A family travel blog:
Road trip to !Khwa ttu San written by Tazz Discovers:
Tami, Anton and the Z’s
I am always on the lookout for the ideal family friendly getaway. Ideally, it will be far enough away from Cape Town to feel like you’re on holiday but close enough that it doesn’t take ages to drive there. !Khwa ttu San meets both those requirements while ticking the educational check box at the same time.
Something good to know up front is that the San educational tour takes place daily at 10 am and 2 pm and you will need to set aside a solid 90 minutes. We headed out on our road trip with the intention of making it to the 2 pm tour but what is a road trip without loads of stops. You can’t possibly head down the R27 without a stop at the tidal pools to run off some energy and then stop at the Vygevallei Farm Stall to pick up some fresh, free range eggs and farm bread. You are on holiday after all. Rushing around and schedules should be left at home.
Of course, with that kind of detail, we obviously didn’t check in with time to spare so we decided to leave the educational part of our trip for the next morning instead. It actually worked out in our favour because the kids could explore and play while I caught up with my book and watched the birds flit between the trees.
Our room for the night was a luxurious double bedroom, while the kids were to sleep in their own room next door. To say I was skeptical about how that would go, would be an understatement. It, therefore came as no surprise that there was drama at bedtime which left the boys to sleep in one room, while the girls slept in the other. At least Z2 slept, while I got kicked in the kidneys multiple times during the night. Ah, the joys of being a parent!
After catching (all too few) hours sleep, morning dawned bright and early (as it always does when you have kids) we had a leisurely breakfast and got ready to pack up. Since we needed to check out at 10 am and the tour started at the same time, we made sure to have everything packed so that we could hit the road again once we were done.
The tour is very comprehensive and, despite the gloomy weather that made us think that the tour may have to be cut short, we learned so much about the work that is done at !Khwa ttu San. The most impressive part of this accommodation venue is how they give back to the nearby countries of Namibia and Botswana by offering learnerships to young people so that they can live and learn about the tourism industry. Once they have completed their courses, many go back to their home countries and find jobs where they can support their families who may normally battle financially.
The kids enjoyed learning about the various clicks used when the San speak to one another as well as the dialects that make it difficult to understand each other despite living amongst the same people group. After practicing the different clicks and hearing from the young people who had travelled from Namibia and Botswana to come and complete their course, we headed out into the drizzle for a tour around the property.
Our first stop was to look at animal prints where we learned about the predators and porcupines that had been patrolling a few hours before. It was then that we learned how people of the tribe will watch which plants the animals eat, to find out which are safe for human consumption and which to avoid. I had always thought that the medicine man of each tribe had learned his skills from his parents who, in turn, had learned from their parents. What I didn’t know was that the skills are handed down in a far more supernatural way, when the ancestors speak to specific people in the tribe and advise them of what plants to use when treating various illnesses.
After a short walk to the kraal they had set up, we found out how nothing gets wasted. For example, the San will take an ostrich shell that they had used as a water receptacle, and turn it into beads for a necklace once the shell has broken. By using rocks and sharp sticks, they will painstakingly file down the broken pieces and turn those beads into a decorative detail to be used on their animal hide clothing.
My head felt quite full after the tour as I spent time thinking about a simpler way of life where everything can’t just be picked up from the local supermarket. This tour changes slightly every time it is presented as the personality of the tour guide offers intimate insights into this culture.
If you’d like to experience this tour, why not book a room for a few nights? The #WestCoastTwist promotion where if you pay for 2 nights, you will get the 3rd night free, is the ideal opportunity to go and discover the West Coast.
Find !Khwa ttu San on the Culture Route on the West Coast Way
Open 7 days a week | Free entry
R150/person for an 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 | [email protected] | www.khwattu.org
TazzDiscovers is our family travel blog and we are based in Cape Town South Africa. Our daughter is 9 years old and our son is 12.
We sold our house, switched mainstream school for home school and headed out on an 11 week road trip around South Africa in our Volkswagen Polo, to encourage others to invest in our beautiful country.
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 Tractor 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.