A Family Day at Willem Prinsloo Agricultural Museum

The Willem Prinsloo Agricultural Museum, in Rayton, in the Gauteng Province of South Africa, offers insight into the history of South African farming, from the Stone Age right through to 1945. History is brought to life in a way that the entire family will enjoy, as visitors explore the two homesteads and the large surrounding farmyard, complete with vintage tractors, agricultural implements, horse-drawn wagons and domesticated farm animals.

The two furnished farmhouses, one of which was built in 1880 and the other in 1913, are packed with interesting items relating to the way of life of pioneering farmers. Animals in the farmyard include Ngu and Afrikaner cattle, Blackhead Persian sheep, chickens and Colebrook pigs. Two authentic Ndebele huts add to the charm and authenticity of the setting.

The Willem Prinsloo Agricultural Museum is open every day from 8am to 4pm, and by prior booking with the museum, visitors will be able to enjoy a number of demonstrations, including the old-fashioned traditional methods of candle-making, cow-milking, coffee bean roasting and the baking of bread in the outside oven. The farm stall, Tant Kotie se Kontant Winkel, has a range of homemade biscuits, jams, chutney, hand-crafted toys, colorful Ndebele beadwork, mampoer and other liqueurs that have been distilled on the premises.

The Willem Prinsloo Agricultural Museum hosts educational programs for learners which cover a variety of topics, such as the development of transport on land, food production, using water wisely, using energy from natural resources and traditional and indigenous music, dance and drama, as well as creative fun with clay.

The picnic and braai areas at the Willem Prinsloo Agricultural Museum are perfect for a bit of time-out from the hustle and bustle of daily life, and for those wanting a break from cooking their own food, Tant Miertjie se Kombuis, run by the granddaughter and great-granddaughter of Willem Prinsloo (both named Miertjie), serves up traditional South African cooking seven days a week. The venue is also popular for weddings and other special occasions, as well as offering conference facilities. The museum hosts three festivals each year, being the Mampoer Festival, Prickly Pear Festival and the Agricultural Museum Show.

Situated in close proximity to Pretoria and Johannesburg, the Willem Prinsloo Agricultural Museum provides a fun day’s outing for city-dwellers. If you are visiting sunny South Africa, you may want to include a visit to this charming tribute to South African agricultural history on your itinerary.