Weenen – Place of weeping

Weenen introduction

The Drakensberg and the surrounding area has many fascinating villages and towns to visit. These include one of the lesser-known but exciting towns to visit, Weenen. This town is the second oldest pioneer community in KwaZulu-Natal, established in 1838 on the banks of the Bushman’s River. Pietermaritzburg, being the oldest. The meaning of Weenen – ‘The Place of Weeping’ in memory of Zulu-massacred Voortrekkers.


KwaZulu-Natal’s, Weenen offers a fascinating mix of history and eco/cultural tourism. Furthermore, a venue of a myriad of opportunities for daredevil thrill-seekers in this aptly named Adventure Valley. The second oldest primary school, Weenen Primary, exists in this town.

Weenen attractions

Weenen attractions include:

  • The Museum, over the years, served as a Court House, Jailhouse, School House, Trading Post, and Post Office. Not to forget the Office of, Voortrekker, Andries Pretorius;

  • Moreover, the NG Kerk, built in 1894, boasts a beautiful Pedal (Wind) Organ with its beautiful Pipes reaching up in the gallery; Two Indian Trading stores, buildings dating back to 1910 and 1920, respectively;

  • Also, the Walking Cane (isiVivane) approximately 6,5km’s from The Owl and Elephant Lodge toward Muden on the R74;

  • Illusion Hill, about 15 from the Owl and Elephant Lodge toward Muden on the R74. This is one of two documented hills of this nature in South Africa;

  • Furthermore,  Weenen KZN Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife’s Game Reserve established in 1975 and 5 000 hectares in extent. This attractive, undulating thornveld area is a valuable addition to the nature conservation areas of the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. There is 30 km of tourist roads available to view a wide variety of game. Species include black and white rhino, giraffe, kudu, hartebeest, eland, zebra, ostrich and common reedbuck, while such species as grey duiker, bushbuck, steenbuck, black-backed jackal, hyena and mountain reedbuck have recolonised the area naturally. Over 250 species of South Africa’s 840+- birds have been recorded in the reserve. Three picnic sites with toilets, running cold water, and barbeque facilities are available; one is at a view site overlooking the Bushman’s River valley. View several species of mammals and a variety of waterfowl at two game viewing hides (Ufudu and Mpofu) at watering holes. The reserve also offers a self-guided auto-trail for which a brochure may be obtained at the gate;

  • Additionally, Weenen is mainly a farming community, and Agri-Tourism is a novel concept in our area. By appointment, a guided tour can be arranged to a few farms. Small groups of early morning guided walks along with our furrow system and into the majestic hills of Weenen, for birding or purely to take in the views around Weenen, are arranged by appointment. (Deleene Wagner : The Owl and Elephant)

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