The Xhosa are the tribe that dominate this area of the Eastern Cape, and they are still a heavily rural society, having lost relatively few of their traditions and customs. As you drive around you’ll see most of them still engaged in farming, their fields ringed with a protective fence of prickly aloes, and see large herds of their massively important cattle, often herded on horseback. Because they are still close to their traditional lifestyle, the Xhosa cultural villages you can visit feel more authentic and less forced than some others around the country. You can experience life inside a traditional thatched rondavel, eat freshly prepared Xhosa food, drinking locally brewed beer and even have your ills tended to by a sangoma – the resident herbalist, healer, diviner and holy man. Of course there is also the chance to buy souvenirs: the Xhosa are noted for the quality of their handicrafts and it’s as well to purchase them in a good cultural village, cutting out as many middle men as possible.