Shangana Cultural Village
Shangana Cultural Village
3.5

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3.5
3.5 of 5 bubbles81 reviews
Excellent
27
Very good
28
Average
12
Poor
6
Terrible
8

spendyourdays
Los Angeles, CA178 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Originally, we weren't sure whether or not to stop at Shangana Village and were so glad that we did. It's a fantastic learning opportunity and was surprisingly less touristy than I had imagined. The main entrance area has nice jewelry made by the Chief's wives and children; we saw them making some while there and were happy to purchase some. Although set tour times were listed in our guidebook, it seems they'll run a tour whenever people show up. Our tour guide was very friendly, eager to answer any questions we had, and quick to tell us all about the Shangaan traditions and cultures. She was one of the few people on the tour who spoke english (this includes the two people at the entrance desk who had some difficulty communicating with us). After a 5-min walk down dirt trails (just a note, this is not a handicapped accessible attraction), we arrived at the Chief's area of the village. Our guide explained the protocol for entering, and we knelt to the ground while she spoke with the Chief in Shangaan to gain permission for us to enter. Once inside, we were offered seats and our guide told us all about the culture and the village. She was more than happy to answer all of our questions and let us know appropriate protocol in dealing with the Chief who later came out to meet us. We were permitted to take pictures, even some with the Chief, which was neat. All the while, the rest of the family seemed to go about business as usual: two of the wives were making lunch, the children were making jewelery, gathering wood, and playing with the dog. If you visit at the right time, you may be able to eat lunch with the family or even stay the night in one of their 'guest huts,' providing you don't mind sleeping on dung mats. We missed lunch but were offered homemade peanut butter instead, which was really delicious. We then met with the Village medicine man, who told us a little about his craft (translated through our guide). The whole tour offered an interesting opportunity to see a side of South Africa we wouldn't otherwise have witnessed. One thing to note is that this was not a cheap activity; minute for minute it was one of the most expensive things we did in South Africa. That said, it was really interesting, surprisingly authentic, and a great experience for any visitor to the area.
Written June 13, 2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TimmyGUSA
Owens Cross Roads, AL20 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2016 • Family
We went to this village to get to know a little more about the culture while we were in South Africa. It was very interesting and we learned a lot about the local culture and how they lived and how their society survives and exists. It is well worth the moeny and was a great experience. Just don't have great expectations of the food, it is good mind you but simple and enjoyable.
Written November 28, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

WesselRoodt
Kempton Park, South Africa2 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2012 • Family
Guides at Shangana Cultural Village is amazing in telling the story of the Shangaan people. The interaction during the Evening Festival was great - we all enjoyed it to dqance and play on the drums. Africa culture at its best. A must for everyone visiting South Africa.
Written August 14, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JennyFQ
Basingstoke80 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
If you like to be exposed to culture but don't do stuffy museums and long winded tours, then this is for you. If you have kids, rest assured they will be made more than welcome and mischief will be understood (and even expected when it comes to the performance!). We went to the evening cultural festival. Greeted on arrival by a fantastic choir singing traditional music and some unusual local "canapes". This was followed by a brief walk down to the Chief's Village where our guide introduced us to the Chief, explained the layout of the village, some of the history of the Tribe and introduced us to the Medicine Man. We then continued onto the main part of the evening which was a lively and entertaining festival. The story that was depicted in music and dance was easy to follow (with the help of a short pamphlet). There were opportunities for participation in the dancing and drumming for those that wished to do so. At an interval in the evening a traditional meal was served. Each dish was explained by a "hostess" and then everyone dug into to whatever took their fancy ... unlike the canapes there was nothing to be squeamish about. The performance continued and when it was unfortunately time to go, we were bid farewell by all the participants who lined up to shake our hands and wave us off.
Written November 3, 2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Magellanic47
Bangkok, Thailand1,049 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2018 • Business
This is NOT Disneyland, this IS however the truth, of how people lived and in some cases still live to this day - this Village is self-sustained with NO government support -
they make do with the resources they have - and everyone of my 20 guests on this day agreed - it was real, it was what they had hoped to learn, to see and experience.
They all gave this experience two thumbs up.

