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Articles

Frequently Asked Questions

Programs and Payments

How do I pre book at the Living Museums?

There is no need and no possibility to make a pre booking of programs of the Living Museum. The Museum is open 365 days a year from 8h30 to 17h00. If you would like to let the manager know when you are coming you can write a message or call under +264 (0) 81 215 24 96 (Sebron Ruben).

Remember, sometimes the lines are down in remote areas.

When do the programs and activities start?

The programs start on arrival of guests. The people in the Living Museum are very flexible and everything from the length of the programs, starting times etc. can be discussed with the guide or manager at the reception of the Living Museum.

How do I make payment?

All payments (museum, crafts, campsite) must be done in Cash. You will receive a receipt for your payment.

Lodging and Camping

Does the Living Museum offer lodging?

No, unfortunately the Living Museum doesn’t offer lodging yet. Recommended accommodation is at the Hakusembe River Lodge.

Does the Living Museum offer camping?

No, unfortunately the Living Museum doesn’t offer camping yet. Recommended campsites are

Going there

Can I access the Living Museum as self-driver without a 4x4?

Yes, you won’t need a 4x4. During the months of February and March the road can be flooded in parts. You can enquire with the manager Sebron: +264 (0) 81 215 24 96

Is there Public transport?

There is no public transport to reach the Living Museums. However a local taxi company might organize the transport for you.

Where can I find directions to the Living Museums

You can use the maps of the Living Museums here: http://www.lcfn.info/mbunza/contact

Support and donations

How can I support the Living Museums?

You can either support the Living Museums directly or help the Living Culture Foundation Namibia with a donation. Please find more information: Support Us

Should I give donations to the people in the Living Museums?

You supported the people while supporting their local business, the Living Museum. I you want to help the actors of the Living Museum or the local villagers even more, you have two good ways of doing that:

You can buy beautiful crafts and souvenirs in the craft shop of the Living Museum to support the whole community (even the people who are not part of the Living Museum).

If you want to give some things and support even more, best practice is to trade those things with local crafts as well. Valuable goods are pens, books, blankets, clothing or shoes.

Should I give sweets or presents to the children of the Museums actors?

Please think before giving sweets to the children. The next dentist is far away! If you want to give more valuable presents like books, pens, balls, please consider giving them to the manager or the guide of the Living Museums and not to the children directly.

Guestbook

Here you will find some feedback from visitors of the Living Museum of the Mbunza.

Ian Wood, Namibia:
Totally fascinating and important piece of Namibian culture. Thank you for sharing it.

Anton, Namibia:
This is really culture revolutionary.

Tarmo Tamming, Estonia:
A great experience to see the engaged work of the MBUNZA Living Museum team. 1000 thanks, we take this visit in our hearts at home.

Jerry Keely, Australia:
A wonderful insight into the old ways presented with much enthusiasm and enjoyment. Hugely recommended.

Witkowsk, Germany:
Wir haben die kulturelle Vielfalt genossen, das Erhalten der alten Kultur und dem frohen Leben.

Elizabeth Crawly, Australia:
Wonderful to see the tradition is being kept alive. Thank you so much for sharing with us.

Zeisner Party, Germany:
A very good idea. We hope that this project has a long life and can show this old culture to many people.

Marco and Syvie, Germany:
We’ll never forget your village, it was so wonderful to be here!! Thanx!!!

Heinz Bartels, Germany:
This was on of the most interesting museums in Namibia, Very nice people who were showing us the history of their life. Thank you. Mpandu.

Gallery

Photography: Sezong & Charly Cyris

Faces & Stories

Craftsmanship

Blacksmith

Traditional Kavango kitchen

Fishing with the Mbunza

Opening of the Museum

Contact

Approach and opening hours

The Living Museum is open 365 days a year from sunrise until sundown. Bookings are not necessary. Just follow the signboards that are leading to the Living Museum and you will be warmly welcomed.

Direction

Mbunza MapThe Living Museum is situated about 14 km west of Rundu. From Rundu take the B10 to Nkurenkuru. After 10 km you will see our signboard. Follow the gravel road for another 4 km to reach the Living Museum.

From January to March occassional flooding can occur. The area of the Living Museum might turn into an island by that time which means that the last kilometer cannot be accessed by car. The Living Museum will provide a boat service  in such cases.

