati II to create a formidable defence against invading tribes.
Matsamo Cultural Village is a traditional village near Swaziland and a must for visitors looking to experience authentic Swazi culture, which is well preserved in this area.
Matsamo is named after Chief Matsamo, a prominent Shongwe chief and contemporary of King Mswati II. He was the first Swazi chief to reside permanently in the area, and as a reward for his loyalty in defending the territory against invaders from the north, Mswati II allowed Chief Matsamo to remain in charge of the region as an eminent member of Swazi royalty. Today the region is still under the control of the Matsamo Tribal Authority.
When you visit Matsamo Cultural Village you'll be treated to age-old folk songs, rhythmic dance performances, including the famous Rain Dance, and music with authentic African instruments, as well as traditional Swazi cuisine. You can also wander on a tour through the village with its many huts and spaces, interacting with the villagers as they go about their daily activities, cultivating their crops, preparing traditional food and fashioning beautiful craft works.
Matsamo Cultural Village near Kruger Park first opened its doors in 2001 and enjoys great support from the broader community. Each staffer has shares in the holding company and it provides an income to more than 100 people, making it an award-winning responsible tourism project and a former winner of South Africa's Imvelo Responsible Tourism Award.
If you stay overnight, you'll sleep in a traditional ‘hive' (beehive hut), nestled among other ‘hives' in the village, and while they remain delightfully true to their African aesthetic, they do feature separate toilets, hot and cold water and air-conditioning for your comfort. Each ‘hive' is also nicely secluded, so you can have a private barbeque or just relax in the rural village setting.
Also at Matsamo is a well stocked curio shop with local crafts, and a spacious restaurant with a stunning panoramic view.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Matsamo Cultural Village
Tel: + 27 (0) 13 781 0578
Nick's Wildlife Safaris & Tours
Tel: +27 (0)13 790 1193
How to get here
Matsamo is approximately 50km from the Kruger National Park, situated at the Jeppes Reef Border Post between South Africa and Swaziland on the R570 national road.
Best time to visit
It gets very hot during mid-summer, so February to November is ideal.
Around the area
Go on a game viewing safari to the famous Kruger National Park.
Tours to do
Matsamo is a stopover for various tour companies operating the Kruger Park area, including Nick's Wildlife Safaris and Tours.
Where to stay
In one of the huts at Matsamo cultural village.
What to eat
Introduce your tastebuds to the traditional Swazi food
Lovely handmade arts and crafts