Bakone Malapa Open-Air Museum
A village re-created
Regarded as a living museum where tribesmen practice long-standing traditions, the Bakone Malapa Northern Sotho Open-Air Museum seeks to enlighten visitors about the history of a specific tribe of people in the southern region of Africa. Bakone Malapa is a village reconstructed in the style used by the Northern Sotho about 250 years ago, which was designed to demonstrate the daily life of the Bakone, a highly sophisticated subgroup of the Northern Sotho tribe. The village, set on the original site of an ancient village, has been superbly reconstructed in the traditional Northern Sotho way. To enhance the experience of this journey back in time, visitors can interact with members of the Bakone tribe as they go about their daily lives. Demonstrations of traditional fire making, maize grinding, and beer brewing can be seen throughout the day. The Bakone are very skillful in traditional craft-making. Visitors can observe pottery making, wood carving, bead work, grass weaving, drum-making, traditional basketry, and the creation of hunting tools. A craft shop in the Bakone Malapa Museum sells these traditional hand-made items at very reasonable prices as souvenirs for visitors. The cultural village includes two homesteads (or lapas) to explore. Archaeological excavations have been carried out in the area around the Bakone Malapa Museum, unveiling rock paintings, which have led researchers to conclude that this area was first occupied by the San tribe prior to being occupied by the Bakone.
Visitors will find the guides are excellent story tellers, as the village's architectural and cultural style comes to life through observation of the villagers' traditional way of life. The museum is more than just a cultural village. The site also includes a bird sanctuary, a wildlife reserve, hiking trails, and several outdoor recreation areas.
Surrounding area attractions
In addition to the Bakone Malapa Museum, other places of interest to visit around Polokwane include the Polokwane Game Reserve, Chuene Crocodile Farm, Anglo-Boer War Concentration Camp, Eersteling Monuments, Makapansgat Caves, Modjadji Rainforest, Moletzie Bird Sanctuary, Voortrekker Memorial, and the Hugh Exton Photographic Museum, which features the early life of the town of Polokwane (previous known as Pietersburg). The Bakone Malapa Museum is nine kilometers from Polokwane on the R37 (Burgersfort Road) and is easily accessible by road. Limpopo transportation Public roads in South Africa are well developed and well sign-posted with driving done on the left-hand side of the road. Public transport in South Africa is not as well-established as foreign visitors may be accustomed to. Make sure that your transport arrangements are taken care of prior to travel.