!Khwa ttu is a project dedicated to the education of the San Culture. Located in the rolling hills of Darling, neighbouring Yzerfontein, there are a variety of things you can do when visiting this beautiful piece of land – from guided tours, cycling, walking, trail running, eating, and even staying over. We’d been once before, and fell in love with the place, so it was an absolute pleasure to go again and experience it all over. This time, instead of just a tour and a lunch, we spent two very peaceful nights at their offered accommodation.
There are three types of accommodation to choose between at !Kwa ttu: the guest house, bush house and bush camp. We were, in particular, looking for places to visit with children, and the bush house was ideal for this. It offered two en-suite bedrooms (one with two single beds, one with a double), a central open plan lounge and kitchen area (with a great fireplace that we used both nights), and two indoor-outdoor bathrooms. I wasn’t sure how I felt about showering in such a natural setting, but I loved it. It was closed up enough for nobody to see you, but still open enough for you to gaze up at the stars at night.
It’s only a 45-minute drive from Blouberg (and only 70km from Cape Town), yet it feels like you are truly in the middle of nowhere. While sitting outside and enjoying our coffee, we had a few ostriches running past, as well as the odd eland and springbok. When visiting the main section of !Khwa ttu we were also greeted by horses and zebras. However, I’m sure if we stayed a bit longer we would’ve seen even more. A lot of the indigenous fauna has been restored and, other than the animals we saw, there are also Duikers, Steenboks, Caracals, Aardwolves, Porcupines and an abundance of birds.
The farm was purchased in 1999, and San from across South Africa helped in restoring the buildings to what it is today. It is now a hub of educational empowerment, and many people use it as a place to learn about San Culture, development, tourism, anthropology, archaeology, and education. All money raised at the farm goes towards these well-needed fields of study.
After a stressful few weeks of work, and far too much time spent on the computer, it was good to get away. !Khwa ttu is the perfect place to relax, and we spent most of our time just walking around the area, or relaxing by the braai. My friends brought along a myriad of toys for their little boy to play with,] but said he didn’t want any of them. He was having too much fun playing on the lawn, going for walks, and spotting the wildlife. ‘Fun’ he said over and over again as he looked around him.
Unfortunately, the day we were planning on making use of their mountain bike trails and going for a tour, was a typical windy Cape Town day. Instead, we made our way to the restaurant to enjoy a late and leisurely breakfast. The menu is well-priced, and my ‘lite’ breakfast of eggs and potato rosti’s only set me back R55 (and was not ‘lite’ at all). Thankfully, I’d done the tour before, but it’s definitely something I recommend to all that are visiting for the first time. I took notes the previous time:
We took a walk with our San guide, who explained the history behind the San Culture, the people, and showed us how to correctly identify different species of plants in the area. Our guide wasn’t just knowledgeable, he was also hilarious, and had us all in fits of laughter. He picked some leaves off a Wild Wormwood plant to give to each of us, explaining to us how to dry it correctly and how to create a tea out of it. I realized how much we rely on modern medicine when everything we need is growing all around us. The reason we don’t know what is good for us is purely because we’ve become so far removed from nature. From there we were taken to see the replica huts to show how the San people lived. Here we were given some of their homemade tea while we sat around the fire to listen to one of the San women speak to us in her home language. The translator explained to us what she was saying which included her entertaining rendition on how the San men show the women that they are interested in them. I won’t say more because this is definitely a tour you have to experience yourself and hear the stories first hand, but I will tell you this much: It involves a bow and arrow!
Want to visit !Kwa ttu with your friends or family? There’s really something for everyone. Visit www.khwattu.org for more, or call them on 022 – 492 2998. Not only will you enjoy a relaxing time away, but you’ll be supporting a place that is making a difference in our country!
Make a trip out of it. !Kwa ttu is located on the West Coast Way Culture Route.
Facilities available at !Khwa ttu San Culture and Education Centre:
• Accommodation • Child-Friendly • Pet-Friendly • Bar • Restaurant (Breakfast / Lunch) • Fireplace • Wheelchair Accessibility (Restaurant) • Trip Advisor • Conference Facilities • Wedding and Function Venue • Shop • Tractor Rides • San Guided Experiences • Mountain Biking Trails • Mountain Bike & Helmet -hiring
Find !Khwa ttu San on the West Coast Way Culture Route
Open 7 days a week| Free entry
R150/person for a 1,5hr San Guided Experience. (Group bookings essential)
Distance from Cape Town: 74km
Where: Grootwater Farm, R27
Coordinates: 33°21’44.55” S 18°16’14.12” E
Contact: (c) +27 (0)22 492 2998 |firstname.lastname@example.org | www.khwattu.org
Written by Christine Bernard Photography by Warren Bernard
Photos by Warren Bernard (www.flatwhiteimages.com)
West Coast Way is South Africa’s road trip with the most twists. South Africans and visitors can explore a unique collection of themed routes to do adventure-filled Cape West Coast self-drive trips or a West Coast Holiday. The new West Coast Way “basket” of free routes on offer include the West Coast Way Scenic Route, the West Coast Way Berg Route, the West Coast Way Foodie Route, the West Coast Way Cultural Route – as well as the newly launched West Coast Way Wild Route, all of which are designed to showcase the many attractions and activities that are already on offer on the Cape West Coast and inland areas – but may be unknown to many. For more information on West Coast Way’s #WestCoastTwist and the list of 101 Things to Do on the West Coast visit www.westcoastway.co.za or call West Coast Way on 0861 321 777. Connect with West Coast Way on Facebook and Twitter at WestCoastWaySA.