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Cultural Tourism: Kambako Living Museum

Independence celebrations also remind us of the precolonial period. Major migrations that saw the spread of different cultural groups across Southern Africa, one of such groups led by Soshangane, ended up in southeast lowveld Zimbabwe to be known today as maChangana.

Several historical developments have taken place since the Tsonga offspring landed in Zimbabwe, including the displacement of people, cultural exchange through interaction with the Karanga, and cultural dilution caused by western civilisation and globalisation.

However, Kambako cultural village still stands tall as a preserver of the culture of the Shangaan people that gives travellers an opportunity to experience the traditional lifestyle of the tribe. Kambako is located in Chizvirizvi Communal Area, ward 22 under Chief Tshonavi, in Chiredzi North Constituency.

The name Kambako is a ChiChangana word for Old Bull Elephant, chosen by Julius Matshuve for the Living Museum of Bushcraft he founded in 2011, and was found with the assistance from the Malilangwe Trust. The name is derived from an understanding that an old elephant bull always leads the herd back to its territory whenever the herd travels.

Kambako is located just outside Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve and it offers guests an opportunity to learn old techniques of bush craft needed by the Shangani to survive and prosper during their hunter-gatherer traditional lifestyle and subsequent transition period.

Tourists are taken through the process of making fire by rubbing wooded sticks, making baskets, identifying tubers, water divining, making bows and arrows, shooting, food production and cooking. Visitors can practically try out these survival skills with the guidance of the  custodians of the place. The activities end with a traditional meal prepared by local people.

Guests can also experience a number of enriching activities in the Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve. These include visits to significant San Bushmen rock art sites, game fishing in the dam, a romantic sundowner cruise and hitting the trails on a mountain bike.

Both Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve and Chizvirizvi are located a few kilometres from Chiredzi town and Buffalo Range Airport.

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