4x4 journey ends at Blood River heritage site


Words: Gerhard Groenewald

After visiting the Church of the Vow in Pietermaritzburg the 4x4 commemoration tour started packing up to head back to Gauteng.

En route the “trek” group left the N3 and headed for Glencoe and Dundee to end the commemorative journey at the Blood River (Ncome) heritage site. Here the convoy was met by a horse commando which escorted the vehicles to the monument.

The 4x4’s were parked inside the laager, consisting of 60 wagons and 3 cannons made from copper, and camp was set. A commemorative plaque was unveiled in the centre of the laager and most of the group spent the night inside the simbolic ox wagons.

The following day the group visited Umgungundluvo as well as the final resting place of Retief close to Uliundi before finally packing up for the trip home.

“We have successfully concluded our journey which started at Post Retief in the Eastern Cape nearly two weeks ago. As expected, we had no mechanical problems, and while we had to negotiate some tough terrain we have had no flat tyres,” said “trek leader” Gerhard Groenewald.

“The logistics team worked very hard to feed 34 people every day and during the course of this trip they prepared more than 1 500 meals! However, we encountered no serious problems, the worst being someone stung by a horse fly and another who hurt her toe...”

Dr. Danie Langner, chief executive of the FAK, said the 4x4 “trek”met its objective by giving meaning to the Great Trek and Retief’s contribution to this historical event in a modern context.

“The journey has made tangible the challenges, disappointments, defeats and victories the erstwhile poineers experienced. The trekkers never really foresaw or realised what major consequences their actions would have, and this is what makes this chapter in our history so remarkable.”

The commemorative trek was supported by 4x4 Megaworld (camping and other 4x4 gear), Goodyear (tyres, as well as support from its countrywide Hi-Q dealer network) Jurgens Trailers (off-road trailers) and National Luna (lighting and portable fridges).

A documentary on the journey wil be aired on KykNet. The trip can also be followed online at www.fak.org.za, www.klipbokkop.co.za, as well as on www.kyknet.co.za, www.weg.co.za, www.wegry.co.za, www.rapportinrat.co.za en www.caravansa.co.za.

For more information about the commemorative 4x4 “trek”, please contact Gerhard Groenewald at or on tel. 082 4116998.