Things To Do in PietermaritzburgVoortrekker - Msunduzi Museum
Where? 351 Longmarket Street, Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu Natal.
When? Monday to Friday from 09h00 to 16h00 and Saturday from 09h00 to 13h00.
How? Call +27 (0)33 394-6834
How much? Falls into price group R1 to R100 per person. Confirm with the provider.
Voortrekkers is Afrikaans/Dutch for pioneers but literally means 'those who trek ahead'. The Great Trek (Die Groot Trek) refers to a number of mass movements of these five groups of local Afrikaans pioneers who, disenchanted with the then British rule of the Cape Colony, migrated to the inland of South Africa by oxwagon from 1835 founding the 'Rebulica of Natalia' at Pietermaritzburg in 1839.
Many Voortrekker battles followed also involving the local Zulu tribe. Five adjacent buildings on site at the Voortrekker Museum comprise the multi-cultural preservation of all that is South African history. The Main Building serves as a gallery for South Africa's democratic history. The original 1840 Church of the Vow built to fulfil the Voortrekkers' vow to preserve their heritage is now The Voortrekker Complex. Anglo-Boer War exhibitions are housed in original 1849 Voortrekker architecture at 333 Boom Street. The Zulu Hut educates on tribal lifestyle and Shiva Indian Temple represents South African Hindu communities heritage.
Relics of note include the second oldest oxwagon in South Africa (1824); original Voortrekker clothing; authentic rifles; a prayer book belonging to former Voortrekker leader Piet Retief; genuine lifestyle memorabilia; a replica of a Hindu Shiva; the original house of Andries Pretorius who was a victorious commander at the Battle of the Blood River; artefacts; sculptures; collage of the role of the African people in the Boer War (Farmer War); African beads from the Royal Residence of King Dingane as well as King Dingane's carved chair and headrest.
The museum also has an auditorium for educational presentation, a shop and restaurant.