Discover and Learn about the Famous People of Graaff-Reinet

Graaff-Reinet is about exploring the past, embracing the beautiful natural heritage of the surroundings, talking to locals about famous people who lived here and about discovering unusual places. With the town located on the famous Karoo ghost route, you are bound to hear about the Uniondale hitchhiker and some other scary stories. However, you will need a few days in the town to truly dig in and learn why this is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Karoo. So, we recommend making use of our affordable self-catering accommodation in Graaff-Reinet. With self-catering units, a central location, and beautiful surroundings, KarooRus quickly becomes a home away from home.

Now that you know why one day is simply not enough for discovering all the jewels of the Karoo and agree that booking affordable self-catering accommodation in Graaff-Reinet will enable you to spend time learning about all the Karoo’s secrets, culinary mastery of the people, language, hiking trails, museums and more, let us take a look at some of the famous people who came from this historical town.

Lourens Jacobus Wepener

Several of the Boer Republic leaders had Graaff-Reinet as birthplace, including the likes of Lourens Jacobus Wepener, noted for his bravery during frontier wars against the Xhosa. Lourens also fought against the Basotho nation during the first Basotho War. He was later killed in action against the Basotho tribe. If you visit the Hester Rupert Art Museum in Graaff-Reinet, you will be able to see a bust sculpture of him.

Anna Neethling-Pohl

Famous for her translation of Shakespeare’s plays into Afrikaans and her theatre performances, Anna was born in Graaff-Reinet in 1906. She received the Vaderland and Langenhoven Prizes for her contribution to Afrikaans literary art.

Andries Pretorius

Famous Boer leader, Andries Pretorius, was also born in Graaff-Reinet, on a nearby farm in the late 1790s. Andries played an integral role in the establishment of the ZAR and he was also celebrated for leading the Voortrekker pioneers against the mighty Zulu army at the Battle of Blood River. Pretoria, the capital of the country, is named after him and his son Martinus Wessel Pretorius, who became the first president of the ZAR, was also born in Graaff-Reinet.

Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe

Born in this Little Karoo town in 1924, Robert Sobukwe later went to mission school where he developed a passion for literature. He also studied at the Fort Harare University and later joined the Youth League of the ANC. He is remembered for his activism within the ranks of the ANC.

Thomas Charles John Bain

He was one of the best-known road engineers of the country and was involved in the construction of no fewer than 24 of the country’s mountain passes. Thomas was the son Andrew Geddes Bain, also renowned for his involvement in the construction of mountain passes. Born in Graaff-Reinet in the 1830s, Thomas is credited for his involvement in the building the magnificent Swartberg Mountain Pass.

Book affordable self-catering accommodation at KarooRus and take the time to discover many more interesting people and facts about this historical town.

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