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The Real Swazi Village Experience

From: Emily Lynch
T1: swazi
Category: Where to Stay
Date: 20 Sep 2007


Just wanted to let everyone know about a truly unique Swazi experience and accomodation - at Myxo Mdluli's homestead in Kaphunga village about 30 minutes drive from Manzini. Don't let the distance put you off. This is not just a backpackers and is well worth the price- remember you're paying for the experience in addition to the accommodation. Myxo has been arranging overnight and day tours to this rural village for over ten years now. I took the Baz Bus up to Manzini and arranged a pick-up in town with Myxo. My group (about 7 of us) stayed overnight at his homestead- in thatched-roof domed huts, gathered around the fireside on this windy mountaintop, eating traditional Swazi food and learning some basic conversational sisSwati. When we arrived that afternoon, we visited the local schoolkids at their school over the hill and went for a hike to an overlook where we climbed out onto jagged rock formations and had a simple lunch together, staring out over the green and brown hues of a beautiful mountain/valley vista. In the morning, we joined a traditional Swazi church service- quite an energetic experience with dancing and singing!- and one of my group members even offered to sing an American gospel song for everyone. I would highly recommend this experience to anyone travelling through Swaziland. As an itinerant traveller it's often so difficult to feel like you can really connect with a place and its people. Myxo's trip lets you do this- on very short notice. You simply cannot find this type of "real" experience where you are meeting, living and dining with regular Swazi people at the typical backpackers. And although I was initially concerned that we would all just be popping into some village to 'see the locals' and then leave, I ended up really feeling like the experience was not at all exploitative. Myxo seems to work very hard to invest in responsible tourism. The tours definitely provide jobs for neighbors and people in the village and foreign visitors to the village have sponsored many school children (certainly not a requirement but an option if you wish) through the years. Also, Myxo seems to work closely with the village to make sure that they feel respected and honored throughout the process of bringing guests to Kaphunga. And we certainly felt welcomed by everyone! A+++ - check it out! (+268 6044102 to reach Myxo and apparently there is a website coming soon)

Last changed: 11/09/12