South Africa // Gauteng //

The Voortrekker Monument

The famous Voortrekker Monument and Museum, in stark contrast to The Freedom Park, is very much a symbol of Afrikaner domination in the old South Africa. The striking, austere block of granite was built in 1940 to commemorate the Boer victory over the Zulu army at Blood River on December 16, 1838, and its symbolism is crushingly heavy-handed. The monument is enclosed by reliefs of ox wagons, with a large statue of a woman standing outside, shaking her fist at imaginary oppressors. Inside, a series of moving reliefs depicts scenes from the Great Trek, and you can climb to the top of the tower for a peek down into the hall, or for dramatic views of the surrounding nature reserve. This has various hiking and mountain-bike trails, leading to lookout points over Pretoria. You can also explore the reserve on horseback (book in advance).