train

A Narrow Passage And A Name Forever – 1884

When the railway line from the Karoo to Port Elizabeth was constructed in 1884, it had to pass through a very narrow pass between the Kikvorsberg and the Agter-Rhenosterberg mountains. The local Dutch-speaking community referred to this as “naauw poort” (the narrow pass). A village was established in 1894 in this strange little triangle of […]

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On a troop train in the Karoo, 1900

On February 4, 1900, Dr Howard Tooth, a British doctor serving at a Cape military hospital received orders to travel to Modder River. It was “at the front” and he was apprehensive. He wrote to his wife stating that he was not taking much in the line of civilian clothing because he was to be in […]

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Travelling through the Karoo in the 1940s

A South African policeman escorting refugees discovered there was much more to the Karoo than he’d been led to believe. During WWI, after the German forces were beaten in South West Africa, Sam Cowley was detailed to take some German refugees from Roberts Heights (Voortrekkerhoogte), outside Pretoria, to Cape Town, so that they could return […]

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