The Voortrekker road was used by Carolus Trichardt, the son of the Voortrekker Louis Trichardt.
He was commissioned in 1849 by the Transvaal government of the time to open up a regular route between the northern interior and Delagoa Bay.
Albasini's caravans were the main users of this road. Over the years his porters transported tons of goods from the coast and carried back loads of ivory. The trader Fernandes das Neves accompanied one of Albasini's caravans in 1860 and reported that it took 24 days to complete the 250 mile journey between the coast and Pretoriuskop.
The Voortrekker road was improved in 1896 by the trader Alois Nelmapius to cater for the transport of supplies to Lydenburg and Mac Mac, where gold had been discovered. The road was used a lot by transport riders on their way to Mozambique (then known as Portuguese East Africa).
The road descends from the mountainous Pretoriuskop sourveld into the rolling hills of mixed bushwillow woodland.
It was on this road that Jock of the Bushveld was born. Jock's story was written by his master, Sir Percy Fitzpatrick, a former transport rider who became a politician and businessman in the early 20th century.
Along this road you can still see the fence of the boma which was used during the first white Rhino relocation in Kruger Park, in which two bulls and 2 cows were released.
The main landmark on this road is Ship Mountain (662m). This mountain was used as a navigational aid by early pioneers and travellers. It is geologically distinctive from the surrounding granite countryside because it is made up of gabbro, a hardier relative of basalt.
Ship Mountain used to be a fort used by the Sotho people in the 18th century to protect themselves and their cattle against Swazi raiders coming in from the South. Sotho warriors would hide their families and livestock in the caves on the top of Ship Mountain and then use rocks to stop the Swazis from getting to the top.
At the foot of the mountain was a trading store run by Chief Manungu. He was part of Joao Albasini's trading empire.
Created: ; Last updated: