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TThere is nothing quite like the spending the night in a traditional hut in the heart of a South African village. You'll wake up to the sounds of a crowing cock, bleating sheep and smell of samp cooking on an open fire.
The best way to experience South African cultures is to stay in traditional accommodation in one of the many cultural villages that can be found around the country.
At the Basotho Cultural Village in the Golden Gate National Park you can enjoy traditional dancing and see how the village women weave baskets and grind maize. A different period of the Basotho’s history is depicted by each hut. Guests can stay overnight in the Basotho Cultural Village Rest Camp which is fashioned after an 18th-century Basotho village. It offers comfortable self-catering accommodation.
At aha Lesedi near Johannesburg you can explore five different South African tribal cultures and stay overnight in traditional accommodation in Zulu, Xhosa, Pedi, Basotho and Ndebele tribal homesteads. Each of the 38 luxury huts with modern amenities have been decorated in the style of a different tribal culture.
The aha Shakaland Hotel & Zulu Cultural Village, a cultural village in the heart of Zululand, offers insight into Zulu culture through an immersive experience. It harks back to the days of King Shaka, the powerful king of the Zulu nation. The Nandi Experience is a 3 hour tour which includes a beer drinking ceremony, a visit to a sangoma and traditional spear throwing.
At Gooderson DumaZulu Lodge and Traditional Village in Hluhluwe you can stay in one of 31 rounded huts, decorated to represent the different tribes of Southern Africa, namely: Zulu, Swazi, North Sotho, Xhosa, Venda, Tsonga and Ndebele. This is South Africa’s largest cultural village where visitors can observe the art of spear and drum making, beadwork, basketry, pottery and weaving. The village also offers the opportunity for a one on one reading with a Sangoma (traditional healer).
Cata Cultural Village in the Eastern Cape gives visitors the opportunity of staying with a Xhosa family in a traditional Xhosa village. You’ll be invited to share a meal with village families, visit a shebeen with your host, play football with the local team, and learn about Xhosa arts, crafts and culture surrounded by the magnificent Amatole Mountains. Another fascinating Xhosa cultural village is Khaya La Bantu Cultural Village where visitors can immerse themselves in Xhosa culture.
TTravel tips & planning info
Who to contact
aha Shakaland Hotel & Zulu Cultural Village
Gooderson DumaZulu Lodge and Traditional Village
Tel: +27 (0) 35 562 2260
Tel +27 (0) 72 568 7926
Best time to visit
Cultural villages in South Africa can be visited all year round.
Things to do
Most cultural villages offer tours and cultural immersion activities. Enquire about what’s on offer.
What to pack
You'll definitely want to bring a camera along. Bring along some cash and purchase some of the traditional crafts on sale.