Interested in a deeply creative experience while visiting the African Ivory Route?  Consider a day on the Ribola Art Route. Share the fun and laughter as we documented, real-time, a one-day trip with Open Africa. The area of these activities is ideally accessed by guests driving between Baleni Camp and Fundudzi. Another option is to do this as a day, or multi-day trip from Nahakwe Lodge.

At Twananani, checking the items for sale.  We are about to start a cloth-making exercise.

A wall hanging being made.

Real life in beaded detail – check the cattle!

Evelina teaching Melissa fabric drawing

2016/08/25, 08:54 – Irma Norminton: I am jealous look twice, once for me too.

2016/08/25, 09:13 – Tish: I want to be there……you are having all the fun whilst I am scrubbing loos!!!

Painting the wax onto the fabric. It’s a case of ‘’many hands make light work’’.

Adding colour to the cloth.

Finished art.  The cloth must dry. While the sun dries the cloth we’ll travel to the next stop, and return later in the day to collect our finished items.

With Patrick Manyike the carver.  Follow us into his home (the brown building behind him) and see his extraordinary work.

Smaller pieces for sale… Prices from R200 to R700 for pieces in this picture.

Dion and Lisa of Open Africa are buying the giraffe for R400 as a gift for a friend.

2016/08/25, 10:51 – Tish: Lucky friend!

At  Mukondeni Village where Sarah Munyai started teaching and today Flora continues the tradition.

Lisa (with Dion) showing us the pot and chicken that she made this weekend.  It’s still drying and had to be fired.

Learning the traditional Venda pottery skills.

School at Mukondeni Village.

2016/08/25, 12:08 – Dereck Milburn: This is brilliant!!!!

Melissa shows us: it’s a fully immersive experience.

Pots, once dried will be fired, then painted with ochre and the special silver oxide to create the famous Venda pottery look.

Make sure there is place in your car when you visit the potters – you will was to bring a range home. Next stop: the local spaza for cold drinks.

Show me your grocery shop and I understand more about how lives are similar and different than any other attraction. Best buy: the home-made atchar (bottom, left corner)

Richard and Moses playing pool with Gift at Patience’s Spaza Madzhie  in Mukondeni Village

2016/08/25, 12:24 – Anita Meiring: Looks like vet pret!! And sooo interesting!! Wish I was there 😀

At Masungulo beads and textiles.

Eliasah Mululeke of Masungulo models her bag, Melissa is measured for a custom-designed bag and we consider the sophistication of a table runner.

Unity pillows…  Combining Tsonga and Venda traditional design.  The pink Unity Cushion is a beautiful contrast to the traditional Venda fabric-inspired pillow on the right.

2016/08/25, 12:56 – Lulama: I want 4 of those cushions please pretty please orange aqua grey and pink please

2016/08/25, 13:21 – Eleanor Muller: Hi Lulama… R350 each.

2016/08/25, 13:23 – Irma Norminton: Lulama those pillows is gorgeous! !

Quick stop back at Twananani to collect our completed cloths. Great joy all round.

Lunch coming up at Chicken Cesar’s. Limpopo’s ubiquitous street food ‘’Chicken Dust’’ will fill any empty tummy.

With David Marathi: functional artist.  His hands carved towel rails, toilet roll holders and door handles add a unique touch to decor.

2016/08/25, 13:35 – Tish: I am seriously envious, what fabulous experiences!

David and his sons set out a new range of carving:  cone-heads that are going to be stands for people to store their jewelry.

Making music with Lucky Ntimane at Tinyiko Arts Centre

2016/08/25, 15:47 – Eleanor Muller: Some of the instruments are handmade, and the musicians local school children. They are also great teachers, and showed us visitors how to find our rhythm.

2016/08/25, 15:49 – Eleanor Muller: Lucky works with about 50 students between the ages of 8 to 16. This culture of the artists training the next generation is central to the area.  Lucky himself was mentored by Jackson Hlungwane.

2016/08/25, 15:50 – Tish: Amazing

2016/08/25, 16:03 – Eleanor Muller: My djembe teacher, Vuyani Baloyi.

Gift and Lucky, the teachers.

2016/08/25, 16:04 – Irma Norminton: WOW

2016/08/25, 16:52 – Heidi Van Der Watt: Wow – i am seriously green too!!

2016/08/25, 18:17 – Glenda: And who says there is nothing  to do in the area! Looks amazing Eleanor

2016/08/26, 09:18 – Barry Gray: That was a great day Eleanor. Thanks for sharing it 🙂

To book Ribola:

Call Lisa on 0716586980 / 0822004596 or email