A visit to a Basotho cultural village is one of those cultural experiences that is not to be missed on your visit to South Africa. "Kgotso"- we greet you in peace- and beckon you to "tlo bone"- a friendly Basotho invitation to come and see our cultural village. This warm greeting is extended to you by the inhabitants of the Basotho cultural village in the Free State province in the heart of South Africa. This friendly village lies in the scenic Qwa-Qwa National Park in an area rich in natural beauty. The Qwa-Qwa Park lies next to the Golden Gate National Park and the magnificent Amphitheatre of the Drakensberg Mountain Range is also within easy reach.
The village houses a traditional Sotho Museum, a sandstone amphitheatre, a restaurant and a curio shop. The museum introduces visitors to the South Sotho (Basotho) nation, from its inception through its history till their present day existence. Guided tours of the museum are conducted daily, seven days a week.
Take a cultural voyage into the heart of the Basotho nation. Come and listen to the ululating sounds made by the Basotho women, watch the men play the traditional game called maraba-raba, while the young men play on their handmade musical instruments. Demonstrations of hut decoration, crushing of maize, traditional dancing and basketry help the visitor to gain a deeper insight into the traditions of Africa. The tour officially commences with a visit to the chief who has to give his permission for the tour to start. He offers visitors traditional Sotho beer as a token of hospitality, after which visitors may visit the households of the first and second wives of the chief.
Traditional meals can be served to tour groups, but advance bookings are essential. The traditional menu offered by the villagers includes motoho (porridge made of sorghum) and dipadi (toasted ground maize with a bit of salt and sugar). During the meal, the guide will also explain the use of the traditional Sotho utensils. While at the village, do not miss out on the opportunity to learn more about the plants in the area and their medicinal uses. The guide who takes visitors on the herb route is an expert in this field. The village often produces song, dance and music festivals and tourists who prefer to stay longer are welcome to stay in one of the self-catering chalets, but bookings need to be made in advance.Consult the ngaka, the captain's advisor, in his professional capacity as traditional healer and allow him to enlighten you as he has been doing for centuries. Step into the home of either the first, second or third wife and move to the rhythm of the women grinding the maize and sifting beer.
Pass the tokened where grandmothers used to gather the young girls around them to initiate them in folklore by ways of riddles, fables and marvelous tales. The huts are built and furnished according to the time frame depicted by each one. The interior and exterior decoration of huts is done by the Basotho women. It is called litem' and can still be admired on a drive through the Free State rural areas. The colours are extremely vibrant and dramatic. At our reception you are guaranteed Basotho hospitality at its best. The art gallery boasts work of local artists and a permanent photographic exhibition of the building process of the village and litem' art in the Eastern Free State. Our curio shop offers a wide variety of Basotho arts and crafts.
There is nothing like a warm traditional Basotho meal in our sandstone amphitheatre and the entertaining sounds of the accordion and drum to complete an unforgettable experience. The heart of the visitor is finally won over by the majesty of the surrounding landscape and by the spiritual ethos of the beautiful Basotho people dancing, singing and rejoicing in sheer well-being and to their heart's content
Matlakeng Basotho cultural village herbal trail
One of the innovations at the Basotho Cultural Village is a walking trail that takes the visitor along a typical sour grass veld habitat below some impressive sandstone cliffs, running through age-old woodland and clear unpolluted mountain streams.
A social ecologist and a ngaka (healer) escort the groups on this fascinating trail and their speciality is locating an array of grasses, roots, herbs, leaves and bark in the veld and then explaining how these are prepared to cure ailments ranging from toothache to sexually transmitted diseases, or again their ritual use.
A certain leaf is dried and crushed into a powder. After a death in the family it is smeared onto the bodies of living relatives to relieve their pain. Eye and ear infections are treated with roots that have been ground into pulp
And to ward off lightning, a major cause of fire in these thatched villages, a leaf is chewed and spat to the winds.
En route you will also visit well-preserved Rock Art, depicting eland, rhino, a giraffe and a lion in a kill.
Do yourself a favour and experience the crisp mountain air and breathtaking scenery on this trail.The trail takes roughly two hours to complete and is not too strenuous. Sturdy walking shoes or boots are recommended and warm clothes in winter. You might just be privileged to spot the rare bearded vulture or black eagle roaming the clear blue sky.
Basotho pony experienceA visit to this panoramic region should definitely include a pony ride. This area is the home of the Basotho Pony; renowned for surefootedness, endurance and even temperament. Exciting four hour tours can be arranged at the Basotho Cultural Village. This will commence at Brakvlei Farmhouse, roughly 4 kilometres from the village.
A Basotho guide will escort you through the most scenic spots in the Qwaqwa National Park. Game, such as Springbok, Eland, Blesbok, Red Hartebeest, Oribi, Duiker, Grey Rhebok, Mountain Reedbuck and Burchell's zebra can be viewed in close proximity. You will also have the pleasure of visiting a Basotho family for refreshments along the way and hereby make a valid contribution towards the establishment of black entrepreneurs.