Old Voortrekker Road, World’s View

To the north west of Pietermaritzburg the slopes of Swartkop, a peak of the Boesmansberg, rise gradually to the top and then suddenly form a natural platform from where one has an unparalleled view of the town and the Msunduzi Valley.   This observation  post bears  the appropriate name of World’s View.

World’s  View,  however,  is  not only  a  natural  monument,  but also  worth  seeing  from  a historical point of view.  Since the arrival of the Voortrekkers in these parts during 1838, the only road from Durban to the Drakensberg followed this route via Pietermaritzburg for many years.  It leads from Pietermaritzburg over the slope of the mountain across World’s View and the hills as far as Allemansdrift in the Umgeni River.

The road most probably followed an old footpath but it is unknown which of the Voortrekkers first ventured to cross these heights in their wagons.   In some places the marks left by the brake shoes on the layers of rocks can still be seen and the whole route can be followed with ease.   In October 1838 Pieter Greyling settled at Boesmansrand, where the town of Pietermaritzburg was later laid out, and after that there was regular traffic from Port Natal and from the interior across this pass.