A visit to the Basotho Cultural Village, which nestles at the foot of huge sandstone mountains in the Eastern Free State, will give you a deeper insight into the lifestyle of the South Sotho from the 16th century to the picturesque present. The Basotho Cultural Village is part of the Golden Gate Highlands National Park.
The Village regularly hosts art exhibitions as well as live stage performances at the sandstone amphitheatre. Here are also traditional dance and music competitions sure-casing local talent in cultural music by school children and community groups. The art gallery boasts work of local artists and a permanent photographic exhibition of the building process of the village and litem' art in the Eastern Free State.
Village tours will commence at the Khatloa, the gathering place of men: you cannot enter the chief's village and explore the way of life of his people without first receiving his permission. The chief advisor, the Ngaka, is a healer and uses the throwing of bones to enlighten you.
At the dwellings of the first and second wives, visitors will enjoy some motoho and dipabi. The huts are built and furnished according to the timeframe depicted by each one. The interior and exterior decoration of huts is done by the Basotho women. The colours are extremely vibrant and dramatic.
One of the innovations at the Basotho Cultural Village is the Matlakeng Herbal Walking Trail that takes the visitor along a typical sour grass veld habitat below some impressive sandstone cliffs, running through age-old woodland and clear unpolluted mountain streams.
The museum houses a Curio Shop selling arts and locally produced craft items, a restaurant selling refreshments and meals, a tea garden selling light meals and conference facilities for about 150 people for special occasions. Accommodation in the Basotho Cultural Village is available in the form of 2- and 4-sleeper rondawels within a Basotho Cultural Village Rest Camp. Bookings are done in advance.
The Village lies next to the R712 from Harrismith in the eastern side of the Golden Gate National Park or from Clarens travelling through the park.