Towards an Understanding of South African History and Culture
In the late 19th century, the little town of Botshabelo, just north-west of Middelburg in the Province of Mpumalanga was a thriving mission station. The town has many charming features, including three hikes. The Klein Olifants River meanders through the koppies and mountains of the farm, providing the hiker with splendid walks along the banks and magnificent views from the vertical cliffs. Even on the hiking trails one can pick up traces of the history of Botshabelo. Start the tour with insight into the origins of European and African interaction
Visit the Sammy Marks Museum to enhance insight into the lifestyle and positive role played by white English speaking elite in the history of South Africa. Visit the Victorian mansion (1886) of magnate Sammy Marks, with an exclusive library and exquisite examples of Victorian silver, glass, porcelain and furniture.
A living farm of the 1920's, with demonstrations and guided tours. Gain an understading of the life and activities of the Afrikaans speaking farmers of South Africa
DAY 2:RESEARCH AND CONTEMPLATION
South-east of Pretoria in the picturesque village of Irene, the modest iron and wood house of former South African Prime Minister, Field Marshal Jan Christiaan Smuts, contains the original furnishings of the Smuts family.The library is a valuable resource for Institute staff, international relations students and visiting scholars. The library receives around 250 journals which focus mainly on international relations. Many of these are part of the extensive publications exchange programme. The library holds in excess of 3,000 books on contemporary international relations and comparative area studies.
Overnight in Cybertonature Cottage,a modern garden cottage with top security, situated in the shadow of the Magaliesberge in the tranquil suburb of Woderboom. One bedroom, dining room/study, lounge, huge bathroom. Internet connectivity, satelite TV, access to private bar area and swimming pool. Ideal for short-term visits by businessmen, couples, small families, backpackers, students and other visitors to Pretoria. Can accommodate five people but ideal for two. On bus routes to and from city centre. Continental breakfast and take-away service. Near two major shopping malls with lots of entertainment.
DAY 3 : WONDERBOOM CULTURE WALK OR DRIVE
From Cybertonature Cottage we walk or drive to Coert Steynberg Museum. The house, studio and personal belongings of
South African sculptor, Coert Steynberg, with art and sculpture on display. The site extends over 1,19 ha, has a rich bird life (about 170 bird species have been identified in the nearby Wonderboom nature reserve), is free from frost, and has a Bushveld climate in which trees such as the marula thrive.
We continue our walk or drive to the Wonderboom Nature Reserve, 10 km north of central Pretoria, created to protect one of the world's most unusual trees. To local people, it was a sacred ground; to the Voortrekkers, a landmark spot where they rested for a short while before continuing on their journey further north. Fortune-hunters dreamed that the Kruger millions would turn up here but they found only the Stone Age tools of the prehistoric hunters who ambushed their prey in the poort (entrance) nearby. It has been an excavation site where archaeologists have exposed the largest single accumulation of stone artefacts ever to be discovered in Africa.
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