Cradock Excursions - Olive Schreiner's Grave


About Cradock Excursions - Olive Schreiner's Grave

Cradock Excursions - Olive Schreiner's Grave

Olive Schreiner, her husband, Samuel Cron Cronwright, their baby and their dog, were buried in a sarcophagus on top of Buffelskop on the farm Buffelshoek, 24km south of Cradock, on the Mortimer Road.

From the top of Buffelskop one gets a beautiful view across the Great Fish River Valley, the sight which so impressed Olive herself and which was the reason for her decision to be buried there.  The walk up the mountain and visit to the grave site (420 meters higher than the parking place) is only recommended for those who are reasonably fit and who are interested in Olive Schreiner or who particularly wish to see the view from there since at least half a day is needed to complete the trip.

A water bottle should be considered essential while binoculars can be useful in identifying certain landmarks from the summit as well as birdwatching.  You will be well advised to study up the life and times of Olive Schreiner prior to your ascent up Buffelskop. A visit to both Olive Schreiner House and the Olive Schreiner Room at the Library are also recommended.

Wild animal life:  mountain reedbuck is usually to be seen on the mountainside.  On the flats one can see the occasional steenbok and other smaller Karoo animals and vermin.  No flora of significance has been noted.

On one occasion in 1986, during a locust plague, hundreds of scorpions were seen catching the locusts in the areas near the foot of Buffelskop.

Permission is required to visit the grave site.
Contact: Mr Brian Wilmot – Tel: 048 881 5251 or 072 173 9906

Directions to Cradock Excursions - Olive Schreiner's Grave

Distance from Cradock Town Hall: 24 km to place where vehicle is left before the ascent on foot.

GPS co-ordinates of tomb: 32°16’40"; 25°37’25".

A bakkie is preferable to a car, but the farm roads are possible in a car with a fair ground clearance.

How to get there:  leave the centre of town on the Middleburg road and, after crossing the river, take the first left (the "Halesowen" road).  Take the first turning right to the farm "Buffelshoek", exactly 3,2 km from Halesowen station.

Just less than 2 km after this turnoff you will drive past the farm house and outbuildings.  Just past the outbuildings turn left through the gate, follow the farm track for a further 4 km and park your vehicle at the end of this track.

Buffelskop, on which the grave is erected, is the northernmost peak in front of you.  There are two peaks of equal height situated less than a kilometre from each other, so be sure to ascend the correct one, which is the one on your right hand side as you ascend.

If you choose to take a direct route upwards then you will have to clamber up two kranzes, which will be no problem for the more agile climber.  The grave is situated on the highest point of the mountain, about 20 meters east of the border fence running up the mountain in a north – south direction.

It is recommended that you return the same way you came as alternative ways are littered with loose stone and are potentially more hazardous.

Timing:  the drive from Cradock to the place where you park your vehicle should not take longer than three quarters of an hour. The tarred section itself will take less than 15 minutes but the farm track severely reduces one's progress.  A visitor can typically take about 1 hour 45 minutes to ascend  Buffelskop at a leisurely pace depending on how much time he takes to catch his breath and enjoy the view.

You need to allow between 15 to 60 minutes on the summit to sit and enjoy the scenery.

The descent, at an average pace, will take about 1 hour 30 minutes. A full half-day is thus needed to complete this trip.

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