Less than 200 km north of Pretoria, the majestic Waterberg plateau rises behind formidable ramparts that have long discouraged travellers and settlers. Reputedly used by President Kruger as a conveniently remote place to exile troublesome burghers, this rugged and scenic upland remained unknown to most South Africans until its development as an exclusive eco-tourism and hunting destination in recent years. Yet despite its prolonged isolation and sparse population from the earliest times, the Waterberg has experienced a long and vibrant history – which until now, has never been recounted in comprehensive, factual detail.
Waterberg Echoes tells the stories of the remarkable people who first settled the plateau and its surrounds, and their tribulations from war, disease, drought and governmental neglect. It describes, for the first time, the archaeological record, conflicts during the difaqane and the South African War, the saga of Herero migration from German South West Africa and the 1914 rebellion; the development of the towns surrounding the plateau, the plateau settlements, railways, and mining developments in the adjacent lowlands. The spread of religions and education across the region is detailed, together with the important role of politics, geology and changes in land use.
This major work embodies over a decade of research amongst local and distant archives, the incorporation of almost every previous account relating to the region and interviews with dozens of Waterberg residents, many of whom are no longer alive. Written in an informal style, whilst remaining scholarly in content and rigour, lavishly illustrated with maps and images and comprehensively indexed, Waterberg Echoes is destined to become the essential source book on the history of the region. It is a must-read for anyone having an interest in the Waterberg and its immediate surroundings.
About the author: Richard Wadley is a retired geologist and mining company executive. Since moving to the Waterberg in 2005 with his wife Lyn (an archaeologist, who wrote the chapter on that topic), he has been involved in one or other capacity with several community organisations, ranging from fire protection and conservation to governance of a small independent school. At the same time, he began to gather material for his growing interest in the history of the region, much of which had never been formally or accurately documented. This book, his first, is the culmination of that research.
- Book details: Hardcover, Colour throughout, No. of pages: 832, ISBN: 978-1-4853-0935-2 (hardcover)
- Publisher: Protea Boekhuis, Pretoria, Tel: 012 343 6279, Website: www.proteaboekhuis.com
- Publication Date: September 2019. Available in bookshops or from the publisher, at https:// www.proteaboekwinkel.com. Will also be available via Takealot, Loot, Amazon etc; and as an e-book.
- Recommended Retail Price: R995