Price range, per nightmin R max R
*All distances listed are as the crow flies, and not actual travel distances.
Situated in one of South Africa’s most scenic of places, the Hartenbos Museum exhibits everything Voortrekker-related as well as provides information on the history of Hartenbos town. The Voortrekkers were Dutch colonists who tried to escape British rule by travelling inland in what is today known as the Great Trek. This epic journey began in 1838 and lasted 13 years, and is immortalised at the Hartenbos Museum, as is the lifestyle of the people who participated.
The museum is divided up into sections that tell a story from the time of preparing for the trek, to the daily tasks and the many challenges they faced. Dioramas of men repairing a wagon to women and children preparing meals bring the scenes to life, while many of the tools and products on display are authentic and collected over many years. These include household items, clothing and weaponry. An interesting exhibit is that of the laager formation, a method of using ox wagons to protect their camp.
In 1938, a symbolic ox wagon trek took place and ended in Pretoria where the foundation stone of the Voortrekker Monument was laid. This trek is also depicted at the museum for visitors to appreciate the immenseness of the journey. A typical shop of the 1930s era is portrayed.
The museum is open Monday to Friday all day – except at lunchtime, and for a few hours on Saturday mornings. It’s easily reached off the main N2 highway that runs along this section of the Garden Route. There is a small entrance fee to access the museum which is well worth visiting to learn more of the Voortrekker and their place in South Africa’s history.