The Ndebele Cultural Village started operating in 1999.This village depicts the Ndebele way of life. Infrastructure: To date there are five huts which were constructed using local resources. It is in these huts where different aspects of the Ndebele culture are depicted. These include the Indulangama hut (Sangoma hut) and the dispense house for grinding traditional medicine. The village is in the process of constructing the reception centre. This was funded by funded by ORAP and it is about 90% complete. They are also expecting US$ 10,000 from the Culture Fund to build a museum for traditional artifacts.
Management of the facility: The facility operates under a registered Trust whose Board of Trustees oversees its management. The Trust operates a bank account. The establishment benefits 230 households and is run by a committee of 8 members (4 women and 4 men). The management committee is active although meetings are irregular. There are no formal employees at the center. The representatives of the management committee are responsible for the day to day running of the village including the supervision of the construction works underway.
Accommodation – camping on site is provided either in the grounds or in the gazebo, no bedding provided, and self catering. No safe water facilities for visitors’ overnight use.
Access – Access through Matobo National Park, road rugged, not well serviced. 2.5 hour drive from Bulawayo.
Amenities – limited development, public bath and toilet under construction, no visitor reception area or interpretive center; no piped water and power supply on the site, clinic is a distance, Attractions – Scenic drives, close to World Heritage sites, Ndebele crafts, rock paintings
Activities – Entertainment and catering services are provided by selected members of the local communities. Entertainment includes traditional dances by men and women, herbal medicine, sangoma clinic and nature walks to the caves. Children are also very actively involved in dancing.
Awareness – Limited publicity and marketing of the facility, communication is the greatest challenge. no network coverage of all cellular networks, poor accessibility, and lack of marketing skills for the product. There is limited information on the STEP website. As a result, visitors to the facility are very low. On average they receive 3 day visitors a month. This includes official visitors from Government and NGOs on familiarization visits. Main Challenges: The study noted a number of challenges facing this development. Although there is a set and agreed development plan, there has been no meaningful capital injection to implement the plan. The management has limited management and marketing skills although there are many opportunities to establish joint packages with tour operators to the World Heritage site. Communication is also a main challenge despite that a few cell network boosters have been erected within the vicinity of the facility. Future Prospects: The center is one of the few initiatives in the area and offers a diversity of exciting visitor experiences with great chances of day visits from the Park and the World Heritage Site. The centre intends to revamp its ablution, refurbish the huts, and build four bee hive huts as part of its growth. There is current construction work in progress although the pace is slow. To further enrich the product, the community recently discovered some rock paintings and caves nearby, about 3km from the cultural centre and this is likely to boost the facility’s product and activity portfolio.