Staying with Mama Nokuphile and her family is an experience of a lifetime. Time stands still. The cows go out in the morning, come back in the evening. It is the most relaxing place we have ever experienced, and the ideal place for a cultural and linguistic immersion. If your idea of living in paradise is to be looking down on the beautiful Xhora river, and surrounded by forest, hills and beach, and lots of warm Xhosa smiles and tradition, then this is the place for you!

You will meet the Nokuphile family and their friends, old and young. You can choose to engage or not engage with the family as freely as you like. You will have your own big circular, gorgeous rondavel with high wooden beds and clean bedding. Enjoy spectacular views and the joy of sharing your environment with cats and kittens, dogs and puppies, geese, pigs and piglets, sheep, goats, mules, donkeys, horses and cows! If you have young children, this is a truly substantial and magical experience.

They will have lots of little Xhosa playmates to keep them company and it is a very safe place too. Mama Nokuphile cooks Xhosa bread in a big pot over a fire every morning (take your own jam or spreads). You can choose to eat your own dinner or to have your meals prepared for you by mama Nokuphile. These are high in carbohydrates, so if you’re a protein lover, take some tinned fish or meat with you or buy some frozen chicken from the Spaza shop to supplement the otherwise very tasty and substantial meals.

A 45 minute walk gets you to a the Spaza shop and then Bulungula Lodge. See At the lodge there are wonderful activities constantly on the go: horse riding, tours with a Xhosa herbalist, tours of the village, canoeing on the river, massage and dinners / lunches to order in advance. The lodge also sees a constant array of passing travellers who are often inspiring individuals!

Language Preparation: If you feel like a bit of a linguistic ‘leg up’ you can opt for either or both of the following:
  • Xhosa Fundis’ 5-lesson Course in Essential Social IsiXhosa (group or private)
  • A private ‘Homestay Orientation’ lesson (2 hours) which is specifically designed to help you with the most essential language for living with the Nokuphiles. For example, phrases like, ‘could I have some water?’ ‘I’d like to shower tonight’, ‘we would like to eat our dinner at sunset’, ‘could we have some tea please’, ‘where is Banoyolo? My child wants to play with him.’ ‘is there a puppy that my child can play with while here?’ At the orientation, we will also tell you a bit about the family, their names and how things run at the homestay.
What’s not perfect?
  • The flies can be a slight nuisance in your rondavel, but this can be managed by hanging fly catchers from the rafters or by taking nets to sleep under.
  • There will probably be some rainy days.
  • Transport (manageable but not straight forward – see the options below)
What to take with you: