what we do

A visit to the Voortrekker Monument Heritage Site and Funda Discovery Centre promotes and develops an understanding and appreciation of South Africa and its rich cultural heritage. Discover our rich history by exploring the Voortrekker Monument, Fort Schanskop, the Heritage Centre and Funda Discovery Centre.

The programmes and interactive activities we present are CAPS outcomes based and target the Social Sciences, Technology, Natural Science, Arts and Culture and Design. Specific curriculum themes are presented by means of an introduction, treasure hunt, followed by interactive discussions.

programmes & activities

A visit to the Voortrekker Monument Heritage Site and Funda Discovery Centre promotes and develops an understanding and appreciation of South Africa and its rich cultural heritage. The programmes we present are outcomes based and target the Social Sciences, Technology, Natural Science and Arts and Culture. Many of the programmes take place in the new Funda Discovery Centre which was designed to accommodate the national curriculum.




The craft of basketry has been perfected over more than 10 000 years. Products are timeless, indigenous, and display our collective creativity. Basketry, as material culture, reflects our development and adaption to changing environments. People made fish traps, mats, hats, beer sieves, as well as a variety of baskets from plant material. Baskets were used for crop production, domestic use, and as containers for trade goods.


Every country has its own national symbols. South Africa’s national symbols include the South African Coat of Arms, the National Anthem, Parliamentary Symbols, and National Flag. There are also secondary national symbols like biomes that include our national flower, tree, animal, bird and fish.



Specific syllabus themes are presented through an introduction, a treasure hunt (also for homeschooling), followed by interactive discussions. Although school groups are the main target, the Funda can also be utilized for a variety of educational workshops and other enrichment courses. It consists of three main areas: the auditorium, the foyer, and the main exhibition hall with the open-air traditional activities.



For thousands of years, people survived by collecting wild plants and animals. Women and children were mostly responsible for collecting wild foods since men usually hunted. They picked berries, nuts, and fruits and dug underneath bulbs and tubers with sharpened sticks. Besides plants, they also gathered honey, insects, bird eggs, and small animals.



‘Settlement’ is when man transforms his environment in a way that allows him to perform specific activities within specific spaces. This results in cultural diversity and similarities, socio-economic systems, and interaction between man and the environment. Settlements are either dispersed or concentrated and may be permanent or temporary. There is tangible evidence of different societies moving through the landscape over time.


Wood is intricately linked to human existence and development. The ancient Egyptian, Middle Eastern, and Chinese civilizations were amongst the earliest wood traders. They imported and exported different types of wood to make boats, vehicles, furniture, ornaments, and music instruments. Well-known wood in this early trade included sycamore, cedar, and willow. Boats and ships made from timber enabled people to travel further distances along major rivers, as well as crossing seas and oceans. A new world of exploration and trade was opened up as a result.



Glass helped to accelerate the acquisition of knowledge about the natural and physical worlds by providing new scientific instruments. Without clear glass, for example, the gas laws would not have been discovered and there would not have been steam and internal combustion engines, electricity, light bulbs, cameras, and televisions. The application of glass instruments revolutionized our understanding of the universe and deep space, completely changing our concept of cosmology. Without glass, we would have no understanding of genetics and certainly no discovery of DNA.



Since its development, textiles have been inseparably linked to trade. The silk trade connected to Asia and Europe. Cloth and dyes were imported into sub-Saharan Africa from Europe and India, even before the Middle Ages. Ship sails and anchor ropes were made from strong linen cloth. Ships transporting goods, like textiles, between continents. The Arab-Swahili trade linked India and the Far East with Africa. The first aircraft wings were also made of linen.



Metallurgy is the study of the science and technology of the properties, production, and purification of metals. Metals are processed through casting, forging, rolling out, laser cladding, and extrusion. The Industrial Revolution started in England around 1760. It marked the transition from manual to machine produced structures and goods. The transition resulted in the global emergence of factories, new production processes, and the use of steam power.



Leather is made from the skins of smaller mammals, reptiles, and birds, and from the hides of cattle and other large antelopes. Most skins and hides traditionally came from wild animals hunted for their meat, but today mostly come from animals raised on farms. Leather is a versatile natural material and each product has its own unique properties. Quality depends on the age of the animal because older hides and skins are less flexible with a tougher texture. Leather ranges from tough and hard-wearing to pliable and strong but has a tendency to dry out as time goes on.



Clay is the product of thousands of years of intensive geological weathering of rocks. Kaolin and terracotta are two well-known types of clay. Soil is mixed with water to make it workable and the clay object is dried in the air. Clay becomes hard and durable when fired. The term pottery includes all ceramic wares derived from clay.



The availability of clay, high temperatures, time, skills, and a demand for utility ware influenced the global production and use of ceramic ware. The oldest clay objects were, however, made for religious or magical purposes. Earthenware containers were later made for gathering, cooking, and storing food and fluids, as well as luxury items such as perfumes, oils, and wine.



Scholastic weather tools can help students improve their achievement in science and math, and in the use of computer and network technology. Monitoring real-time changes in the weather, along with collecting and analyzing the data itself, is fascinating to children. The advantage of having a digital weather station console indoors means that students can undertake weather measurement projects from the comfort of their classroom, an outdoor classroom weather station without having to go outdoors during inclement weather conditions.



There are several rock art traditions, including paintings and engravings associated with San hunter-gatherer societies, Khoikhoi herders, and early agriculturalists. Rock art was created for different reasons. It is widely accepted that most San art, and probably Khoikhoi art as well, are shamanistic religious art forms. Some early agriculturalist art was also made for ritual purposes.



Around 5 000 years ago, the Mesopotamians and Egyptians baked their bread in heated clay pots, placed upside down over an open fire. This was the first time that food was cooked with heat from all sides.  The Greeks later improved these ‘ovens’ by adding floors. In South Africa, pioneers often used hollowed-out anthills for their baking.



Before the 1930s, the kitchen was a separate room either outside the house or far away from the living spaces. Kitchen cabinets were freestanding, and there were no standardized countertop heights. A kitchen would have a sink, stove, and perhaps a china cabinet and water would have to be fetched from a well near the house. Designers developed more streamlined workspaces so women would spend less time in the kitchen, and the idea of the ‘work triangle’ (composed of a sink, refrigerator, and stove) was developed by Lillian Gilbreth.




1.5 – 3HRS

The Voortrekker Monument

Guided tour through the Hall of Heroes, Cenotaph and museum. Themes: Great Trek, pioneer’s way of life, the Voortrekker Monument. Special focus points can be accommodated upon request.
CAPS: Gr 1 – 12



Then & Now 1

Introduction: early societies – the San, bread baking, FDC-treasure hunting activity, Zulu hut, weather report, horse demonstration

CAPS: Gr 1 LS and Maths



Hunter-gatherer to modern man 4

Transportation, communication, the San, settlements, food, bread baking, FDC-treasure hunting, farming, water, the weather.



1.5 – 3HRS

Afrikaner Beacons Exhibit

Afrikaner heritage, Afrikaner Nationalism
CAPS: Gr. 8 – 12



Fort Schanskop

Guided tour, Anglo Boer War and boeresport



Package 1

Bread baking, Voortrekker Monument tour, Fort Schanskop and cannon shot

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