Contact

Lake Samsitu, 10 km west of Rundu
S 17° 51.159 E 19° 40.847
+264 (0) 81 215 24 96 (Sebron Ruben)
sebastian.duerrschmidt

Bookings

You can book a program and the campsite at the Living Museum directly at the reception. Prebookings are not necessary / possible.

FAQ

Please also read the "Frequently Asked Questions" section.

Google Map


View Mbunza Living Museum in a larger map

Programs & Rates

Download program & rates (pdf) (2017)

Download program & rates (pdf) (2018)

1. Short program  (± 1,5 h)

You are introduced into our tradition and culture and will learn about our daily life (craftsmanship and traditional kitchen). Later we take you on a short bushwalk and fishing trip and afterwards you can enjoy the singing, dancing and traditional games.

  • N$ 150.00 / Person

2. Spend a day with us (± 4 h)

You get a detailed overview over the traditional (pre-colonial) culture of the Mbunza. Experience the daily life in our traditional village, including our craftsmanship (production of clothing, mats, jewellery and baskets) and traditional kitchen. Listen to some old stories of the Mbunza and get to know some of our special arts like pottery, wood carving and blacksmithing. Here you have the chance to produce your own knife, bow and arrow, basket, necklace or clay pot – depending on what you would like to do. Follow us on a short bushwalk, where we share our ancient knowledge of plants and fishing with you. Enjoy the end of your visit at our Living Museum with singing, dancing and an introduction into our traditional games.

  • N$ 280.00 / Person 

3. Craftsmanship workshop (± 1,5 h)

We introduce you to our special craftsmanship like pottery, weaving and the work of the blacksmith. You will get the chance to produce your own clay pot, knife, bow and arrow, spear, basket or necklace – depending on what you prefer to do. Whilst working you will listen to stories of the Mbunza tradition and will learn a bit about our history and traditional beliefs.

  • N$ 180.00 / Person


Other

Professional filming (documentaries, movies, etc.):

  • N$ 5000.00 - up to 2 days unlimited filming even if you only film a few hours.
  • N$ 1500.00 - for every further day.
  • More information about filming in Namibia

Child policy:

  • Children from 0 – 2 years are free of charge.
  • Children from 3 – 12 years pay half price.

Namibian student groups:

  • Namibian student groups only pay half of above prices
  • Up to 4 teachers (group leaders) are free of charge, but others pay the student price.
  • All groups must prove their Namibian origin to qualify for the reduced price.
  • Our Living Museum is a private educational institution without any external financial aid. As we need to pay our actors we are not able to reduce prices below this offer.

The Living Museum of the Mbunza

About 14 kilometres west of the Kavango capital Rundu you can find a place unlike any other: The Living Museum of the Mbunza, a traditional school for culture and at the same time a communal business for the local people of the Kavango. With this sustainable project they will be able to preserve their traditional culture and to generate an additional income.

The Living Museum at Lake SamsituThe Living Museum at Lake Samsitu

The old traditions of the Mbunza

As with all Living Museums in Namibia the main focus of the Mbunza Living Museum is to provide visitors to the museum with a detailed and authentic insight into the traditional, pre-colonial culture. The Living Museum, situated at the Samsitu Lake, is a traditional village of the Kavango, who have lived in this area for centuries. The village has been built entirely from natural material and the actors of the Museum carry clothes made from self- tanned, with Mangetti nut oil refined leather. The outfit actually had to be reconstructed from old photographs.

Traditional craftsmanship in the MuseumTraditional craftsmanship in the Museum

Fascinating Kavango culture

An essential part of the interactive program of the Living Museum is the demonstration (and preservation) of the fishing and land cultivating culture of the Mbunza. The traditional presentation covers everything from everyday life (traditional cuisine, fire making, basket and mat weaving, etc.) to bushwalks and fishing and finally to highly specialised techniques like blacksmithing, pottery and the making of drums.

The spoken language is Rukwangali, the most common language in the Kavango area. The guide translates into English. After having been convinced of the quality and the high standard of the Living Museum and after gaining an insight into the tradition, guests are able buy a small souvenir at the craft shop and to take a piece of Kavango culture home with them.

Map

Mbunza Map

Subcategories

Information

Information about the Living Museum and the language group of the Mbunza.

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Do you have a question about the Mafwe Living Museum?

