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A Day at Tribal Textiles

Tribal Textiles Art Safari

Author: Nadja P.

Are you looking for an exciting variation to your Safari itinerary at Croc Valley?

Then don't miss out on visiting Tribal Textiles and getting creative on your personal Art Safari!

Of course we want to give our guests the best and honest picture of all activities we promote, so it was time to check out the Tribal Textiles Workshop ourselves and join their highly-skilled artists at their everyday work!

Tribal Textiles is located next to the Mfuwe Main Road about 10 minutes away from the Airport. You can easily book a taxi from Croc Valley, which will drop you off directly at the Workshop (the drive will take around 30 minutes). It's a huge hall which served for corn production in the past, beautifully decorated with pieces of colourful fabrics, a perfect invitation to immerse yourself in the unique Zambian Culture and Art.

With a workforce of over 100 Zambians, Tribal Textiles is considered as the biggest employer around Mfuwe Area, their philosophy and work ethics are displayed on boards around the workshop and are testimony of a happy working environment and effective teamwork. We were greeted by super friendly staff members, who made us feel welcome from the first moment we arrived.

We were shown around the Tribal Textiles Shop and Workshop and were given an insight into the different procedures and steps of creating the fabrics: From the cutting of the cotton fabric to the starching of designs, to the colouring and cooking process, after which every piece is washed and dried in the sunshine, before being sewn into a beautiful home textile or accessory.

Each textile is drawn and painted by local Zambian men or women using a rich palette of hand-mixed colours – A highly skilled technique which can take years to perfect. We have never been so inspired and amazed by such a variety of absolutely beautiful patterns, which mix traditional African Art with contemporary designs, inspired by the Zambian wildlife, culture and surroundings.

The Tribal Textiles Shop offers the perfect opportunity to treat yourself with souvenirs or shop gifts for your friends and family at home. You will find everything from cushion and blanket covers and wall hangings to table cloths, curtains, bags and shirts. Everything tastefully displayed in decorated rooms, which leave you with the agony of choosing your favorite piece out of all these beautiful patterns. But the Shop isn't only limited to Textiles – no matter if you are looking for candles, jewellery or wooden crafts, you will make a find!
They also have a corner specialized on textiles for children and just recently opened their new "Courtyard Café", a perfect place to relax and enjoy a coffee or meal under shady trees in the beautiful courtyard.
Tribal Textiles Courtyard Cafe
Tribal Textiles Mfuwe

Of course we couldn't miss the opportunity to join an Art Safari, where you can either starch your own design or use one of their stencils to create your personalized cotton cushion cover or wall hanging.

We both decided for a pre-drawn cushion cover with wildlife motives (an elephant and giraffe) and started painting it using a selection of earthy colours. It was a lot of fun creating your own colour design and you really get into it as you want the outcome to be as beautiful as possible. But even if you're not sure about what colours will match eachother, no problem! You get very good assistance by Tribal's experienced artists, who are happy to give you advice on choosing the perfect design!

Once you finished your masterpiece, it will be cooked in an oven and dried in the sun before the starch gets removed and the fabric is sewn into a cushion, bag or wall hanging (the choice is yours ;) ). It will be ready for pick-up the next day and you will be glad to hear that a donation from every Art Safari will be given to the local Malimba School Fund in Mfuwe.

All in all, we had an absolutely amazing experience at Tribal and would definitely recommend a visit! I mean, what is better than creating your own unique souvenir from your time in South Luangwa?

No matter what age you are, the Art Safari is fun for everybody! (Special Art Safaris are available for children too)

Embellish your home with a handmade piece of fabric, which helps to create employment for our locals and supports local charities which all do great work in the areas of education and wildlife conservation.

Thank you for the lovely day!

More information on our Safari & Community Activities

Visit the Tribal Textiles Website

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