Explore the Kamoka Open Africa Route

The Mpumalanga Province in South Africa is surrounded by the Kingdom of Swaziland, the Limpopo Province, the Free State, KwaZulu Natal and Gauteng. It is an area that is chiefly known for the Kruger National Park. Even though there are many cultures living in this province, the most dominant is the Ndebele. To develop the smaller towns and villages in the province, all the tribes decided to work together to create opportunities by uniting their efforts and establishing the Kamoka Open Africa Route.

The area in which all the culturally rich towns and villages are nestled is referred to as the Cultural Heartland of Mpumalanga. It includes destinations such as Greater Marble Hall, Roossenekal, Kwamhlanga, Stofberg and Groblersdal. Not many people are aware of the wonders that each of these destinations hold, thus to develop the tourism infrastructure in this area, locals joined forces with the financial assistance of Engen to market the Kamoka Open Africa Route. It promotes the Ndebele tribe’s culture and heritage, and offers each town on the route that is visited by tourists the opportunity to promote their town, heritage and cultural products that visitors can purchase as souvenirs. The increase in visitors to the towns boosts the economy and also creates much needed job opportunities.

The Ndebele Tribe were eventually granted land after years of struggle. The death of the original chief, King Musi, led to the fight between Manala and Ndzundza, his sons, for leadership, which brought about the division in the tribe. The group with Nzdundza later established the tribe in the Roosenekal region, close to the Mapoch Caves. The new tribal lands were threatened with the arrival of the white farmers and their livestock, and Chief Nyabela fought tirelessly for their land. After their plight was recognized in 1965, leaders of the Ndebele brought the tribes together to stand as one force and in 1994 their homeland was restored and now forms part of the province.

Attractions such as the Chief Nyabele sculpture outside the Mapoch Caves and botanical heritage of Greater Roossenekal can be explored at Roosenekal, which is also home to the annual Yellow Arum Lily Festival and Peach Festival. The Nduzundza Royal Mabhoko Kraal is another cultural attraction at Kwamhlanga where the history and traditions of the Ndebele Tribe can be explored. Each destination on the Kamoka Open Africa Route has its own unique history and noteworthy sites that together create a visible picture of the history of this region and the people who played significant roles in developing the towns as they are seen today.