The thorn-bush landscape through which the Bushman River flows on its way to join the Tugela is cattle country and the river irrigates fields of vegetables, lucerne, groundnuts and citrus.
In 1838 a town was laid out here by the Voortrekkers and named Weenen - 'weeping' - in memory of the massacres of trekkers by Zulus.
The town retains much of the atmosphere of the early days. There is a museum containing Voortrekker relics in a building erected by the Voortrekker leader, Andries Pretorius. In the garden of the museum is a dilapidated watermill.
A narrow-guage railway was built in 1907 to connect Weenen to Estcourt, 47 km to the west. This line was a railway enthusiast's delight. The line led through hills covered in thorn bush and there were many bridges, gradients and sidings. Pythons inhabited the bush and as a protected species had the right of way over the train. Two steam locomotives hauled the train. Occasionally it was booked for special excursions by enthusiasts of steam railways.
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