Tourism, Accommodation and Historical Attractions in Natal, South Africa

The Natal Battlefields

The Vootrekker Trekwagon

The Trekker wagon had to be extremely sturdy and easily repaired in the field. It was known as the 'kakabeenwa' or 'jawbone wagon' from it's shape.

The Vootrekker Trekwagon

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There were several crossing places on the Orange River and once over, there were attacks by Bushmen but thereafter, the going was easier and the wagons resembled ships in a sea of grass. They were lighter and narrower than the wagons of the American west with a load capacity of about a ton.

Each was drawn by a span of sixteen oxen. The wagons moved at walking speed during the morning, rested at midday and covered a few more miles before evening. They were packed both with rough furniture, family heirlooms, farming equipment, seeds, coffee, sugar, gunpowder and other necessities. Hanging underneath were cages of chickens. Each evening, psalms were sung and every Sunday, there was a service - usually two.

Where the grazing permitted the party stopped for several weeks to fatten the stock, tend the wounded and sick animals, make butter and repair the wagons.

The Voortrekkers become divided over the final destination of the Great Trek.

Next: The Voortrekkers Decide where to Settle

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Natal Accommodation Guide
Natal Accommodation Guide
Natal Accommodation Guide