Once out of the main towns, typical Transkei villages hug the hilltops where the houses look like scattered petals from afar.
Some houses appear to be isolated some distance from each other. Here is a homestead at dawn.
Many houses are clustered close to the roads, as seen in the photograph below. Note that a few of the demarcated fields have the remains of last season’s mealie crop in them. Some of the dwellings here would have access to electricity – as you can see from the poles marching along the edge of the dirt road. Most of the houses here have been built in a fairly modern style and you might note that even the rondavels are roofed with corrugated iron instead of the traditional thatch.
This is a very typical homestead: two thatched rondavels and a rectangular dwelling with a slanted corrugated iron roof. The metal structure on the right of the photograph is an outside toilet and the pile of wood in front of it would be used for cooking fires. The doors are all stable doors. This is one of the few homesteads near the Swell Eco Lodge that used electricity. Note the enclosed vegetable garden and the laundry drying on the fence posts.
Further inland, these houses are close to one of the main roads. Note the use of a green plastic rain tank in the background and the variety of housing styles that have been used.
While the traditional rondavels appear to be giving way to more modern designs, the former provide a wonderful view, clustered as they are on a hill, when seen at sunset.
NOTE: Please click on a photograph if you want a larger view.