This is not South Beach Miami or 6 flags of Texas -
Please understand that you will have an honest and humble experience at Shangana Cultural Village - bookings essential especially for the dancing and drumming functions.

Will I take my next group here:
ABSOLUTELY YES - ESPECIALLY AT NIGHT
Written July 7, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

travellingsilently
Belfast, UK61 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2019 • Friends
I regret wasting time, in this beautiful country, to see this apathetic tour. The guide, the chief and the medicine woman presented a script probably too many times. The two mud huts that comprised the 'market' had the usual tourist guff. I rarely write a bad review but feel I should warn folk how underwhelming and expensive this experience was. We are off to drive round this beautiful area, watch the incredible wildlife and meet the warm and welcoming local people.
Written February 16, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Yo M
Los Angeles, CA13 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2014 • Friends
I guess I anticipated a cultural evening similar to a luau in Hawaii, wow , was I underwhelmed. Thank goodness I didn't have my kids with me; the women merely wore a scarf around them often revealing their bare chest. Topless may not be an issue for other cultures but for me it was incredibly uncomfortable. The women never smiled as they danced, I felt like they were being forced to perform and quite frankly felt like the "king" who sat on his throne wanted their tops to come open...which they did often. Waste of time and money...time that could have been much better spent exploring something else in this amazing country.
Written September 2, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

bluehornet2009
San Francisco, CA49 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2015 • Solo
This was one of my most memorable experiences in SA. I had an excellent introduction to Shangan culture by my guide Edward. He covered many areas of traditional life in detail and also answered all my questions. I feel this is really a much needed experience for the typical tourist who visit SA primarily for the wildlife. And while on tour, it is possible to learn much about the modern struggles with overcoming the legacy of colonialism and Apartheid but there really isn't any convenient venue for learning in depth about any of the other native groups in SA. I recommend stopping by this cultural center if you are planning to visit Hazyview. I went to Hazyview on the way back from Kruger to Johannesburg. This place is just a few minutes away from Elephant Whisper so it would be easy to combine these two experiences.
I also appreciated that the staff were willing to accommodate vegans. I had one of my most satisfying meals in SA as part of my tour which included lunch. The lunch consisted of Shangan bread which was moist and tasty, a lettuce and tomato salad, cooked cabbage and carrots, and moroho (prepared greens), and of course the ubiquitous pap. if informed in advance, they will also make the bread without milk.
In front of the village, there is a store where locally produced goods are sold, I suggest looking up how much typical items sell for and the negotiating as appropriate. If parties of 15 or more reserve, they will also perform a dance so I did not get to experience that.
Overall a culturally enriching experience- totally worthwhile and memorable.
Written June 15, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

chirps01
leeds21 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2011 • Friends
i loved this evening, it really was a highlight of our trip!! Yes its a bit "touristy" but the singing and dancing were amazing. The young performers really put there heart and soul and energy into the show.
It was about £30 for the show, village tour and a basic african meal. It wont be the best meal you have in south africa but the show more than makes up for it.
I would recommend it to anyone planning a trip to kruger. I'm still humming the song one year later!! I am plannign to return to SA next year and will make sure our trip ensures a return to the shangana village!
Written April 13, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

42markbriggs
Johannesburg, South Africa92 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2015 • Solo
A meal at Shangaan Villlage is not just a meal. It is a unique experience into the Shangaan (South Sotho) of the Mpumalanga Tribe life. As one sits and eats supurb local game meat and other traditional food, one is entertained by Professional locals as they dance around the fire, chanting, singing and dancing. It is an awesome experience.
The best is at night when the fires are ablaze and the flames of the fires flicker. Set in the midst of the Mpumalanga Province, home to the Shangaan, it is a wonderful experience. The food is is really good, the wines well chosen and the culture an event not to be forgotten.
The Shangaan are a wonderful tribe streching from Mozambique across right through to Highveld and play an important role inthe area. It is a true priviledge to experience this. A meal of great rapture with a dance and intimacy with the locals who serve th food and drinks and are the Hostesses are not easily forgotten.
Written August 20, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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