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Educational Tours

Please note that not all of the destinations in South Africa is listed on this page, only the main attractions, but feel free to contact or visit us for any further inquiries and we will send you an updated list.

CSI-BONO

The Sci-Bono Discovery Centre, Southern Africa’s largest science centre, is affiliated to the Gauteng Department of Education to support maths, science and technology education and to help build to South Africa’s science, engineering and technology capacity. Sci-Bono is responsible for implementing the Gauteng Mathematics, Science and Technology Education Strategy.

 

Sci-Bono started as a partnership project of the Gauteng Department of Education and various private sector partners. Located in the historic Electric Workshop in the cultural precinct of Newtown, Johannesburg, Sci-Bono annually receives hundreds of thousands of visitors to its a large collection of interactive science and technology exhibits and exhibitions. Sci-Bono also offers a broad programme of science and technology related events, activities and programmes for both the general public and the school community. Sci-Bono is now one of the most popular leisure and educational destinations in Gauteng.

 

Sci-Bono is a Non-Profit Company funded by its principal, the Gauteng Department of Education, It also benefits from grants and donations from donors in the broader public and private sector. Sci-Bono is also supported by various scientific and engineering bodies in industry and by the diplomatic community in South Africa.

Lethabo Power Station

Location: Between Vereeniging and Sasolburg in the Free State.

History:

Construction of Lethabo started in 1980. Extensive environmental studies were conducted in accordance with Eskom’s Environmental policy. It was established that the rehabilitation programmes implemented as part of Eskom’s normal operations would contribute considerably to the restoration and revaluation of the whole area.

 

The station comprises of six 618MW Production Units. A Production Unit consists of one boiler, a turbine and generator. Power is produced at 20kV and at 13.5kA and send to a step-up transformer where the voltage is increased to 275kV for efficient transmission.

 

The first set of Lethabo Power Station’s six generating units went into commercial operation in December 1985. The last of the generating sets were commissioned in December 1990. A unique aspect of Lethabo is the unusually low grade and quality of coal that is burnt in the power generation process. The coal burnt has an average calorific value of about 16 MJ/kg. Very few power stations can burn this quality of coal, with most boilers requiring coal fuel of values in excess of 20 MJ/kg. At full load, the power station consumes about 50,000 tons of fuel per day.

 

The ash content of the coal ranges between 35% and 42%, which means that the power station produces approximately 20,000 tons of ash per day. After mining operations, the open pit is filled with spoils and over burden, which was removed during mining. Ash is deposited onto this area to a level of 50 meters above ground level. The ash dumps (mountains) are covered with 350mm of fertile soil and revegitated, covered with grass.

 

During site clearing 350 hectares of Bluegum plantation had to be removed. 190,000 Bluegum trees were cleared over a period of five months. Removal of the trees saw a significant increase in the underground water table. Due to this, a very sophisticated piling foundation system for all the major structures were required. The piles were installed in competent soil layers at depths of more than 25 meters, and the top 15 meters of each pile was isolated from the upper layers of heaving clays. In total, 11,000 piles were sunk and foundations were then constructed on these piles. A 750mm void was left under the foundations to allow for expansion and contraction of the underlying soils. At the time of construction, the piling contract at Lethabo was the largest contract of its kind in South Africa.

 

Lethabo Power Station is also termed a ZLED-station (Zero-Liquid-Effluent-Discharge). This means that the whole station is a closed system and no water from our processes are allowed to leave the power station premises. An extensive water recycling and cleaning desalination is in place

Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum

The Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum, situated in Orlando West, Soweto, commemorate the role of the country’s students in the struggle against apartheid. The two commemorative sites are just a few blocks from where 12-year-old Hector Pieterson was shot in 1976.

On 16 June 1976, Soweto high school students took to the streets in a peaceful protest against the mandatory use of Afrikaans as a language of instruction in black secondary schools.

The students planned to meet at Orlando Stadium before marching to the regional offices of the Department of Bantu Education, where they intended raising their grievances with the authorities. They carried placards that read, “Away with Afrikaans”, “Amandla awethu” (“Power to the people”) and “Free Azania” (“Free South Africa”), and sang Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika (God Bless Africa), now the national anthem of South Africa.

