Weenen - Battlefields
Weenen is a small rural town established by the Trekkers after avenging
the masscre at Bloukrans (nearby). It is the second oldest town in KwaZulu-Natal. The Weenen
Game Reserve (operated by KwaZulu Wildlife) has excellent game viewing
areas and a camp site.
In Afrikaans the name means "weeping" after the defeats
suffered by the Voortrekkers at the hands of the Zulus at
Bloukrans and Moordspruit. 10kms from Weenen on the Muden road is an
'isivivane' - a large pile of stones six metres in diameter and one metre
high. Stones were placed by travellers on the isivivane by picking up the
stone with the toes of the left foot, transferring it to the right hand,
spitting on it and throwing it on to the pile.
Game Reserve is administered by the KwaZulu Wildlife and covers an area of
typical inland KwaZulu-Natal acacia grassland with occasional thickets.
There are extensive game viewing facilities, guided walks and
environmental education for school groups at the Nyandu Bush Camp.
More than 230 species of birds have been recorded (there are
two hides overlooking a dam) and the park is an excellent example of how
a severely degraded habitat can be successfully rehabilitated. There are
three picnic sites.
Mammals in the reserve include rhino, giraffe, hyaena, jackal,
bushbuck, reedbuck, steenbok and porcupine.
Attractions in Weenen
Weenen Nature reserve
Weenen reserve has a small two bed roomed cottage with braai facilities and
its own trail and waterhole. There are 12 caravan and camping sites and a
There is a guided walk of 8kms and three self-guided trails
which pass dams.
The excellent museum (also from 1838) houses a collection of
Voortrekker artifacts and was constructed by Voortrekker leader Andries Pretorius
whose waterwheel is one of the exhibits.
It has previously done service as a magistrates office, post
office and a prison. Between 1907 and 1983 a narrow gauge railway connected
Weenen with Estcourt and
provided an outlet for its produce and was thus called the "Cabbage Express'.