|We arrived at the Swaziland border where Matsamo Cultural Village is located, just as the show began.|
“Sighting of the Day in the Bush”
|A zebra was climbing the steps of the veranda for more pellets as we headed to the car to go to Swaziland.|
When Lois expressed an interest in attending a traditional African tribal dance, we asked Louise and Danie what they’d recommend. They didn’t hesitate when they suggested the Matsamo Cultural Village Tour located on the South Africa side of Swaziland, a bordering country.
|The Swazi performers are very talented in both singing and dancing.|
Here’s a map showing how Swaziland, a different country, and how it is situated next to South Africa and bordering Mozambique on the east:
|Map of Swaziland.|
Had this tour been located in Swaziland, we wouldn’t have been able to attend. While attempting to be granted a visa extension, we were warned not to leave the country, resulting in any stamps in our passports.
|Tree stumps were used as seats during the performance.|
The website for Matsamo was a little unclear as to whether we’d need to be part of a tour group or if we could show up on our own. We tried calling the contact number to no avail and finally decided to take a chance on the over one-hour drive from Marloth Park.
|The men performed a traditional dance.|
In looking at a map, Tom and Tom mapped out directions and by 10:00 am, we were on the road, hoping to arrive in time for the posted 11:30 am performance. As it turned out, we barely made it on time when we mistakenly took a shortcut which proved to be the second-worst potholed road we’ve experienced in our lives.
|The women also performed a traditional dance and song.|
Months ago, we’d made a similar mistake by taking a shortcut and ended up with what is described as the worst pothole road on the planet. Yesterday’s route wasn’t as wrong as our prior experience, but awful. It was quite the adventure for Tom & Lois!
|Performing for tourists provides the village with income. The cost of the performance and tour is ZAR 200 (US $13.70) per person.|
Finally, we arrived at the village and proceeded to make our way to the activities with the help of a member of the village who directed us down a path to the performance, which was starting at any moment.
|Their agility and ability are spectacular.|
We found seats in the back row when all the best seats were taken by that arrived earlier than us, but we got good enough seats to take photos and enjoy the 45-minute show with a bit of maneuvering.
|The colorful dress of the Matsamo people was bright and appealing.|
Their voices and dancing skills were exceptional, and the four of us were mesmerized during the entire performance. After the performance ended, one of the leading performers, a skilled and attractive young man, and the chief’s youngest son, approached us and offered a personalized tour of the village and its customs.
We were thrilled to have him show us around and explain the details of their fascinating culture, all of which we’ll share in tomorrow’s post.
|At one point, audience members joined in the dance while we took photos.|
Here’s an overview from the Matsamo Tribe’s website located here:
“Matsamo Customs and Traditional Centre Co-operative is a traditional village near Swaziland and a must for visitors looking to experience authentic Swazi culture, which is well preserved in this. It is named after Chief Matsamo, a prominent Shongwe chief and contemporary of King Mswati II.
As a reward for his loyalty in defending the territory against invaders from the north, Mswati II allowed Chief Matsamo to remain in charge of the region as an eminent member of Swazi royalty. He was the first Swazi chief to reside permanently in the area. Today the part is still under the control of the Matsamo Tribal Authority.
|Our tour guide walked down this pretty trail with Lois as both Toms, and I followed behind as we made our way toward the village for the tour. Tomorrow we’ll continue with Part 2 and photos of how the Matsamo people live.|
Matsamo Cultural Village offers old folk songs, rhythmic dance performances, including the famous Rain Dance, authentic African instruments, and traditional Swazi cuisine. Visitors can also wander on tour through the village with its many huts and spaces, interacting with the villagers as they go about their daily activities, cultivating their crops, preparing traditional food, and fashioning beautiful craftworks.
Matsamo Cultural Village is near Kruger National Park. It first opened its doors in 2014 and enjoyed tremendous support from the broader community.”
As soon as today’s post is uploaded, we’ll be heading out on a drive through Marloth Park to see what’s happening today on the Crocodile River. Tonight, we’re dining once again at Jabula Lodge and Restaurant, which no doubt will be another excellent evening.
Have an enjoyable and fruitful day!
Photo from one year ago today, October 27, 2017:
|Hoffman’s Woodpeckers often stopped by for nectar from the African Tulip Tree in Costa Rica and proceeded to sing. For more photos, please click here.|