On the way to the stadium, they were met by the police, who ordered them to end the march and disperse. A violent confrontation ensued, in which students threw stones and police fired shots. News of the events in Soweto soon spread, igniting uprisings around the country in which more than 550 people died. One of the first to die on June 16 was Pieterson.

Sam Nzima, a photographer for The World newspaper in Johannesburg, was in Soweto, covering the riots. His iconic image of Pieterson’s body being carried by high school student Mbuyisa Makhubo, with his sister, Antoinette Sithole, running alongside, is a graphic representation of repression under the apartheid regime.

In the early 1990s, the Hector Pieterson Memorial was erected on Khumalo Street, not far from where Pieterson was shot. On 16 June 2002, the Hector Pieterson Museum opened on Maseko Street. The museum, dedicated to preserving the memory of the 1976 uprising, is home to a collection of oral testimonies, pictures, audiovisual displays and historical documents relating to the Soweto uprisings. Together with the memorial, it commemorates those who died in the uprisings, and celebrates the students’ role in the struggle for freedom.

Today, 16 June is National Youth Day, a day on which the country remembers the youth of 1976.

JOHANNESBURG PLANETARIUM

The history of the Johannesburg Planetarium begins in the year 1956, when the Festival Committee, instituted to organise the celebrations in that year of the seventieth anniversary of the founding of the city, decided that it would be most fitting to mark the occasion by raising the funds needed to buy and house a Zeiss Planetarium.  Since timing was a matter of importance, and since it was soon found that it would not be possible to obtain a new instrument within a period of less than a year, it was decided to try and buy one of the existing instruments in Europe.

With the assistance of the manufacturers, and after prolonged negotiation, the Festival Committee succeeded in inducing the City Council of Hamburg to sell the instrument which had been in use in that city since 1930, on condition that the projector would be fully modernised in the Zeiss factory at Oberkochen, and that a new instrument would in due course be built for Hamburg.

The Hamburg projector was therefore immediately dismantled and moved to Oberkochen for complete overhaul and, in time, was completely rebuilt, while all the additional apparatus and improvements developed since it was originally built were added.  The result – a Zeiss MkIII – was an instrument as modern and complete as any in the world at the time.

VOORTREKKER MONUMENT

The majestic Voortrekker Monument is situated in the northern part of South Africa in the Pretoria (Tshwane) region in a nature reserve. It is a unique Monument which commemorates the Pioneer history of Southern Africa and the history of the Afrikaner and is situated in a beautiful setting. Today it is the most visited heritage site of its kind in Gauteng and one of the top ten cultural historical visitor attractions in the country. The Monument also manages the Blood River Heritage Site.

Callinen Diamond Mine

Since the discovery of diamond pipes in the world, it was established that the Cullinan Diamond Pipe is the oldest diamond pipe in the world. In 1905 only a mere 9 metres from surface the world’s biggest rough diamond the CULLINAN at 3106ct was found.

Interesting Facts

  • The word diamond comes from the Greek word “adamas” meaning invincible.
  • Cullinan Diamond Mine is a carrot shaped volcanic pipe and has a surface area of 42 hectares – about 40 soccer pitches.
  • The origin of diamonds creates an atmosphere of mystique and romance.
  • The Cullinan Diamond 3106ct was given to King Edward the VII on his 66th birthday from England. The diamond was posted to England under normal package post.
  • A diamond is the hardest natural substance known to man (10 on the Mohs scale) where talcum powder being the softest (1 on the Mohs scale) softer than human skin.
  • A 1.00ct diamond weighs .2g, the weight of the famous Cullinan Diamond 3106ct was 621.2g

SOUTH AFRICAN AIR-FORCE MUSEUM

The South African Air Force Museum houses, exhibits and restores material related to the history of the South African Air Force.

It contains a number of Dassault Mirage IIIs, Dassault Mirage F1s, Atlas Cheetahs and various other historical aircraft as well as aviation-related items on display such as ejection seats, uniforms, aircraft engines, aircraft weaponry and a Cheetah C flight simulator.

THE STERKFONTEIN CAVES

An hour’s drive from Johannesburg and Pretoria, the Sterkfontein Caves are world famous for their fossil finds and a well-known visitor destination. After an extensive face-lift in 2005, the Sterkfontein Caves site is home to a top restaurant, conferencing facilities, easy access to the caves themselves, modern walkways and a boardwalk past the excavation site where world-acclaimed fossils have been discovered.