 

Have you read our FAQ already? Most of your questions will be answered there. If your question couldn't be answered you are welcome to write us an email to contact@lcfn.info

 

Kind regards, Elizabeth,
Manager of the Mafwe Living Museum

Mafwe Elizabeth

×

Do you have a question about the Mbunza Living Museum?

 

Have you read our FAQ already? Most of your questions will be answered there. If your question couldn't be answered you are welcome to write us an email to contact@lcfn.info

 

Kind regards, Sebron
Manager of the Mbunza Living Museum

Sebron

×

Do you have a question about the Ovahimba Living Museum?

 

Have you read our FAQ already? Most of your questions will be answered there. If your question couldn't be answered you are welcome to write us an email to contact@lcfn.info

 

Kind regards, John
Manager of the Ovahimba Living Museum

John

×

Do you have a question about the Damara Living Museum?

 

Have you read our FAQ already? Most of your questions will be answered there. If your question couldn't be answered you are welcome to write us an email to contact@lcfn.info

 

Kind regards, Hans-Bernhard
Manager of the Damara Living Museum

Hans

×

Do you have a question about the Ju/'Hoansi-San Living Museum?

 

Have you read our FAQ already? Most of your questions will be answered there. If your question couldn't be answered you are welcome to write us an email to contact@lcfn.info

 

Kind regards, Apollo
Manager of the Ju/'Hoansi-San Living Museum

Apollo

×

Do you have a question about the Living Hunter's Museum?

 

Have you read our FAQ already? Most of your questions will be answered there. If your question couldn't be answered you are welcome to write us an email to contact@lcfn.info

 

Kind regards, Tsamkxao
Manager of the Living Hunter's Museum

Tsamkxao

×

Haben Sie eine Frage über das Mafwe Lebende Museum?

 

Sollte die Antwort auf ihre Frage nicht in unserem FAQ (meistgestellte Fragen) zu finden sein, so können Sie uns gerne eine Email schreiben: contact@lcfn.info

 

Mit freundlichen Grüßen, Elizabeth,
Manager des Mafwe Living Museums

Mafwe Elizabeth

×

Haben Sie eine Frage über das Mbunza Lebende Museum?

 

Sollte die Antwort auf ihre Frage nicht in unserem FAQ (meistgestellte Fragen) zu finden sein, so können Sie uns gerne eine Email schreiben: contact@lcfn.info

 

Mit freundlichen Grüßen, Sebron

Manager des Mbunza Living Museums

Sebron

×

Haben Sie eine Frage über das Ovahimba Lebende Museum?

 

Sollte die Antwort auf ihre Frage nicht in unserem FAQ (meistgestellte Fragen) zu finden sein, so können Sie uns gerne eine Email schreiben: contact@lcfn.info

 

Mit freundlichen Grüßen, John

Manager des Ovahimba Living Museum

John

×

Haben Sie eine Frage über das Damara Lebende Museum?

 

Sollte die Antwort auf ihre Frage nicht in unserem FAQ (meistgestellte Fragen) zu finden sein, so können Sie uns gerne eine Email schreiben: contact@lcfn.info

 

Mit freundlichen Grüßen, Hans-Bernhard

Manager des Damara Living Museum

Hans

×

Haben Sie eine Frage über das Ju/'Hoansi Lebende Museum?

 

Sollte die Antwort auf ihre Frage nicht in unserem FAQ (meistgestellte Fragen) zu finden sein, so können Sie uns gerne eine Email schreiben: contact@lcfn.info

 

Mit freundlichen Grüßen, Apollo

Manager des Ju/'Hoansi-San Living Museum

Apollo

×

Haben Sie eine Frage über das Hunter's Lebende Museum?

 

Sollte die Antwort auf ihre Frage nicht in unserem FAQ (meistgestellte Fragen) zu finden sein, so können Sie uns gerne eine Email schreiben: contact@lcfn.info

 

Mit freundlichen Grüßen, Tsamkxao

Manager des Living Hunter's Museum

Tsamkxao

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Juhoansi

The Living Museum of the Ju/'Hoansi is Namibias first Living Museum

  • Opening: 2004
  • Culture: Hunter-Gatherer Culture of the San
  • Highlights: "Action Day" - 4 hours interesting introduction into the culture of the San
  • Setup: Many gras huts in great nature, campsite and craftshop
Grashoek Apollo

"... Our Living Museums has 76 actors at the moment. All actors are very happy with the work they are doing. The aim of our Living Museum is to develop the Grashoek community. Its is also a school where the elders teach the young people about culture..."

