Sneeuberg

Drought, rain and Hail in the Karoo

The Karoo is a place of fascinating contrasts. The Graaff-Reinet Herald of Thursday, March 28, 1889, reported that “a warm gentle warm rain during the past week broke a dry spell, but in the Camdeboo the mountains are thickly covered with snow. We anticipate a continuance of the delightfully bracing cold weather that set in […]

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Hunting in the Sneeuberg, 1856

In mid-July 1856, Robert Bain of Quagga’s Valley (one of William Southey’s farms), and George Murray of Naudesberg (in the Sneeuberg north of Graaff-Reinet), with his youngest brother Walter, rode over the mountains to the extensive flats around Cephanjes Poort, Kolhoek and Zaayfontein, to hunt mainly  wildebeest and springbok. According to The Graaff-Reinet Herald of July […]

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Locusts, drought, and devastation in the Graaff-Reinet district

The Cape passed into British hands in September, 1795, yet, by 1797 when Lord McCartney, became governor, there was still scant interest in the hinterland. Their only concern was that the Cape’s meat supply came mainly from Graaff-Reinet and some lesser interior districts. In journals reporting on his journeys to the Eastern Frontier, William Somerville […]

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Nieu-Bethesda: Owls, Pilgrims and explorers

The attractive little town of Nieu-Bethesda, established in 1875, lies in the southern foothills of the Sneeuberg. Over it towers Compassberg, which at 2 502m is the highest peak of the range. This mountain was named by Governor Joachim van Plettenberg and Colonel Jacob Gordon in 1778 because from its summit they could “encompass a […]

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To the top of Compassberg

In 1840, an Indian Army Officer left his mark at the top of Compassberg, a mountain on the outskirts of Nieu-Bethesda. Major Walter Stanhope Sherwill was on long leave from Bengal and decided to visit South Africa. He initially sailed to Cape Town, where he explored for a while and then continued on to Port […]

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Who built the ancient walls in the Seekoei River Valley?

Archaeologist Garth Sampson started working on a large-scale, long-term project in the 1970s.   Over the years, this project developed into the largest surveyed archaeological site in Africa and the best known research project in the Karoo, states the summer 2011 issue of Karoo News, the Nama Karoo Foundation newsletter.  The inspiration for this Zeekoei Valley […]

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