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!Khwa ttu, the world’s first heritage museum dedicated to the San

Immersive exhibitions, food tours, tea tasting & more

Last updated: Wednesday, 3 July 2024

Just an hour-long scenic drive along the West Coast can land you in !Khwa ttu. Rich in history and stories, !Khwa ttu houses a living museum and cultural heritage centre that brings to life the past (and present) of the San people, the world's last living hunter-gatherers. At !Khwa ttu, you're not just a visitor – you're an invited guest. Here’s what awaits you.


At !Khwa ttu, the San tell their story, in their own words. Image: Vonani Ngomana

LISTEN TO STORIES ABOUT THE SAN, BY THE SAN

At the heart of !Khwa ttu is its mission to preserve and celebrate the rich cultural heritage of the San. The centre is more than a collection of artefacts and photos; it's a pioneering initiative that embraces the principle of community curation.

The exhibitions have been co-created with Heritage Coordinator Joram |Useb, as well as !Khwa ttu San Community Pioneers and input from San community members. Much of the history and tales are told by the San themselves (when you visit, your guide will be someone of San heritage).


Some of the rock art shown have clear messages about the history of colonisation on the San people. Image: Vonani Ngomana

THREE IMMERSIVE EXHIBITIONS

The museum has three rich exhibitions. The first, “First People”, showcases San paintings and gives you a chance to experience the timeless tradition of storytelling under the stars with a digital storyteller. These stories, such as “The Story of Baboon and Lizard”, are deeply connected with the natural world and were told around campfires.


Enter the world of the San at the immersive building, “Way of the San”. Image: Vonani Ngomana 

The second takes you through how the San interacted with outsiders. Named “Encounter”, here you learn about colonisation, genocide, science and anthropologists’ grim fascination with the San. The third, “Way of the San”, takes you through traditional San life with an immersive film on rock art, music, and jewellery. The exhibitions also touch on contemporary San life.


The property features a diverse range of plants. Image: Vonani Ngomana

FOOD TOURS AND TRACKING EXCURSIONS

The experiences offered at !Khwa ttu don’t just engage the mind, but the body and senses too.The museum offers tours from qualified San Tour Guides. 

There are many to choose from, such as a food tour (where guests can try traditional food) and tracking excursion (guides will teach you how to ‘read’ bushes and what information can be gathered from the environment). 

Additionally, there are self-guided trails for runners and bikers.


Restaurant guests are in for a treat with the views. Image: Vonani Ngomana

YOU CAN EVEN EAT, STAY AND GO TEA TASTING

There’s so much to do that you can spend the whole day here, and thankfully, there’s an on-site restaurant. 

It serves locally sourced meals like fish, dumplings and food that is grown on the !Khwa ttu grounds, allowing visitors to taste the flavours of the region. Guests also have an option of doing a traditional tea tasting.

Locally sourced food is on the menu. Image: Vonani Ngomana

For those looking to extend their stay, !Khwa ttu provides comfortable accommodation options, from cosy farm houses to eco cabins hidden deep in the fynbos. These have a simple luxury aesthetic and are built with wood and stone to blend seamlessly with the natural surroundings.

San people's way of life offers valuable lessons about humankind and harmony with nature. The centre fosters cultural exchange and empowers the San community. To support their legacy, donate here


!Khwa ttu is a registered NPO. Image: Vonani Ngomana

VISIT !KHWA TTU

!Khwa tuu is open: Daily, 9am to 5pm
Find it: R27 West Coast Rd, Yzerfontein/Darling (70km from Cape Town)
Contact on: 022 492 2998 | info@khwattu.org
Museum entry fee: R100
San guided tours: R180 to R320
See more: Via the !Khwa ttu website

By Vonani Ngomana

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EXPLORE MORE IN CAPE TOWN

Looking for another living museum? Try 18 Gangster Museum in Khayelitsha.  

You can get free entry on Saturdays at the South African Air Force (SAAF) Museum.  

The West Coast is stunning, especially in spring flower season.  

Learn more about local history with our guide to Cape Town museums

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