Salt Harvesting at Baleni starts by leaving a gift at the foot of the Leadwood tree (called Motswiri) to thank the ancestors for nature’s bounty.
How Baleni Sacred
Salt is made …
Using 2000-year old techniques, the local Tsonga people collect salt-encrusted sand and leach it with water (called Ntsobe) through filters (called Xinjhava) made with clay (called Nwahuva) and leaves (called Nhlangula). The filtered water is boiled to evaporation, leaving the pure crystals of Baleni Sacred Salt.
The harvesting takes place on tribal land, and is a resource open to any member of the community who follows the ancient traditions. Salt is harvested during the dry winter months, and sold by the individual producers directly to locals and traditional healers who revere its healing properties. Chefs in Michelin-starred restaurants also use Baleni Sacred Salt for speciality dishes.
Visiting the Baleni
Baleni is south-west of Giyani in Limpopo, South Africa, and visitors are very welcome.
Accommodation is available within walking distance at Baleni Camp, part of the African Ivory Route.
Other camps within a day-visit distance of the Salt Harvesting include
- the Big5 game area Mtomeni Safari Camp in the Greater Kruger area,
- Modjadji Camp in the Cycad Reserve, and
- Fundudzi Camp at the foot of the Soutpansberg Mountains.