Today started off with a trip to the !Khwa ttu San Cultural Centre located an hour outside of Cape Town where we learned about the San people, how they used to live and their traditions. From there we headed to M’Hudi Winery for a tasting and casual conversation with with the owners before heading to AMAzink Live for dinner and dancing. Today was different than the others and ended with everyone in the van saying “Wow, that was awesome”; let me expand…
Upon arrival at the !Khwa ttu San Cultura Centre we were greeted by our hosts and escorted to their garden for a wonderful lunch. Shortly after we met up with our guides and began learning about the history of these people. The San people aka “Bushmen” are the original inhabitants of where Cape Town is today and sadly many, many, many were killed when the original settlers landed. The majority of the people have migrated north with the largest groups living in Botswana. It is estimated that only roughly 100,000 still remain today.
After a quick briefing we jumped in the back of a large trailer of sorts pulled by a tractor and headed into the country. Here we learned the basics of tracking by recognizing different animal track patterns before being shown how to snare and finally taken to a recreation of a traditional village. These were tough people and have a better understanding of what life was originally like in the region. It was in educational affair and afterward it was off to wine country!
After a short drive we arrived at the M’Hudi Winery outside of Cape Town. The winery was situated in a beautiful location with mountain ranges in the background, picturesque to say the least. This place is special as it’s the first fully independent black owned winery in South Africa. Not only that but it received no government support and won the emerging tourism entrepreneur of the year at one point. There are over 4600 wine farms and 700 wine companies and this is the first of its kind. There are other wineries run by black people but not to this scale or in this style, most are co-ops or sorts. M’Hudi was purchased in 2003 and hires a staff to tend the fields. We met with the owners and they were very interesting and charismatic to chat with while tasting the wine. Won’t mention my favorites as everyone’s palate is different, will have to taste it yourself.
Feeling good we headed to Stellenbosch, the second oldest city in South Africa. There we attended AMAzink Live for dinner and what turned out to be dancing. Went in and right off the get go saw a gregarious looking gentleman in a tuxedo serving dinner, my kinda place. They served some typical food for the region and there was a performance taking place while you eat. The waiters / waitresses were also performers and there were several acts all including singing and dancing. These people were incredibly talented and a real treat to watch.
Near the end of the performance is where things started to heat up or shall I say “get egregious”. In the middle of one of their high energy performances they began pulling people from the crowd to come dance with them. Naturally yours truly was chosen and next thing you know I’m getting down with one of the ladies in front of the stage. Not before long another person is grabbed, then another, then everyone is up dancing and the place erupted. After it was over we demanded an encore and the madness continued. People of all ages and all ethnicity were simply getting up to get down and it was a really fun time. If you’re in the area, recommend the experience.
Today was an experience, above was sunset over the vineyards.