Key services / Activities
4.1.1 Cultural Village
At the heart of the center (cultural village), are two Swazi villages, authentic and alive with cultural activities. A traditional African village is organized around family relationships and creates household activity areas and places for special occasions.
Guests can wander through the village with its many huts and seclusions, each allocated for a specific social function and interact with the villagers (Matsamo’s staff) as they go about their daily activities. Traditional African crops are cultivated, the Nguni cattle herd can be seen, traditional food is prepared and ancient crafts will be practiced.
The village has a main hut (Indlunkulu) or grandmother’s hut, with her kitchen (lidladla) and storeroom (silulu). The first wife also has a similar cluster of her own. There are special huts for the children and for the master (mnumzane) of the homestead. Each seclusion has its own use and of course the cattle kraal (sibaya) is not to be forgotten as it resembles the wealth of the family. During the touristic tours, one of Matsamo’s guide will explain all areas in detail in an interesting and educational fashion.
Matsamo’s cultural village represent a classical Swazi culture. In addition, it is a living museum of old tradition. The village comprises of 10 huts, kraals and byres for cattle and goats, reed fences or thatched fences.
Guests can wonder around through the hurts, each allocated for a specific function and they can also interact with the villagers as they go about the daily activities.
In the village there is a main hurt (Grandmothers hurt), girls hurt (intsanga), boys hurt (lilawu), kithech(lidladla), brewing hurt ( lidladla letjwala), wifes hurts, First and second (Makhulu and mamncane), master hurt (Mnumzane), a kraal (Sibaya), Men’s kraal(lisango), maize creep( Inyango), chicken nests(Tilulu) and crop field. The guide explains all these areas functions in full details
Special tours are also done in the village, where guest participate on the traditional food cooking, weaving, cow milking, maize grinding, bead work, traditional floor polishing, drums making etc.
4.1.2 Curio Shop
The curio shop sell Swazi cultural products. The products are sourced from local communities or in Pretoria. The Swazi culture has a remarkably impressive range of traditional arts and crafts with many of its products now found in trendy ethnic boutiques around the world. Men and women in the local community are at work creating the finest handicrafts that are so popular with visitors.
Creative basket ware in vibrant colours, wood and stone carvings, glassware, exquisite candles, batik items, jewellery – all uniquely Swazi, are some of the products on offer. There is also chance to see the craftspeople at work and marvel at their intricate skills. Below are pictures of the curio shop with some of its products on sale.
The cuisine of Swaziland is largely determined by the seasons and the geographical region. Staple foods in Swaziland include sorghum and maize, often served with goat meat, a very popular livestock in the Swazi region. The following table depicts some of Swazi traditional meals:
They get food and refreshments in at our Alfresco restaurant, set in True African aesthetics nestled in a peaceful setting with cobbling water and panoramic view:
Sishwala: Thick porridge normally served with meat or vegetables
Incwancwa: Sour porridge made of fermented cornmeal
Sitfubi: Fresh milk cooked and mixed with cornmeal
Siphuphe Setindubu:Thick porridge made of mashed ground nuts
Emasi etinkhobe temmbila: Ground corn mixed with sour milk
Emasi emabele: Ground sorghum mixed with sour milk
Sidvudvu: Porridge made of pumpkin mixed with cornmeal
Umncweba: Dried uncooked meat (biltong)
Umkhunsu: Cooked and dried meat
Siphuphe semabhontjisi: Thick porridge made of mashed beans
Tinkhobe: Boiled whole maize
Umbidvo wetintsanga: Cooked pumpkin tops (leaves) mixed with ground nuts
Emahewu: Meal drink made from fermented thin porridge
Umcombotsi: Traditional brewed beer in SiSwati is called ‘Tjwala’
Table 1: Swazi Traditional Meals
Matsamo offers generic meals which are common internationally. These include; rice and various meat (chicken, beef, mutton, etc.) Matsamo’s restaurant and kitchen offer breakfast, lunch and dinner. Nevertheless, the dinner meals sales decreased. This was influenced by lack of accommodation in consequence of the damaged chalets by fire. In addition to the kitchen/restaurant services, the Coop’s restaurant also offer alcoholic beverages and has a liquor license. Popular beverages which include beers, ciders, whiskey and brandy are available for sale.
4.1.4 Dancing and Story telling
The dances performed are typical traditional Swazi dances. Story telling includes stories of famous legends of the tribe, Swazi traditional fairytales, and more other enticing stories of the tribe. The objective of this service is to install and preserve the Swazi culture to local community and educate tourists and people from other cultures.
Cultural group:- Matsamo is giving outside performances on requests and in all performances done it has earned the reputation of a group that renders excellent entertainment and keeps audience hyped.
4.1.5 Training Services
Matsamo also offer training services to its clientele. Basic training of some Swazi activities is at offer. These activities include;
- How to make beads
- How to cook Swazi Traditional meals
- How to craft the Swazi drums
- The tribal dances and songs
All drums are handcrafted, wooden and have a goblet-shape. The head is approximately 15-inch across and they stand about 24 inches high. An animal skin, mostly cattle skin, is used to cover the head. However, the drums crafted vary in different sizes.
4.1.7 Traditional Attires
Swazi traditional attires are purchased from retailers in Swaziland and Pretoria textiles. Skin attires are handcrafted by Matsamo. The attires are offered in different colors and sizes.
The group also does International tours on Invitation, there we rely on getting assistant on Funding from various department institutions and Private sectors.
We gain more exposure for our Village and our country South Africa how diverse it is, we sell Arts and craft and our Cd’s and Dvd while performing on the festivals.
4.1.8 Day tours: –
In our center we have two Swazi villages, authentic and alive with cultural activities. Guests are taken on a guided tour by our well-informed guides through the village where they learn more about the Swazi tradition and customs. After they are treated to folk music, dance and other cultural performing arts.
Evening experience:- Enjoy True taste of Africa through Story Telling around the fire, traditional food tasting, folk music and dance and an African barbecue braai dinner.
School tours , special tours (cooking classes, beadwork, drumming sessions, cow milking weaving , ploughing the fields etc.) and functions can be done in our center.
4.1.9 Presentation by Inyanga :-
Inyanga to explain her traditional healing practices and will request one of the group members to be her “patient” so as to make the presentation more realistic and meaningful.
She talks about tribal medicine as well as divining (speaking to the spirits).
Inyanga/ Sangoma also explain both the divining and herbal medicine / traditional healing aspects, including the use of different plants used as herbal medicines.
4.1.10 interactive Djembé session :-
clients get the opportunity to learn the different rhythms, how to clean and renew the Djembe.
Open Monday to Sunday and all holidays