We made the quick trip back to the Johannesburg airport to rent a car, and before we knew it we were off, driving on the wrong side of the road (again!). After a quick 1.5 hour drive (during which we were extremely glad to have a GPS) we made it to Lededi African Cultural Village.
This location is a tourist village which celebrates the cultures and traditions of seven different peoples in South Africa. As we had very little knowledge of the cultural traditions of the country before our trip, both Teddy and I were very much looking forward to exploring this more.
We were greeted by our guide, a member of the Zulu tribe, viewed a brief film about the history of South Africa, and were brought on a tour of the area. Each tribal area showcased traditional dwellings, languages, clothing, crafts and lifestyles. It was so interesting! I appreciated how open and willing everyone was to share their traditions. Though this is very much a “tourist” experience of the area, we loved getting a glimpse into a way of living that we’ve had very little exposure to.
After the tour we were treated to an amazing music and dance show. This was awesome! We loved seeing the traditional dress, instruments and dancing styles unique to each region. The host of the show also did an excellent job of explaining the purpose of each dance so we had a bit of background. Overall, we really enjoyed this experience!
For the remainder of the afternoon we explored the local area. A beautiful lake was about a 40 minute drive, so we headed in that direction. The landscape was absolutely beautiful, and very different from what we’re used to at home. It was so interesting to see people thatching roofs, selling fresh fruits, or walking to work. We really enjoyed being out of the city and experiencing a bit more of “authentic” South Africa.
We also stumbled upon an animal sanctuary! We had a fun time exploring and learning a bit more about animals indiginous to the region. They also had some “exotic” species, including a North American raccoon! We found this hilarious.
After a busy day, we headed back to the cultural village where we were staying the night. We loved being able to experiencing a Zulu hut from the inside! Though ours was certainly a tourist version of the traditional home, it was a very fun and unique experience.