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Die Groot Trek/The Great Trek na/to Delogoabaai

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Tregardt Treks to Delagoa Bay (Maputo) Consequently on 23rd August 1837, the party headed South for a hundred miles and then east, leaving their little settlement and its graves. Illness continued to dog the party with the third of Tregardt's children being left buried in the veld. Ahead rose the massif of the mighty Drakensberg.

On 30th November 1837, after three months of arduous backbreaking effort, fording and refording rivers, hacking rough paths and double yoking spans of oxen together - and coping with arguments in his party as to the best route - Tregardt stood finally on the summit of the Drakensberg. The descent was as difficult as the ascent with the rear wheels removed from the wagons and replaced by trees acting as brakes.

Eventually the men despaired of finding a way down and the women undertook a reconnaissance of their own and found a comparatively easy descent so that two days before Christmas 1837, the worst was over. Coincidentally, Maritz was leading his trek over the Drakensberg into Natal some two hundred miles away at almost exactly the same time.

Their path now took them across what is now the Kruger National Park. Finally, they plodded into the fort at Delagoa Bay.

Tregardt Arrives in Delagoa Bay After two years away from any sort of civilization their joy was short lived. One by one the party came down with malaria and died. Mrs. Tregardt died on May 1st 1838. By October, Louis Tregardt was also dead of malaria. Almost a year later the remaining 25 of the party were taken to Port Natal (Durban). All except Tregardt's son Carolus who was charged with finding a less pestilential home for his people and dispatched in June 1838. The memorial to Trechardt in Maputo is at right.

The Travels of Carolus Tregardt Thus began a second epic adventure. Carolus first travelled up the Mozambique coast to Sofala, then 350 miles inland to what is now Zimbabwe. He ascended the Zambezi possible as far as Victoria Falls then sailed further north to Abyssinia. After exploring this area, he visited Madagascar before returning to Delagoa Bay - only to find that his companions had been evacuated to Port Natal.

He then travelled more than 500 miles on foot to meet them there, passing the site of the van Rensburg massacre where he buried their bones.

The Object of the Project is to give an account of the Great Trek, Identify participants and explore where they went.

In time a number of other projects can be created to explore in more detail different aspects of the subject. For example - the Battle of Bloodriver could be sub project.

To participate in any project......


...... you do need to first be a collaborator - so join the project. Look at the discussion Project Help: How to add Text to a Project - Starter Kit to get you going!

In order to join the project use the drop down menu at the top left of the screen and Join the Project. If this option is not available to you then contact a collaborator and ask to be added to the project. As a collaborator you will be able to edit this page.

How to Participate

  • Please add the relevant profiles of those who participated on the Great Trek (not their entire descendants - only those who were actually involved!) This is easily done from the profile page using the Add to project link.
  • If you have any related queries please start a discussion linked to this project. (See the menu top right).
  • Please add related projects to the menu on the right.
  • If you have links to related web pages that would be of interest to others please add them in the relevant section at the bottom of the page.
  • Add any documents of interest using the menu at the top right of the page, and then add a link to the document in the text under the heading below. If you do not know how to do this please contact one of the other collaborators to assist you.