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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The 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.
You can book a program and the campsite at the Living Museum directly at the reception. Prebookings are not necessary / possible.
Please also read the "Frequently Asked Questions" section.
View Mbunza Living Museum in a larger map
Programs & Rates
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
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
- 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 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.
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.
Information about the Living Museum and the language group of the Mbunza.