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African culture is rich in detail - Welcome Hand
As one walks around the residence, there is a remarkable sense of fluidity to the interior design that makes one appreciate how the African look and feel has been carried through. African culture is rich in detail and the traditional African designs have been incorporated throughout.
On the wind you can hear the whisper… ”Ngaphakathi!… Come in, you are welcome!” as you pass beneath the symbolic hand, inviting you to enter.
The circular arms of the porte-cochère gather you into the safety of the ‘kraal’, the spiritual place of a Xhosa village. The hint of palisade in the walls emulates the traditional fencing, keeping you safe.
Pillars of strength, borrowed from the Leadwood tree, stand at the entrance supporting the roof. Chosen for their endurance, they stand unyielding, forever strong.
The iguana elbow design is a symbol of good fortune and wanders over the thatched roof and up the chimney, sitting still and quietly bestowing its benevolence on all who sleep beneath its roof.
Beadwork, the teller of stories and a proud expression of cultural values, proudly adorns the curtains, lampshades and decorative art pieces throughout the home, threaded and stitched with caring hands by the women from local communities.
She sits quietly amongst her younger peers, pulling on her pipe and gazing out from the canvas that brings her to life, her contemplative mood reflecting on all that she has witnessed. The pipe-smoking pastime is a luxury bestowed on only the senior weomen of the Xhosa people. And as we slip away from the authoritative aura, we see the playful art of children adorning the walls, paying homage to a revered ‘father’.
Man Leads the way
In Xhosa tradition the man always walks ahead. He leads the way, fulfilling his role as protector, ‘beating away the spiders to make way safe’… ‘Ukugabula izigcawu.’
"We’ve been lucky enough to enjoy many excellent safaris around the world in the last 30 years but our recent experience at the Zulu Camp, Shambala must rate as one of the best. There is always an element of luck but in all four of our drives we were treated to some magical interactions with the wildlife. The staff perfect, the food excellent and whilst the gorgeous Zulu huts will be undergoing some renovations in the next few months they were still thoroughly charming and comfortable. Thank you especially to Shaun, Brendan and Abram. We will be back and look forward to a fully working telescope to enjoy the night sky."
“Fantastic experience at Shambala! This is a bucket list type of a place! We loved the fine attention to detail and the sightings were amazing. A big thank you to our Game Ranger Shaun who was skilled, professional and on top of everything. Thank you for also keeping us alive during a Lion encounter. Our stay was extremely memorable!”
"From the gate guard Simon..to the lodge manager Rhomello, our private butler Thabang..chef Dayne(thank you for the extra couple of pounds)..and the most fantastic Monnique, thank you all for making our engagement weekend unforgettable..even the game put their best foot forward..lions, elephants, buffalo, giraffe and just for good measure a cheetah kill...Monnique thanks for all the trouble with the extra flowers romantic rose pebble dinner.your always friendly and comforting gestures when i was nervous for asking the big question....guys this place is a must do for everyone."
"By far the best part of our stay were the game drives. Our driver and guide Jacques did an outstanding job and we tip our hat to him. He really knows what he is talking about, is enthusiastic and answered all our questions. Shambala is owned by the same group that owns the Saxon Hotel in Johannesburg. See our review of the Saxon. As I mentioned in my Saxon review, everyone at Shambala is at the top of their game. We give 4.5 stars. My wife’s only slight complaint was no wifi. I loved being off the grid. We hope to return someday!"