Thursday, October 2nd, 2014   Fieldnotes Blog feed

Vuk’ Africa Tours


Website: www.vukafricatours.com
E-mail: info@vukafricatours.com
Phone: +27 (0) 78 3365 094



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Who they are

Vuk’ Africa (meaning Arise Africa in Zulu) is a unique organisation that merges tourism and community development. It is about exposing people to the real South Africa, the South Africa that you won’t find on traditional tourist routes. It is about having a positive impact in a rural Zulu community – uplifting, empowering and developing the people in the Valley of a Thousand Hills. It is about sharing the African spirit with the world.

What they do

The purpose of the organisation is to fundraise for community projects and income generated supports the local people, while profits go directly toward community initiatives and resources.

Proceeds from Vuk’ Africa are directed towards Light Providers, a non profit organisation working to expose young people to their inherent potential. Light Providers is operating from a community training centre which provides young people with recreational activities, life skills programs and skill development courses.

What they offer

Overnight tour (24 hours)
Awaken the Zulu within you by allowing yourself to be immersed in Zulu culture and live like a Zulu for 24 hours! This is not an artificially constructed tour, you will be welcomed into a family home as a guest not a tourist. This is a unique opportunity to walk in someone else’s shoes and gain an insight into their life. You experience all that is experienced in the day tour, but also spend the night engaging with the locals and sleeping in a family home or rondaval (round house).

Tour activities:
- Introduction to the Valley of a Thousand Hills – its culture, people and issues
- Visit traditional healer
- Visit a beadwork project and purchase traditional beadwork and crafts directly from the women who make it
- Walk through the community
- Local Braai for lunch
- Visit an orphanage
- Experience the world-renowned sounds of Zulu music (concert)
- Taxi experience
- Visit family for traditional Zulu dinner
- Homestay
- Breakfast and bathing
- Walk to ‘the rock’ overlooking the magnificent Inanda Dam

Options include visiting a local school or a religious ceremony. These are dependent on the day of the tour.

Dinner in the Valley
Zulu people are known for the hospitality! We invite you to join a family for a traditional Zulu meal in their home in the heart of the Valley of a Thousand Hills. The cuisine will vary, but you will be provided with a banquet of Zulu food that could include; chicken curry, phutu (maize meal), steamed bread, traditional vegetable dishes and beans.

Diners will experience Zulu food, made by the women who cook it best. You will also meet a local family, be welcomed into their home and be entertained with Zulu dancing and singing.

Tour activities:
- pick up by driver and tour guide
- Zulu basics
- Arrive at host family
- Share banquet dinner
- Cultural dance performance
- Return home

Full day tour
Time: 11am – 5pm, including lunch

Live like Vusi the Zulu for a day! This tour takes you on a unique journey, where you will see a traditional healer, beadwork women, traditional houses and the world renowned sounds of Zulu music and dancing. Lunch is either served at a family home or as a tasty picnic braai. A visit to an orphanage showcases the ‘real’ South Africa, its issues and its beautiful children. Spending a day in this strikingly valley and engaging with its people is sure to remain forever in your mind and heart.

Tour activities:
- Introduction to the Valley of a Thousand Hills – its culture, people and issues
- Visit traditional healer
- Visit a beadwork project and purchase traditional beadwork and crafts directly from the women who make it
- Local taxi experience
- Walk through the community
- Local Braai for lunch or lunch in a family home
- Visit an orphanage
- Experience the world-renowned sounds of Zulu music (concert)

Options include visiting a local school or a religious ceremony. These are dependent on the day of the tour.

Half day tour
Time: 2-4 hours (time negotiable)

This tour gives you a glimpse of modern day Zulu culture and allows you to venture into the Valley of a Thousand Hills, see traditional houses, visit a traditional healer and buy beadwork directly from the ladies that make it.

Its perfect for anyone with limited time, who still want to get a new understanding of the world of the Zulu people.

Tour activities
- Introduction to the Valley of a Thousand Hills – its culture and its people
- Traditional healer
- Beadwork project
- Walk through the community
- Experience the world-renowned sounds of Zulu music (concert)

Group Tours
Vuk Africa can also organise tailor made programs for groups. They have run tours for school groups, church groups and international volunteer groups. Their programs have ranged from cultural inductions to South Africa and volunteer work to providing school students with the opportunity to engage with students their own age but from a completely different background.

To organise a group tour contact them and let them know what you have in mind.

Location

Vuk Africa Office
Embo Craft Training Centre
237 Old Main Road
KwaZulu Natal
South Africa


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What to bring

- Small overnight bag with clothes and toiletries
- Warm clothes as it can get cold at night
- Wind and waterproof jacket if the weather is cold or raining
- First aid kit, travel wipes, sunhat, sunscreen, lip balm etc
- Good walking shoes are a must!
- Camera
- You may also like to bring some small toys or sporting equipment such as balls to play with at the orphanage
- Drink bottle (although drinks are provided with meals)

Accommodation & Amenities

  • bed They offer homestays. The accommodation varies depending on which family is hosting the group and how large the group is. Smaller groups stay inside the house but many larger groups sleep in a traditional rondaval (outside round house) on mattrasses on the floor.
  • The water in the community is safe to drink. There are no bathrooms. The host families bring visitors a bucket of warm water in the morning and show them how to bucket bath. This is the way the locals bath every day and it is quite effective if the tourists choose to do it properly.
    There are outside drop toilets only, its part of the experience of visiting Africa!
  • All the families they are working with have electricity, although power outages are common and some tourists have done the tour by ‘candlelight’ (it is all part of the experience!). It should also be noted that families in the community use a very small amount of electricity as it is considered extremely expensive.
  • Tourists eat traditional food, just like the locals! Lunch: Is a braai (BBQ) at the butcher. There are different types of meat, bread and juice. Vegetarians can eat ‘Zulu burgers’ or bread and cheese.
    Dinner: The dinner varies depending on what the host families decides to cook but it could include: pap (maize meal), rice, beans, curry, chicken, jeqe (traditional steamed bread), imfino (traditional spinach and vegetables). Drinks might include juice or tea depending what the family offers. Some groups take a live chicken to their host family and they eat that for dinner. Slaughtering a chicken (or other animal) is considered very special and is done in Zulu culture on special occasions. However this is optional and many groups choose not to do it.
    Breakfast: It could be traditional porridge made from maize or bread. Drinks could be tea or coffee or juice. Again it all depends on the family.

    They do cater for vegetarians, but you will need to tell them in advance.

  • Overnight tour: Cost without vehicle: ZAR 750 / Cost with vehicle: ZAR 800
    Includes lunch, dinner, breakfast and accommodation
    Dinner in the Valley: Cost: ZAR 190 per person + ZAR 50 per person for pick up and drop off from local area.
    Full day tour: Cost without vehicle: ZAR 500 / Cost with vehicle: R 550
    Half day tour: Cost without vehicle: ZAR 250 per person / Cost with vehicle: ZAR 300 per person
    Add lunch with a family: +ZAR 100
  • Check out the current exchange rate ZAR to USD

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