The Lesedi Cultural Village comprises four totally separate homesteads, inhabited, respectively, by a Zulu, Xhosa, Pedi, and Basotho family, all of whom live here permanently looking after the cows, chickens, and tourists that wander through the veld. The 3-hour tour commences at 11:30am and 4:30pm daily -- opt for the latter, as it's a great deal more atmospheric at night. On arrival you are given a welcome drink and a 30-minute presentation on these tribes (as well as a short talk on the Ndebele), followed by a guided walk through the four homesteads, which allows for interesting cross-cultural analysis regarding the architectural and social organization and customs of these groups. The tour does not really cover current lifestyles and customs, so you'll have to ask questions to find out what changes the 20th century has wrought. After this, a traditional singing and dancing session is held in the boma (a circular open-air enclosure), and a Pan-African buffet meal is served. Lesedi is a commercial venture (brought home by the presence of a very commercial hotel chain that offers "traditional"-themed accommodations), but if you're yearning to do the cultural village thing, this is a convenient 45-minute trip from Johannesburg, although it's actually situated in the North-West Province. The easiest way to visit is with a tour operator; expect to pay at least R750 ($106/£54) for the full experience (including lunch or dinner) and transfer.
- © Frommer's 2013
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