The Sterkfontein Caves are owned by the University of the Witwatersrand, whose scientists have been responsible for the main excavations of the World Heritage Site. They are credited with many of the famous discoveries including the world famous “Mrs Ples” and “Little Foot”, an almost complete Australopithecusskeleton dating back more than 3-million years.

The tours at the Sterkfontein Caves, which start above ground and then take visitors deep into the caves, run every half hour, seven days a week.

THE DITSONG NATIONAL MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY

The Ditsong National Museum of Natural History formerly known as the Transvaal Museum was founded as the Staatsmuseum of the ZAR on the 1st of December 1892.  And it has, since then acted as custodian and documentation centre of South Africa’s natural heritage.  The Museum’s collections and exhibits include hominid fossils from the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site and associated fauna, including Mrs Ples [the nickname attributed to a fossil skull believed to represent a distant relative of all humankind]; fossils, skeletons, skins and mounted specimens of amphibians, fish, invertebrates, reptiles and mammals.  On these collections are based the Museum’s educational programmes, research is done and information is communicated to all people of South Africa as well as to the international community.  The Ditsong National Museum of Natural History is the only natural history museum in Gauteng and one of the largest in South Africa.  It is unique in that it is the only institute in South Africa that offers the local, national and international community the opportunity to view its collections including original fossil material usually denied the public.

ELEPHANT SANCTUARY

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The Elephant Sanctuary – South Africa – has three African Elephant Sanctuaries across three provinces in Southern Africa. The Elephant Sanctuary, started in 1999, grew from five elephants to a total of twelve African Elephants (Loxodonta Africana). These Elephants have been domesticated through positive reinforcement animal management principles, and as a result, provide us with the unique opportunity to interact with them. Visitors are taken on a journey into the world of the African elephant and are guided through an unforgettable experience with these magnificent creatures. Visitors are able to touch, feed and get to know these animals. The Elephant Sanctuary is unique in that it offers visitors the incredible opportunity to walk hand-in-trunk with the elephants. Enter the world of the Elephant with Elephant Back Riding. Bare-back Elephant Back Riding enables us as humans to feel the power and bulk of an elephant in contrast with the quietness, delicateness and grace of these mammoth creatures’ movement as they walk/glide across the ground. Understand the height at which an elephant stands and experience their environment from an elephant’s perspective.

HARTBEESPOORT DAM AQUARIUM

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The Hartbeespoort Aquarium, which was established about 45 years ago is still operating, and is a well-known landmark in the Melody area. It is the only freshwater Aquarium in South-Africa, and boasts a variety of both indigenous and tropical freshwater fish.The Aquarium has an education through conservation policy, striving to educate the public, as well as to provide a safe haven for orphaned animals. Aquatic animals are housed, like the Cape Fur Seal, African Penguins, Great White Pelicans and Nile Crocodiles just to mention a few. Their shows with the Seals, Pelicans, Penguins and Crocodiles are both educational and entertaining.

List of other educational excursion tours:

Gauteng Province

  • Askari lodge museum
  • Benoni museum
  • Besusan museum photography
  • Dintsong museum of natural history
  • Museum of military
  • Hechter -shulz museum
  • James hall museum
  • Kromdraai gold mine
  • lindfied victorian house museum
  • Pretoria Art museum
  • Sharpville Township and memorial
  • The pierneef house museum
  • Smuts house museum
  • Older museum of medicine
  • Kruger house museum
  • Mandela house
  • Hector Peterson museum
  • Peacemakers museum
  • Sammy marks museum
  • Wits Art museum

North West Province

  • Dinkwaneng
  • Goetz Fleischack museum
  • Mphebatho Cultural museum
  • Portchefstroom museum
  • President pretorius museum
  • Totius house musuem
  • Klerksdorp museum
  • President kruger museum

Mpumalanga

  • The Blyde River Canyon
  • The Kruger National Park
  • God’s Window
  • Kadishi Tufa Waterfall
  • Bourkes’s Luck Potholes
  • Sudawala Caves
  • Lowveld Botanical Gardens