Sho’tleft Series; Part 3: Cultural Experiences To Add To Your Kruger Park Trip

Mar 25 2015

Last in our Mpumalanga Sho’tleft series we take you on a cultural experience of the province. ‘Sho’tleft, derived from South African taxi lingo allows for you to see your world differently and to experience Mpumalanga as a value for money, affordable and accessible holiday destination.

We have already traversed the wonders of Chrissiesdale, Kaapsehoop, Chimp Eden, and the outdoor adventurous features of Mpumalanga. The below are suggestions for a cultural itinerary add on to your Kruger National Park experience, which will take you on a trip into the lives of different ethnic groups and villages:

Shangana Cultural Village

Midway between the Blyde River Canyon and the southern Kruger National Park, the residents of the traditional villages of Shangana invite guests to share in the way of life of the Shangaan people. Shangana has been created and built by local Shangaan people, and forms a place of great pride and a way of preserving a rich heritage, and an example of South Africa’s great cultural diversity. It includes a bustling African market village which forms the centre of Shangana, where local craftspeople make and trade their craft.

• An interactive tour led by a trained guide through the forest to a living village.
• Day Tours with song, dance and music; interactive drumming session.
• Full traditional meal served in the Chief’s Kraal.
• Chief Israel Ngobeni and his family host the Evening Festival where choirs, actors and dancers gather to tell the story of the Shangana people.

Matsamo Cultural Park

Matsamo is approximately 50km from the Kruger National Park, situated at the Jeppes Reef Border Post between South Africa and Swaziland on the R570 National road. The cultural village first opened its doors in 2001 and enjoys the support of the broader community for whom they have become an icon of pride to be African.

The people residing in the various rural villages around Matsamo is predominantly Swazi in custom, tradition and language with a strong sotho influence and has a well preserved and rich cultural heritage. They are part of the Shongwe clan, once a strong independent group with its own paramount king who in the time of King Mswati II swore allegiance to the Swazi King and helped defend the territory against intruders from the North. As part of the reward for his allegiance and loyalty, Chief Matsamo remained in control of the region as an important Swazi Royalty and absorbed the sotho clans who lived in the area into his clan. “

Entertainment at Matsamo is more than a performance, you will feel the rhythm, the joy and the passion with which Africans entertain and play.

Nyani Cultural Village

Nyani Cultural Village situated in Hoedspruit features a dynamic live tribal song, drum and dance show. The hour long performance by Roots of Rhythm tells the stories of the Limpopo tribes. Following the show, guests are led from the beautiful outdoor boma to their “living history” Shangaan village. The performers then lead guests on an interactive tour where they can experience daily life in the village and learn about the customs, ceremonies and beliefs of the tribe. To complete the experience, a traditional African lunch is available upon request. This attraction is suitable for all ages, and tours can be modified and adapted for the needs of any group.

• Professional theatre performance
• Only local cultural attraction
• Opportunity to sample traditional African food
• History brought to life

Operating hours: Open Saturdays from 12:00 to 15:00 or any day by reservation 083 758 7354


For many especially holiday makers, Mpumalanga is the true Africa with tropical forests, swamps, snow covered mountains, savannah, and memories that linger of old-time slave traders, ivory hunters, and warriors.

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