Things To Do in HeilbronVegkop Battlefield Monument & Museum
Where? Heilbron, Northern Free State
When? Best during daylight hours.
How? Call +27 (0)58 853-0781
How much? Free
The farmlands of the Northern Free State may be serene and scenic in our modern times, but these once soaked up the blood of hundreds of warriors who were vying for the land, its resources and ruling power over 19th century South Africa. This is the site of the Vegkop Battlefield Monument & Museum.
Vegkop was the battlefield for the violent encounter that took place between 35 Voortrekkers and an army of about 400 Matabele men in October 1836. As unlikely as it is, this battle is known for having only two casualties. The site was left deserted for many generations until, in the 1970ís, it was decided that it needs to be restored for the benefit of locals and the tourism industry as a whole.
The Vegkop Battlefield Monument & Museum includes some fascinating remnants of the people and villages that occupied this part of South Africa during the Iron Age. In addition, there are old stone kraals and the huts in which these folk lived centuries ago, a museum, and a memorial place for the two Voortrekkers that were killed in this famous battle, which was designed and sculpted by Coert Steynberg.
Vegkop Battlefield Monument & Museum is 25 kilometres from the little agricultural town of Heilbron. The entire area is known for its game farming, despite its being only about 80 kilometres from the urban epicentre of Johannesburg.