Cultural history and background of Nambyan people

Tabokana House is authentically inspired by the Nambyan culture of the Victoria Falls area, bringing guests in touch with traditional Nambyan history, culture, cuisine and artifacts. 

The Nambyan people are an ethnic group of about 100,000 people. They are the original inhabitants of the area around Hwange National Park (the second biggest national park in ) and the town of as well as neighboring Botswana. Three centuries ago, Nambya warriors captured Karanga tribespeople from the Rozvi Empire of Great Zimbabwe. Some of the stone structures that were built by the Nambya in the area are similar to the medieval city of Great Zimbabwe near Masvingo. 

Present day Nambyan homesteads are mainly built from mud, thatch and dung, with beautiful decorations made with clay and natural dyes, similar to the wall at Tabokana House. Large family groups of around 300 people inhabit the same village and live communally. In the past, all livestock was communally herded and crops were tended by the whole village. Meals were cooked individually, but shared by all. Nambyan music and ceremonies remain largely unchanged especially on ceremonial days when there is singing and dancing. The ceremonial dance is led by the typically female spiritual leader or rainmaker who is guided by the ancestral spirits. These traditional Nambyan leaders are appointed through dreams and visions and they provide advice and guidance to villagers.

Come to experience the rich Nambyan culture for yourself during your stay at Tabokana lodge. Our concierge will be happy to arrange a cultural tour to meet local leaders, experience villages as well as local crafts and local cuisine. You can even have your future told by a spirit medium or experience magical Nambyan storytelling under the stars!