ox-wagon

Not Such A Stupid Ox After All

In Trekking The Great Thirst, Lieutenant Arnold W Hudson tells of some of the difficulties facing travellers into unexplored territory in the late 1800s. He was making his way into the Kalahari and stated that in this extremely dry part of Africa bullocks were invaluable.  “Indeed one can do nothing without them and in the […]

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Robert Grey’s arduous travels in the Karoo: 1848

In 1848, Robert Grey, the first Bishop of Cape Town almost frightened his wife, Sophy, to death with tales of his travels “through the waterless Karoo.” In one of his letters he wrote: “there was in fact no “road”, not even a tract through the arid wilderness and, to save the exhausted horses we many […]

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The Ghost Wagon Of The Great Karoo: 1887

Several old South African maps show the region between Ceres and Beaufort West as the “spokeveld” (ghost region). It was said to be one of the most heavily haunted areas of South Africa. In 1887, Major Alfred Ellis of the West India Regiment documented a tale in South African Sketches which, he said, had been […]

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Tough Trip To The Karoo

After several locust plagues and a severe drought, Maj-Gen Dundas, in 1801, sent a commission into the Karoo to investigate the situation.  Among them was William Somerville who recorded the trip in his journals, which have recently been published by the Van Riebeeck Society.  A train of six large bullock wagons was readied for the […]

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