| South Africa|
Weenen (ancient Dutch for "to weep") is the second oldest European settlement in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. It is situated on the banks of the Bushman River. The farms around the town grow vegetables, lucerne, groundnuts, and citrus fruit. The town was laid out in 1838 at the site of a massacre by the Zulus following Voortrekker settlements in the area near the royal kraal of Dingane. A now-closed narrow gauge railway was built in 1907 to connect the town to Estcourt, 47 kilometres to the west.
The 6,500 ha game reserve is administered by KZN Wildlife and covers an area of typical inland KwaZulu-Natal acacia grassland with occasional thickets. The reserve offers extensive game viewing facilities, guided walks, environmental education, and three picnic sites. More than 230 species of birds have been recorded (there are two hides overlooking a dam) and the park is a good example of the successful rehabilitation of severely degraded habitat. Mammals in the reserve include rhinoceros, giraffe, hyaena, jackal, bushbuck, reedbuck, steenbok and porcupine. The game reserve has a small two-bedroom cottage with BBQ facilities and its own trail and waterhole. There are 12 caravan and camping sites and a picnic site. A guided walk of 8 km can be taken, and three self-guided trails which pass dams.
The major summer activity is white-water rafting, and the most exciting time to do this is between November and May. The 30 km stretch of river known as the canyon provides some of the most thrilling white water in the country. The South African leg of the Camel White-Water Challenge took place at Zingela in Weenen.
The 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 magistrate's 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'.
PO Box 13, Weenen, 3325 Times: 10.00 - 12.00 & 14.00 - 16.00