Apollo, Manager of the Ju/'Hoansi-San Living Museum

Visit Living Museum

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Mafwe

The Living Museum of the Mafwe in the Caprivi, situated under huge Baobab trees

  • Opening: 2008
  • Culture: Bantu culture of the Mafwe, influenced especially by fishing and farming
  • Highlights: "A day together with the Mafwe" - 4 hours of interactive program
  • Setup: Kraal, several clay huts, traditional kitchen, bush campsite & craftshop
Mafwe Elizabeth

"... The Mafwe Living Museum has 38 permanent workers and 12 students at the moment. We realized that we must share our culture and the Living Museum is the right tool to do that because the Mafwe people are happy and proud about their culture! ..."

Elizabeth Madima, Manager of the Mafwe Living Museum

Visit Living Museum

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Damara

The Living Museum of the Damara close to Twyfelfontein, reconstruction of the "lost" culture of the Damara

  • Opening: 2010
  • Culture: Traditional culture of the Damara
  • Highlights: "Traditional Life" - 1 hour entertaining program
  • Setup: Kraal, several wooden huts, pharmacy, blacksmith, craftshop
Damara Hans

"... The Damara Living Museum has 30 actors and is called "Taotatide" in our language which means "we are proud of our culture". The actors are happy and very proud of their job. In the future we want to start a campsite and further improve our Living Museum..."

Hans-Bernhard, Manager of the Damara Living Museum

Visit Living Museum

×

LittleHunters

The Hunter's Living Museum - the only museum offering a real traditional hunt in the wilderness together with the San

  • Opening: 2010
  • Culture: Hunter-gatherer culture of the Ju/'Hoansi
  • Highlights: "3 Days in the wild" - several days intensive educational program
  • Setup: Several gras huts, campsite, craftshop
Hunters Ksamkxao

"... We have 25 actors in our museum. When the visitors come to see and understand our culture, the guests but also our children learn about the old traditions which is very important for our community. ..."

Tsamkxao, Manager of the Living Hunter's Museum

Visit Living Museum

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Mbunza

The Living Museum of the Mbunza at Lake Samsitu, reconstructing the "old Africa"

  • Opening: 2012
  • Culture: Bantu culture with main focus on fishing
  • Highlights: "A Day together with the Mbunza" - 4 hours cultural program
  • Setup: Several traditional huts inside a large traditional village, kitchen, blacksmith, craft shop
Mbunza Sebron

"... Our Living Museum which has 25 people is a good tool to let people understand the value of our culture, where we come from and where we can go. We are proud of our culture and are happy to learn about people from all over the world who are visiting us. ..."

Sebron Ruben, Manager of the Mbunza Living Museum

Visit Living Museum

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Ovahimba

The Living Museum of the Ovahimba north of Opuwo in the Kaokoveld

  • Opening: 2016
  • Culture: Unique semi-nomadic Bantu culture
  • Highlights: 5 hours "Spend a day with us" program
  • Setup: Large homestead including main hut, holy fire, life stock kraal
Ovahimba John

"... We have 32 actors in our museum. We were able to discover the old and lost traditional Ovahimba culture. The Living Museum is very succesful and the actors are benefitting from it directly and indirectly thorugh the selling of crafts very much ..."

John, Manager of the Ovahimba Living Museum

Visit Living Museum

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Juhoansi

Das Lebende Museum der Ju/'Hoansi - Namibias erstes Lebendes Museum

  • Eröffnung: 2004
  • Kultur: Jäger- und Sammler-Kultur der San
  • Höhepunkte: "Action Day" - 4 Stunden intensives Kennenlernen der faszinierenden Kultur
  • Setup: Mehrere Grashütten, Campingplatz, Craftshop
Grashoek Apollo

"... Unser Lebendes Museum hat 76 Akteure im Moment. Alle Leute sind zufrieden mit der Arbeit im Museum. Das Ziel unseres Museums ist es, die Gemeinschaft in Grashoek zu entwickeln. Daneben ist es eine Schule, wo die Ältesten die Jungen unterrichten..."

Apollo, Manager des Lebenden Museums

Museum besuchen

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Mafwe

Das Lebende Museum der Mafwe im Caprivi unter Baobabbäumen

  • Eröffnung: 2008
  • Kultur: Fischerei- und Farmerkultur der Mafwe
  • Höhepunkte: "Ein Tag zusammen mit den Mafwe " - 4 Stunden interaktives Programm
  • Setup: Kraal, Mehrere traditionelle Lehmhütten, traditionelle Küche, Busch-Campingplatz, Craftshop
Mafwe Elizabeth

"... Das Mafwe Museum hat 38 permanent angestellte Aktuere und 12 Studenten im Moment. Wir haben verstanden, dass wir unsere traditionalle Kultur teilen müssen und das Lebende Museum ist der richtige Ansatz dafür, weil die Mafwe stolz auf ihre Kultur sind!..."

Elizabeth Madima, Manager des Mafwe Living Museum

Museum besuchen

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Damara

Das Lebende Museum der Damara bei Twyfelfontein - Rekonstruktion der "verlorenen" Damara Kultur

  • Eröffnung: 2010
  • Kultur: Jäger- und Sammlerkultur der Damara
  • Höhepunkte: "Traditionelles Leben" - 1 Stunde kurzweiliges Programm
  • Setup: Kraal, Mehrere traditionelle Hütten, Apotheke, Schmiede, Craftshop
Damara Hans

"... Das Damara Museum hat 30 Akteure. Wir nennen es "Taotatide" in unserer Sprache, was soviel bedeutet wie "Wir sind stolz auf unsere Kultur". Die Akteure sind glücklich und stolz auf ihre Arbeit. Für die Zukunft planen wir einen Campingplatz und weitere Verbesserungen im Museum..."

Hans-Bernhard, Manager des Damara Living Museum

Museum besuchen

×

LittleHunters

Als einziges Museum bietet das Little Hunter's Museum die Möglichkeit zu einer traditionellen Jagd

  • Eröffnung: 2010
  • Kultur: Jäger- und Sammlerkultur der San
  • Höhepunkte: "3 Tage in der Wildnis" - mehrtägiges, intensives Kennenlern-Programm
  • Setup: Mehrere Grashütten, Campingplatz, Craftshop
Hunters Ksamkxao

"... Wir haben 25 Akteure in unserem Museum. Wenn die Besucher kommen, um unsere Kultur zu sehen und zu verstehen, lernen die Gäste über unsere alten Traditionen, aber auch unsere Kinder, was sehr wichtig für unsere Gemeinschaft ist. ..."

Tsamkxao, Manager des Living Hunter's Museum

Museum besuchen

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Mbunza

Das Lebende Museum der Mbunza am Samsitu See, das alte Afrika am Okavango rekonstruiert

  • Eröffnung: 2012
  • Kultur: Bantukultur mit Schwerpunkt Fischerei
  • Höhepunkte: "Ein Tag mit den Mbunza" - 4 Stunden Intensiv-Programm
  • Setup: Mehrere traditionelle Hütten im Kraal, Küche, Werkstätten, Schmiede, Craftshop
Mbunza Sebron

"... Unser Lebendes Museum, bei welchem 25 Leute arbeiten, ist eine gute Möglichkeit, den Besuchern den Wert unserer Kultur zu verdeutlichen, woher die Mbunza kommen und wohin sie gehen. Wir sind stolz auf unsere Kultur und auch glücklich etwas über die Besucher aus aller Welt zu lernen..."

Sebron Ruben, Manager des Mbunza Living Museum

Museum besuchen

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Ovahimba

Das Lebende Museum der Ovahimba nördlich von Opuwo

  • Eröffnung: 2016
  • Kultur: Einzigartige halbnomadische Bantukultur
  • Höhepunkte: 5 Stunden Ganztagsprogramm
  • Setup: Großes Gehöft inklusive Hauptfrauenhütte, Heiliges Feuer, Viehkraal
Ovahimba John

"... Wir haben 32 Akteure in unserem Museum. Wir haben es geschafft, die alte Ovahimbakultur wiederzubeleben. Das Lebende Museum ist sehr erfolgreich und die Akteure profitieren direkt und indirekt, zum Beispiel durch Schmuckverkauf..."

John, Manager des Ovahimba Living Museum

Museum besuchen