Scott Balson's trip to South Africa -
21st September 2006 - Griquatown

Perth : Johannesburg : Pretoria : Pietersburg : Pilgrim's Rest : Ladysmith : Champagne Castle : Estcourt : Durban : Ixopo
Kokstad : Port Elizabeth : Plettenburg Bay : Cape Town : Victoria West : Griquatown : Mafikeng : Johannesburg : Perth

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Montage of photographs showing Griquatown today - near where Burchell drew the village on 5 June 1812 - image at this link

My research reveals that the road into Griquatown from Upington is clearly shown in Burchell's 1812 drawing and can form the overlapping key for mapping the exact location of all the elements shown in his historic drawing. Unlock the key at this link - then view Burchell's image linked above. A further clue is the small overlapping clump of trees visible in both images - they can be seen cutting the skyline in the centre of the picture above near the location of the original missionary settlement established by Anderson and Kramer pinpointed by Burchell.

With this key we are able to overlap Griquatown as it was in 1812 to Griquatown today using Google Earth - take this link for more.

More about the Griqua at this link

Today I met two Griqua Crown Princes in just a few hours - Andries Waterboer of Griquatown and Adam Kok V of Campbell. Even my host's gardener, Hans Waterboer, seen right, is descended from Kaptyn Andries Waterboer. 

Actually it was quite an amazing day of coincidences and exploration. After a late breakfast with my hosts Jim and Karien de Villiers I set out to meet Crown Prince Andries Waterboer - who posed for a photo with me under the bough where so many people had been hanged in the past. He told me that the last two people hung here were two bushmen who had killed their father. He also told me that the story about the Griquatown coins was rubbish, that they never circulated at Griquatown and that he had never seen one of them - except for the photos in the Mary Moffat Museum. He also gave me Adam Kok V's mobile phone number.

When I left Waterboer I drove towards Upington and, from the ridge above Griquatown where Burchell drew his picture of the village in 1812, climbed a water tower and took a series of photos of Griquatown today - the intention being to overlay these with Burchell's drawing so that I can pinpoint where the Mission station and other areas like the kraals were located.

While photographing I was approached by a few young Griquas who offered to take me to the mines where tiger's eye was mined - what an amazing excursion that was... just out of Griquatown on the Upington side there are 14 Griqua companies mining for this semi precious stone. I am calling it Griquatown Gold - as this is the only place in South Africa where tiger's eye is mined. I was able to secure two large raw pieces weighing about six kilogrammes for just ZAR100. Getting them on the plane with my luggage is an issue I still have to face!

Video taken at the tigerseye mines near Griquatown:

Image right: My hosts Jim and Karien de Villiers of the Griqua Guest House

Then after visiting the grave sites of Magrietta and Andries Waterboer I phoned Adam Kok V and organised to meet with him at about 1pm at Campbell... the 45 km drive was worth the time as he signed my travelling copy of "Children of the Mist" - as did Waterboer earlier.

Back to Griquatown and this time to be guided by Sarah, thanks to Hetta from the Mary Moffat Museum, to the graveyard of the first white woman to die north of the Orange River - Kramer's wife. Kramer was a missionary who helped the Griquas establish Klaarwater (later Griquatown) as a small village.

After viewing the grave site I visited the place where the spring flows forth through to Leeuwskuil - the pond where the fabled snake eats men - luckily it did not get me but I got great pictures!!

Finally I took a photo of the bell in the Mary Moffat Museum that Missionary William Anderson refers to in 1806 - saying that he paid 75 rix dollars from it - a donation of 50 from Mr Hoppe, a ht maker, and the balance from the London Missionary Society.

That night I enjoyed a bar-b-que with my hosts at the Griqua Guest House - highly recommended.

Interactive aerial map of Griquatown based on key revealed above.

Meeting with Crown Prince
Andries Waterboer under the
galgboom (execution tree)

The original Griqua Palace at

Flowers blooming among the
rocky terrain around Griquatown 

The water tower I climbed

Where Adam Kok's hut was
located according to Burchell

Where the Missionary Gardens
were located

Where the cattle kraals were

The rocky terrain on the bar
above Griquatown

Where I estimated Adam Kok
had his hut

The rocky terrain above


Tigers eye diggings near


The landscape

Tigers eye diggings

The raw stone unearthed

The pieces I bought

weighing several kilos

A mine director

and his crew

Tigers Eye samples

Magrietta Waterboer's grave

Andries Waterboer's grave

Meeting Adam Kok V in front
of the historic Bartlett Church

Strange signs!

Landscape between Campbell
and Griquatown

The Nederlandse Gereformeerde
Kerk in Griquatown

Mary Moffat Museum

A Griqua phone booth - you can
sleep while talking

The "pawn brokers" store -
where you get "bargians"

Location of the first Mission
Station established in 1805

Another old grave yard

Trees mark the source of the

The Griqua Graveyard -
too hard to dig

Rocky ground above Leeuwskuil

An old sheep kraal

Thorn tree

The harsh but beautiful setting

where Rev Kramer buried his

wife in 1812 (as it was c 1900)

Mrs Kramer's grave centre left

The spring at

Leeuwenskuil (Lion's Den)

An old fig tree from the 1800s

The mystical pond where the

snake preys on men

Sarah poses by the pond

The arable land Burchell refers to
in his book

The bell that Anderson refers to -
in the Mary Moffat Museum


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