Journals of the Expeditions of the Honourable Ensign Olaf Bergh [1682 and 1683] and Isaq Schrijver [1689]

 

 

Transcribed and translated into English and edited with a foreword and footnotes by

Dr E.E. Mossop.

 

Author of Old Cape Highways

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Olaf Bergh

 

 

The Swede, Olaf Bergh, was one of the earliest travellers to undertake the journey up to Namaqualand.  The purpose of his journeys was to negotiate with the 'Sousequase and Gourisse Hottentots' , to trade and to familiarise himself with the region up the Cape west coast. Isaq Schrijver of Leiden was also sent north by Governor Simon van der Stel to barter for cattle and to look for minerals. Bergh has a parallel Dutch-English text while Schrijver is in English only.

 

 

 

'The place where we have lain was named Vervallen Casteel by us'

 

 

 

BYLAE A.

 

Dassenberghs Fonteijn.

Hierdie fontein is anderkant die noordelike punt van die berg nou bekend as Heerenlogementsberg. Die beroemde grot Heerenlogement lê kort bo die fontein op die hang, 5 à 6 myl oos van Maasrust (Berghfontein) en dieselfde afstand noord van Ratelfontein, stopplek op die lyn na Klaver. ‘n Mens kry swaar om daar te kom met ‘n motor oor die sandpaaie, want daar is maar min harde paaie in die Noordelike Sandveld. Bergh maak geen melding van die grot in sy joernaal en het nie sy naam daar ingekerf nie, ewemin as ander lede van Van der Stel se geselskap in i685. Die skrywer van die dagboek vermeld dat van Klipfontein—d.i. Berghfontein—hulle gekom het ,,onder den Dassenberg, alzoo genaamt om de menigvuldige Dassen, die zich in de klippen van dat gebergte onthouden, zynde de zelve vol holen en spelonken, gelykende zeer wel een oud en vervallen gebouw.

Op deze onze rustplaats was uitnement schoon gras, en bevogtigt met verscheide snel uitspruitende fon­teinen, gevende zeer zoet en aangenaam water, en het gebergte was overvloedig van brandhout voorzien. De Ed. Heer Commandeur deze namiddag den berg op wandelende, schoot onderweeg een klipspringer.”

Kaje Jesse Slotsboo in 1712 is die volgende bekende besoeker. Ook hier het hy en Casper Hem, waarskyn­lik beïnvloed deur die name by sy vorige rusplek, hul name op die rotswand van die grot ingekerf.

 

APPENDIX A.

 

Dassenberghs Fonteijn.

This spring is below the northern point of the mountain now known as Heerenlogements Berg. The famous cave of Heerenlogement (The Master’s Lodging House) is only a few minutes climb above the spring. It lies some ~ or 6 miles east of Berghfontein at Maas­rust and is to-day about the same distance north of Ratelfontein Siding on the line to Klaver. The approach is by sand tracks difficult for a motor car, for the North Sandveld has as, yet few hard roads. Bergh’s journal makes no mention of the cave and Bergh did not carve his name therein. Nor did any of the members of Van der Stel’s expedition 3 years later do so. The journalist of Van der Stel’s expedition writes that from Klipfontein (i.e. Berghfontein) they “came below the Dassenberg so called because of the numerous ‘dassen’ (conies) which live in the rocks of this mountain, the same being full of holes and caves so that it almost resembles an old and ruined building.

This day our resting place surpassed others in ver­dure and was moistened by divers quickly flowing springs providing most sweet and agreeable water, the mountain sides furnishing an abundant supply of fire­wood. His Excellency the Commander roamed about the mountain sides this afternoon and while there shot a klipspringer.”

Kaje Jesse Slotsboo in 1712 is the next known visitor, probably influenced by seeing Bergh’s name at his previous resting place, he and Casper Hem were the first to carve their names on the wall of the cave. They