Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Kaalvoet Vrou (Barefoot Woman) Monument

At the top of Voortrekker Passstands a monument to a woman walking barefoot over the Drakensberg.  After the Voortrekkers entered Natal, which was a British Colony in those days, in 1847, there was a number of trekkers who wanted to return to the Free State.  Susanna Smit, sister of Gert Maritz, one of the Voortrekker leaders, declared that she would rather trek barefoot back over the Berg than live in Natal under British rule.

The monument was erected in 1977 and stands very close to the Voortrekker Pass Monument.  But that's another post.  I was Googling to try and find out if she actually ended up walking across the mountain barefoot.  It seems that she died in Natal which means that she never did.


  1. How sad that she was not able to do what she wanted to. But those words live on. Was at a floral art demo, and Mariolijn said - barefoot across the Drakensberg - the mostly Afrikaans audience was with her. Thanks to you, I have now caught on ;~) Diana of EE

  2. I love the old stories of the Voortrekkers, like Racheltjie too! Sorry Susanna never made it, but I am sure she had some incredible adventures!

  3. How nice to see a woman memorialized in history. Although kind of a sad story. But what a gorgeous view from the statue.

  4. So sad she never got the opportunity - although bare foot trekking would be pretty tough going!!!

  5. A lovely piece of our historical past.
    Another very dramatic real life drama of historical significance is that of yet another Voortrekker lady who is known as "Dina of the Sofala Trek". Read up on that bit of history and compare it with the easy life we live today!

  6. hi there, how far is the monument from the road? is it a hike or something else?

    1. It's been a few years since I've been there, but I did drive a few kilometers down the dirt road to get to it. The monument is very close to the parking spot though so no hiking needed.