!Khwa ttu San Culture Route
If you have ever had an interest in indigenous cultures, then here is a good place to go to get a taste of it.Just an hour out of Cape Town, up the West Coast of South Africa, lies !Khwa ttu, a San Culture and Education Centre. This is a beautifully assembled and progressive project, celebrating ancient indigenous San traditions in a contemporary and relevant fashion.On this journey, you will get to enjoy deep insight into how ancient culture is relevant today, receive a short lesson in the clicks of the San languages, and a guided tour of the estate, which is slowly being setup as a game estate. Enjoy a meal at the estate’s restaurant, which serves up exquisite interpretations on classic indigenous dishes, with freshly baked farm bread.Your experience in a bit more detail:After a friendly welcome the !Khwa ttu San guides will introduce you to the history of !Khwa ttu. Your hosts will also provide you with an overview of the various activities which you will be able to enjoy in direct interaction with them.Board an open trailerTake pleasure in a slow drive on the open trailer through the hilly landscape of !Khwa ttu. The 850ha nature reserve is home to both hundreds of plant species of the indigenous fynbos flora and a wide array of indigenous fauna. As you drive up and down the hills the San guides will point out some of the many game species such as Eland, Zebra, Oryx, Bontebok and Springbok. You will be privileged to hear some of the stories about animals which form an important part of the vast San oral history.Walk the nature trailsLeave the vehicle behind and follow your guides on an easy nature walk. You will be surprised by the wealth of knowledge the San will share with you about hunting, gathering and tracking. The guides’ demonstration of both setting a traditional bird snare and storing water in ostrich eggs, as well as in-depth information about the use of specific plants will enrich you with significant insights in traditional practices which are often still part of the San’s lives.Visit the replica traditional San villageLearn more about San hunting traditions by observing the use of tools such as bows and arrows. The unique skills of San women will captivate you when they produce ostrich eggshell jewellery and also demonstrate the usage of digging sticks and gathering bags. You will have the unique opportunity to try shooting an arrow and igniting a fire with sticks under the guidance of experienced San. You will be truly amazed as to how many skills one has to co-ordinate in order to be successful. The visit will be rounded off by the guides’ description of some extraordinary aspects of the San’s social life such as the healing power of the trance dance and the traditional egalitarian society. These authentic accounts of San culture will create an unforgettable impression.Enjoy a refreshing drink at the Boma Your journey will continue when your San hosts will accompany you to the beautifully designed Boma, constructed of natural materials. Nestled at the highest point in the landscape of !Khwa ttu, you will experience breathtaking views of Table Mountain to the south and the Langebaan Lagoon to the north. Be captivated by the the guide’s introduction to some of the San languages. Observe the orthography of the languages and have fun in learning to pronounce the clicks and tones of words.View the display at the gallery and watch a film at the audio-visual theatre.At the end of the tour the guides will familiarize you with the exhibition entitled “The San and the camera”. The artistic and informative display consists of eye-opening quotes, realistic life stories and explanatory texts, as well as historic and contemporary photographs. Issues close to the hearts of the San of southern Africa are the centerpiece of the presentation.They refer to dispossession of land and natural resources, the experience of war, the effect of social challenges, the importance of culturally appropriate education and training as well as success stories in development. The thought-provoking and moving exhibition will have a lasting impression on you.