Cultural Villages to Visit in South Africa

Posted on 18 December 2023 By Nomvelo Masango

South Africa is a vibrant nation that is rich in history, culture and diversity. Through cultural villages, we are able to journey along the diversity, while also immersing ourselves into different ways of life.

If visiting a cultural village is on your list of plans this holiday season, here are a few to consider:

Botshabelo Historical Village, Mpumalanga

Botshabelo Cultural Village

Image: Flickr – South African Tourism

Located in Middelburg, the Botshabelo Historical Village was originally a Christian mission station. Today, it is a historic site that preserves the rich culture and heritage of the Ndebele people.

When at the site, you can experience Ndebele traditions, while also gaining insight into their clothing, colourful homesteads, intricate beadwork and interesting way of life.

Lesedi Cultural Village

Lesedi Cultural Village

Image: Unsplash

Established in 1993, Lesedi Cultural Village offers the fascinating exploration of Africa’s tribal history intertwined with African hospitality.

Upon visiting the site, you will get a first-hand understanding of the cultural experiences of traditional South African people. Additionally, you will receive insight on different tribes including Xhosa, Ndebele, Zulu, Pedi and Basotho.

Lesedi Cultural Village

Image: Sourced (Lesedi Cultural Village)

Basotho Cultural Village, Free State

Basotho Cultural Village

Image: Melanie van Zyl.

At the foot of the sandstone mountains in the Golden Gate Highlands National Park, one finds the beautiful and interesting community of South Sotho people.

When visiting this cultural village, you will get to experience their authentic hospitality, art and tradition.  Upon arrival, there is an introductory video showcasing the decoration of huts, the making of baskets and even the crushing of maize and showcasing of their traditional dances. After the video, a tour around this mountain-based village follows.

Moreover, the village also hosts regular art exhibitions. Here, you can purchase a number of handmade crafts including baskets, traditional clay pots and other handmade crafts.

Shangana Cultural Village

Located only 5km away from the town of Hazyview in Mpumalanga, the Shangana Cultural Village is where the Tsonga and Zulu cultures converge. It was created by the Shangana people as a way of enabling visitors to experience their way of life.

At the core of the village is the bustling Marula Market, where various crafts are made and sold. There are also trained and experienced guides who are always happy to walk you through the village, enabling you to learn more about the customs, food, outfits and ceremonies of the Shangana people.

Cata Cultural Village

The stunning and scenic Cata Cultural Village in the Eastern Cape offers an exciting experience and the chance to interact with the Cata people.

You can expect a warm welcome and the opportunity to sample indigenous food. Moreover, a visit to the cultural village offers the chance to learn more about the Xhosa culture, as well as their history,  arts, crafts and way of life.

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ALSO READ: Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park: A brief history

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