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Golden Gate Highlands National Park
National Park/Reserve - Self Catering
Basotho Cultural Village - Golden Gate Highlands National Park
Sheltered in the sandstone foothills of Golden Gate Highlands national park, Basotho cultural village rest camp is geared towards a holistic understanding of the rich history of this area. Guests are immersed in the culture of day to day village life as actors, dressed in traditional garb, carry out the day to day actiities associated with the local inhabitants of just such a village. Video screenings depict the construction of the huts, which themselves are artistic representations of periods of Basotho civilisation and settlement, thus making the settlement and lodgings themselves part of the tour.
Basotho cultural village accommodation is available in three rondawels. Units have a communal braai lapa each, with verandas, weber braais (barbecues), and bathrooms.
Two-bedroom rondawels sleep four each, with one unit completed with wheelchair accessibility. Camp activities include guided game drives and bush walks, all conducted and supervised by highly skilled, professionally trained guides with extensive logged hours in the bush. There are also interesting museum excursions, the Basotho cultural route which takes guests on a walking tour of the developments of this area, also delving into the fascinating traditional medicine and remedy history of African healers. Guests arriving in search of exquisite natural attractions will not be disappointed at the Golden Gates Highlands: famous for its blesbok, duiker, Black Wildebeest, eland and springbok populations, as well as Grey Rhebok, steenbok and Red Haartebeest, and an extensive bird population including Cape Vulture, Bald Ibis, Jackal Buzzard, Verreaux’s (Black) and Martial Eagle, Bearded Vulture, Lanner and Peregrine Falcon. Domiating the topography of the area, Themeda-Festuca veld forms a motif to the Golden Gate’s grass and woodland areas, complimented by sloping patches of Leucosidea sericea (ouhout) and isolated Protea woodlands (Protea caffra, P. roupelliae and P. subvestita).
Watch traditional dancing and singing, a spiritual rejoicing that has been upheld for centuries, and see how women still grind maize and sift beer as they did generations ago. In true oral tradition style, grandmothers relay old fables and tales, some of which have been passed down from their grandmothers. Particularly interesting is the range of various South Sotho artwork forms scattered throughout the village. The huts are colourful and dramatic masterpieces, each depicting a different period of Basotho civilisation. Resident tour guides explain how the Basotho people conducted their day-to-day activities through the centuries, demonstrate the various household implements and explain the significance of the clothing on display. The village has an art gallery, curio shop and restaurant. One of the innovations is a herbal walking trail that takes the visitor along a typical sour grass veld habitat running through age-old woodland and clear unpolluted mountain streams.
Room Description at :
1 bedroom with double bed - 2 bathrooms, each with w/c and shower - 2 bunk beds - Communal braai lapa - Kitchen - Veranda with Weber braai
1 bedroom with double bed - Communal braai lapa - Kitchen - Veranda with Weber braai - Wc and shower
The camp resembles an 18th century Basotho Village.
The surroundings take you back from the pathway of previous times to the modern days, here the Basotho lifestyle, architectural and hospitality is the order of the day. The Basotho Cultural Village Rest Camp offers comfortable self-catering accommodation with splendid views where game viewing is practically enjoyed without the trouble of having to embark on a game searching journey. The Camp also has communal braai facilities that are shared amongst families sharing the kraal and also private webber braai facilities for every chalet.
Inclusions / Exclusions
Please Note - Vehicle repair, medical, post office and police services at Clarens (17 km) or Bethlehem (± 60 km). - Remember to bring a hat, walking shoes, sun block, camera, binoculars and wildlife reference books. - Hikers must always carry sufficient water. - Take cool and light clothing for summer and warm clothing for winter. - Area prone to sudden weather changes.
The Village regularly hosts art exhibitions as well as live stage performances at the sandstone amphitheater. The curio shop offers traditional clay pots, basketware and other handmade items. Guided tours of the museum are conducted from 9:00 to 16:30 (weekends until 17:00) seven days a week.
A visit to the Basotho Cultural Village which nestles at the foot of huge sandstone mountains, will give you a deeper insight into the lifestyle of the South Sotho from the 16th century to the picturesque present. On arrival at the Cutural Village, a friendly receptionist will show you an introductory video which illustrates the building process of the museum. Demonstrations of the decorations of huts, making of basketware, crushing of maize and traditional dances are shown. Your tour will commence at the Khatloa under the expert guidance of a tour guide as you cannot enter the chief's village and explore the way of life of his people without first receiving his permission. He will offer you a sip of Sotho beer as a token of hospitality and you may engage in a traditional game of maraba-raba. At the Ngaka (the chief's bone thrower) the throw of his which bones will give the visitors a peep into the future. At the dwellings of the first and second wives, visitors will enjoy some motoho and dipabi. The interesting utensils and colourful decorations are discussed and explained.