Cultural and photographic Venda tour
Below is a list of possible activities that will unfold.As this is a fully guided,your guide will discuss with you what is available, and or we can choose before you depart.
Your guide is a nationally recognized birding guide so it’s possible to do some birding with him as well.
There are places like the pottery village where you can work on creating your own pottery piece; its better to slow down and be in one spot for a while than to rush around to try see everything.
There are different level of lodging in the area so if you prefer a smaller local lodge or guest house we can do that as well.
Venda Tour Activities:
- Walk around Lake fundudzi
- Manufacturers of Minwenda (traditional Venda clothing),
- Malungu (traditional beads)
- Makunda (traditional bangles).
- Maria Mombabsa Wood carving
- Betties church
- Market in the town.
- Vegetable/Fruit Markets
- Louis Trichard Area:
- Tshikota and the Indian area in Makhado/Louis Trichardt. Tshikota,
- The township of Louis Trichardt/Makhado gives an impression of the daily life, housing, shops, shebeens, and schools in rural townships.
- Twananani Textiles
- Elim Area:
Twananani Textiles where a group of 12 women inspired by traditional Tsonga patterns use hand painting techniques,block printing,dyeing,bead work and embroidery to create a wide range of home decoration and fashion products.
They also run a crèche and guests are frequently invited to sing with the children.
You can also visit the textile workshop of Elisa and Maureen Makuleke nearby; they specialize in Tsonga bead work, embroidery and traditional jewelry.
The next village, Tshivhuyuni, is where famous artist Thomas Kubayi runs his woodcarving workshop Vutsila Art Centre and music studio
Further along the Mashamba road one finds Mukondeni Pottery factory. It is very interesting to see the skilled and famous Venda potters demonstrate how they make their pots and how the traditional open-firing process works.
A few hundred meters further down that road is Mukondeni Pottery Village where a group of 15 women established by the late Sarah Munyai produce traditional and contemporary Venda pots,clay fire-pots,bowls,clay tiles and beads.
The village women dig clay from the river in their village as this particular clay is the strongest and best for making clay pots.
During the dry months there is the option to travel up to Baleni Camp to watch the ladies of the village who do salt collecting from the bed of a nearby river.
Only available during the dry winter months.
Experience Ancient Traditions
Baleni is situated on land belonging to the Mahumani Traditional Authority.
Staff from Baleni can take guests for a walk down to a geothermal hot spring – the only undeveloped hot spring in Southern Africa. Maintaining a water temperature of around 42 degrees, this spring is a sacred site for the local Tsonga community.Your guide will explain the spiritual significance of the spring, and educate you in the expected terminologies and behaviours for visitors.
Accommodation & Dining
Baleni Cultural Camp has 5 stand-alone thatched rondavels, each with two ¾ beds and a bedside stand. Linen is provided as part of the tariff. Ablutions are en-suite, with flush toilets, shower and basin. A stand-alone communal bathroom is available for campers. Solar provides energy for lights & hot water, and USB and 12V (cigarette lighter-style) charging for phones etc.
The ladies of the village prepare meals as well which we can order in advance.
While it is safe to drink,some people don’t like the taste of the local water, so you are advised to bring your own bottled drinking water.
After breakfast,for the next 2 days you will meandering through Venda as per the list of possible stops above.
After breakfast you head out with your guide,your day will be meandering through Venda.
Possible stops may include a visit with Betty the local head of a Church,art/craft stops,vegetable market, etc.
Your lodging for the night is Fundudzi Camp on a dinner bed/breakfast basis.Your guide will try get you to the camp by mid afternoon so you can enjoy the area as there are stops in the area of the camp.
Fundudzi Cultural Camp
Nestled at the foot of the Luaname Mountains Fundudzi Cultural Camp is in the heart of traditional Venda territory.
Just above the village of Mukumbani this is an ideal place from which to explore a region famed for its sacred places and traditional Venda arts and crafts.
Just below tea plantations and forests there are many long and beautiful hikes around Fundudzi, which the guides would be happy to show you.
Beyond the plantations there is the indigenous Sacred Forest and Lake Fundudzi and the views are spectacular.
Fundudzi Cultural Camp has 5 stand-alone thatched rondavels, each with two single beds, chairs and a bedside stand.
A stand-alone communal bathroom is also available. Solar provides energy for lights & hot water, and USB and 12V (cigarette lighter-style) charging for phones etc. Catering by local villagers can be arranged – please pre-order when booking.
Visitors to Fundudzi have the opportunity to immerse themselves in a beautiful environment.In a hugely fertile valley with modern tea plantations,the real gems are the natural areas with forests,lakes, ivers and waterfalls.
The area is well populated with rural villages and tourists will be spoilt for choice visiting crafters, manufacturers of Minwenda (traditional Venda clothing), Malungu (traditional beads) and Makunda (traditional bangles).
Interested in truly local art? Many artists, potters and crafters work in the area.
For those wanting a closer understanding of some of the local rituals, a demonstration of the Domba Dance (python dance) can be pre-arranged for evening entertainment at Fundudzi.
There is no electricity, and paraffin or solar lanterns are provided for light at night.