Last Saturday, we visited the Kwa Ttu San cultural village in the Western Cape, about an hour’s drive from our house in Mowbray. When we first arrived at Kwa Ttu, the first thing that caught my eye were the birds. They were beautiful yellow birds that built their nests in the trees above us, the nests were shaped like pods and very aesthetically pleasing.
After a quick breakfast, we met with our guides for the afternoon. Our tour guide Andre was very friendly and began by introducing us to Kwa Ttu’s mission plan. Their mission is to empower the San community by proving training programs and teaching sustainability while providing education. Our tour began with a brief lesson in the “clicks” of the San languages. Unlike Xhosa and Zulu which only have three clicks, San languages use five distinct clicks. After a demonstration, we loaded onto a trailer and took a tour of the land.
After driving around for about ten minutes we stopped and began the walking portion of the tour. Andre began by showing us how the San would track the animals (usually springbok, antelope and birds) and the traps they used to catch them. We then saw an ostrich egg beneath a tree. Ostrich eggs had many uses for the San, after draining the yolks for food, they would use the casing of the shell to carry water. The egg shell could also be used to make beads and they would also grind it into a paste for their teeth.
Next we walked into the village, it was created as an authentic representation so no one actually lived there. There were about four huts circling the center of the village, which Andre explained was because the villagers all relied on the fireplace that was situated in the center. Then another guide demonstrated different San tools and their purposes. We were also treated to a story which I found to be very interesting. When a San boy was interested in a girl, he would follow her to the river and strike her with a mini bow and arrow to see if she was interested. What an interesting alternative to games we play during modern courtship (terrible joke).
The final part of our trip was probably my favorite part. I finally got to see zebras up close and personal. While we were driving back we saw packs of springbok, antelope, zebras and ostrich. Although I’ve seen these animals before in zoos, there’s something amazing about being able to see them in their natural habitat.