South Africa
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The Hartenbos Museum is situated in Mossel Bay in the Western Cape, South Africa.

The Museum documents and focuses on the Voortrekkers (Boers / Dutch farmers) and the Great Trek. The Voortrekkers moved from the Cape in 1838 in search of land away from Colonial rule. They traveled over mountains and rivers with all they owned including cattle, oxen, furniture and horses.

There are ten halls, all with tastefully arranged exhibitions displaying various themes from the Great Trek to show the living conditions and way of life of the Voortrekker. The museum boasts a large collection of historical artifacts including ox wagons, household implements, weapons, clothing and other items used on a daily basis by the Voortrekkers.

The Museum was established in 1937 when the idea of the Symbolic Ox-wagon Trek of 1938, the re-enactment of the event that took place in the centenary year, originated in Hartenbos. It has a special hall commemorating this event. The main theme of the Museum is obviously the Great Trek (1835 to 1848) and the most important moments in the Afrikaner’s cultural history, however there is also a hall dedicated to the history of Hartenbos itself.

The Museum is a must see, especially for those interested in the history that shaped our country – it makes history come alive again!

Things to do and see

  • Symbolic Ox-wagon Trek Exhibition
  • Authentic shop
  • Preparing for the Great Trek
  • Recreation exhibition
  • Day to day chores exhibition
  • Repairing ox-wagons and formation of a Laager
  • Settling after the Great Trek
  • The History of Hartenbos


There is a nominal admission fee. Please contact the Museum directly to confirm rates.


Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 16˚C and 27˚C with high rainfall in March and October.

Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 7˚C and 21˚C with the lowest rainfall in June and July.


Commercial Airlines offer flights into George Airport, 50 km from Mossel Bay. Car hire facilities are located at the Airports. 

Please note that the Museum is closed between 13h00 and 14h00 every day

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