Tourism, Accommodation and Historical Attractions in Natal, South Africa
The Natal Battlefields
The Towns of the Natal Battlefields: Weenen.
The Towns of the Natal Battlefields: Weenen
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In Afrikaans the name means "weeping" after the defeats suffered by the Voortrekkers at the hands of the Zulus at Bloukrans and Moordspruit.
Aya Jana who survived the attack at Blaaukrantz (Bloukrans) lies buried in the graveyard next to Sarie Marais (see Greytown). This small town is the second oldest town in the province and dates from 1838. Because of its relative isolation it is a very well preserved Voortrekker 'dorp'.
10kms from Weenen on the Muden road is an 'isivivane' - a large pile of stones six metres in diameter and one metre high. Stones were placed by travellers on the isivivane by picking up the stone with the toes of the left foot, transferring it to the right hand, spitting on it and throwing it on to the pile.
Weenen Game Reserve
. . . is administered by Ezemvelo Wildlife and covers an area of typical inland KwaZulu-Natal acacia grassland with occasional thickets.
There are extensive game viewing facilities, guided walks and environmental education for school groups at the Nyandu Bush Camp.
More than 230 species of birds have been recorded (there are two hides overlooking a dam) and the park is an excellent example of how a severely degraded habitat can be successfully rehabilitated. There are three picnic sites.
Mammals in the reserve include hyaena, jackal, bushbuck, reedbuck, steenbok and porcupine.
At the entrance to the reserve is the Siyanfundisana Zulu Handcraft Centre at which a variety of excellent local handicrafts may be bought. The Darkest Africa Caravan Park is the site of an archaeological dig that is yielding artefacts dating back to the Stone Age.
There are 12 caravan/camping sites and a 2 bedroomed cottage with a private waterhole and picnic site. The Impofu, Reclamation and Beacon View are short self guided trails around the reserve. Guides are also available 0363 41809.
The Mount Moriah Nature Trails are four easy to moderate trails through open savannah and forest. 033 4961660.
The excellent museum (also from 1838) houses a collection of Voortrekker artefacts and was constructed by Voortrekker leader Andries Pretorius whose waterwheel is one of the exhibits.
It has previously done service as a magistrates office, post office and a prison. Between 1907 and 1983 a narrow gauge railway connected Weenen with Estcourt and provided an outlet for its produce and was thus called the "Cabbage Express'.
PO Box 13, Weenen, 3325 10.00 - 12.00 & 14.00 - 16.00.