Nqileni is home to a vibrant rural community where times have sometimes been tough; migrant labour has taken its toll on family structure and health service & education have been difficult to access. But in spite of these challenges, the typical scene at sunset is children singing beautiful harmonies as they walk up the hills together on their way home, Mama’s laughing together as they collect water from nearby springs while men and boys effortlessly herd their cattle home to their kraals. The Xhosa traditions are strongly adhered to and are respected by Traditionalists and the Religious alike.
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Unlike visiting a cultural village, where guests are offered an insight into a culture through fake, rehearsed performances, a homestay allows a guest to experience traditional village life in an authentic way. The person who’ll appreciate this experience is someone who is interested in enjoying the simplicity and slowness of village life and who does not expect a multitude of traditional dances/events to miraculously occur all at once for their benefit. There are often ceremonies in the village (about once every 2 weeks) which are fun to join and experience, but they are not scheduled in advance and it is not possible to plan your visit to coincide with one. They happen when they happen, and you can join it with everyone else and will be welcomed as a special guest.
Ceremony for the Mama’sThe internationally famous iLanga Fire restaurant is a stone’s throw away if you’re in the mood for great pancakes. If you feel that your tongue has just about twisted enough trying to pronounce the Xhosa Clicks, take a walk to Bulungula Lodge where you’re bound to find a cold beer and the hub of English words in the village. Delicious meals are also available; but needs to be arranged as early in the day as possible.
A visit to a shebeen can be fun. Umqombothi (Xhosa beer that is brewed over 5 days to a week) is mostly brewed for traditional ceremonies and sometimes when we’re lucky just for fun and is a treat that can be enjoyed without the worry that you’ll be swaying and falling around, even after drinking a liter! Because it is made from Maize it is nutritious while it gives a bit of a buzz. It makes for a great party starter!
If you’re staying for a couple of days or more, and would like to get involved in some of the Bulungula Incubator’s many projects on the go, contact them in advance to see if there’s somewhere you could lend a hand. They are based at The Jujurha Education Centre on the Bulungula River side of the village.
The nearby Bulungula Lodge offers a variety of activities run by local villagers including:
■Woman power tour
■Herbalist tour on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday & Sunday
Other nearby activities:
■iLanga Fire restaurant
■Birdwatching in surrounding forests
■Beautiful beach is just a stroll down the hill
■Walking around the area to admire the wonderful scenery
Check Out The Local Wildlife
Extra R55/p/day for breakfast & dinner
SMS (text) us with the following info:
How many people
Single or Double accommodation
Meals or no meals
How many nights
How you are traveling
SMS Example:John Smith, 2, Double, Meals, 16/03/2012, 3, Bulungula Shuttle
SMS info to +27 (0) 72 370 1095, and we will get back to you via sms ASAP
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