Adam Kok’s Epic Trek over the Drakensberg -1861 to 1863

The old Dobson Map of Basutoland (Lesotho) published in 1909 clearly indicates ‘AdamKok’s Road’ which he followed on his epic trek from Philippolis to Nomansland, later known as East Griqualand, where he established the town of Kokstad. This trek over the Drakensberg Mountains during 1861/63 must rate as one of the epic journeys undertaken during the 19th Century. This is how it happened.

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Basotho Women –Mothers to the Nation

Basotho Women – Each one a Mother to the Nation

Note : These comments are made from casual observations whilst working in three mountain areas of Lesotho some thirty to forty years ago. They are not the result of scientific study. During recent years much development has taken place in terms of building and improving roads, bus services, the establishment of water supplies and schools.

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I Slept Carelessly-A Shepherd’s Tale


It had been a very long tiring day bouncing about in a Land rover in the Lesotho Mountains, up and down steep bridle path tracks where there were no roads. We had held meetings with Basotho farmers in remote areas to introduce dipping and dosing methods to control external and internal parasites in sheep and Angora goats. At about nine o’clock that night we reached base at a Livestock Improvement Centre but we were so tired we merely put down our camp mattresses and rolled up in our blankets to sleep.

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My mother told me I won a prize dressed as a kewpie doll at a baby show or Fancy Dress Party held in the Mbabane Court House in 1925. Thank goodness, I do not recall the great event! However, twenty-one years later I sat in the same courthouse dressed in black legal gown and white neckpiece carrying out the duties of Registrar of the High Court of Swaziland.

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A Rookie on Trek in Basutoland 1954

I joined the Agricultural Department in Basutoland in May 1954 and, after a brief spell in Maseru, was posted to Mafeteng in July. I was still trying to get used to a new job, when in September the Agricultural & Livestock Officer in Mohales Hoek   [L Bischoff who helped me a great deal to find my feet] suggested I trek to Qhobeng to join him and Desmond Taylor, the District Commissioner, in Mohales Hoek .

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The Rising Ghost

My Uncle and Aunt lived in a fine stone house with black tiled roof situated on a high ridge overlooking the Westcliffe Flats and the Johannesburg Zoological Gardens.  We often stayed with them when we visited Johannesburg from Swaziland almost as far back as I can remember.

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A Pair of Boots

I remember with vividness the joy, the pride, the sense of owning something good that I felt when my father bought me my first full size adult cricket bat. This was about the time of the arrival in South Africa of the 1938 England  touring cricket side captained by the great Wally Hammond. My bat was a beautiful bat with straight broad grain and, at £ 3.5.0, very expensive.

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