The Maitland Mines are several disused lead mines located on the Maitland River on the western outskirts of Port Elizabeth. Geologically the mine is located in rocks of the late Pre-Cambrian Gamtoos Complex, which is related in time to the limestones hosting the Cango Caves near Oudtshoorn.
Main picture: The late Brain Waspe at the Maitland Mines
Most of what is nowadays known as the Eastern Province was devoid of whites prior to the arrival of the 1820 Settlers. Notwithstanding that fact, a sprinkling of intrepid Dutch farmers did farm in the area between the Gamtoos River and the Great Fish River. By all accounts, it was a precarious existence at best. Not only were they at the mercy of marauding bands of indigenous tribesmen but they were also in danger from large predatory animals.
In spite of all these clear and present dangers, numerous indomitable adventurers also traversed this treacherous landscape. One such person was Henry Lichtenstein, a German medical doctor and a professor of natural history at the University of Berlin.
This is his story as recorded in his book entitled Travels in Southern Africa in the years 1803, 1804, 1805 & 1806.
Main picture: Henry Lichtenstein Continue reading