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Top 10: Cultural villages

Handcrafted beads at the Shangana Cultural Village Handcrafted beads at the Shangana Cultural Village

1 Shangana Cultural Village, Hazyview, Mpumalanga

A guided tour reveals the fascinating mix of Zulu and Tsonga cultures that created the Shangaan nation. Tsonga artistry in craft, music and homemaking features prominently, and a visit to the Marula Market in the village is a must. more

2 Simunye Zulu Lodge, KwaZulu-Natal

At this riverside village, interact with the Biyela Clan, who are directly related to the royal Zulu household. Learn about Zulu social and political structures, watch daily chores being performed, and be entertained by beer-brewing, drumming and dancing demonstrations. more

3 Basotho Cultural Village, Free State

Venture into the mountains where, after being welcomed at the chiefs kraal, you’ll visit the homes of his wives and subjects to discover the lifestyle of the southern Basotho nation. Try a traditional meal or riding a Basotho pony as part of the experience. more

4 Matsamo Cultural Village, Mpumalanga

Learn about tending crops, raising cattle and craft-making at this relaxed visitor-friendly village. Chat freely with the locals, and enjoy rousing song and dance performances of Swazi culture. more

5 !Khwa ttu San culture and education centre, Yzerfontein, Western Cape

Learn from the San people about their history, their spirituality, rock art painting skills, and their complex ‘click language'. Nature walks accompanied by experienced San-trackers or traditional herbalists are interactive and enriching.

6 Dumazulu Cultural Village, KwaZulu-Natal

Discover the rich cultural traditions of this fiercely proud Zulu community: watch spear throwing, stick fighting, basket weaving, and bead and pot making demonstrations. Then join in the feasting, dancing and singing. more

7 Riemvasmaak, Richtersveld, Northern Cape

Engage with the semi-nomadic Nama pastoralists. Hear their musical ‘click language’ being spoken, watch a traditional stapdans (step dance), ride in a donkey cart, and listen to their stories. more

8 Cata Village, Eastern Cape

Cata is a remarkable example of a land restitution success story, where you’ll be warmly welcomed and invited to experience day-to-day life in a traditional Xhosa village - with a friendly game of football thrown in for good measure. more

9 Khaya La Bantu Cultural Village, Eastern Cape

Xhosa matriarch Mama Tofu, and her daughter, Zinzi, teach you about the traditional rituals and daily way of life in a Xhosa village. All the while, Mama Tofu dispenses her inimitable advice on everything from marriageable men to curing trouble in the bedroom. more

10 Botshabelo, Middelburg, Mpumalanga

The Botshabelo Historical Village is an open-air museum that preserves the customs and the various art forms traditionally practised by the Ndebele, particularly their women, including beadwork, murals and the embroidering of blankets. more