Learn about The Great Trek at Pretoria’s Voortrekker Monument

The Voortrekker monument is near Pretoria, South Africa. But what was the Great Trek that it commemorates? Who were the Voortrekkers? And is it worth visiting?

What was The Great Trek?

THE Great Trek involved waves of pioneers called Voortrekkers migrating from the eastern frontier of South Africa’s Cape Colony during the 1830’s and 40’s.  They aim was to escape British rule and find their promised land.  Some 12-14 thousand primarily Afrikaans speakers dispersed northward and north-eastward.

Stunning Marble Frieze inside the Voortrekker Monument

Who were the Voortrekkers?

These Voortrekkers of South Africa were effectively pioneers and Boers of Dutch descent who decided to migrate Northwards to find their ‘promised land’. of the Dutch who had settle in South Africa.

They were pious, hardy and brave (and possibly a tiny bit bonkers heading off into the wild unknown).  Their experiences are comparable to those of the pioneers discovering America’s Wild West. Setting out to claim new land the Voortrekkers also travelled in covered wagons, which were pulled by oxen rather than horses. They had to contend with Zulus rather than Red Indians and encountered lions in lieu of wolves. Continue reading