Valentyn stayed over at the Cape for short periods between 1685 and 1714. He did not have time to travel in the interior, the furthest points visited Stellenbosch and Hottentots-Holland in 1705 and for his descriptions of the interior relied on other writers. His map of the Cape is a prized possession and was the work of an experienced cartographer but was probably based on older maps and new information supplied by Valentyn.
EXTRACT FROM THE TEXT
……them to the sail-maker in our ship, when in 1695 I journeyed homewards He as an old man had the misfortune to lose his ship, named Stavenis, on the 16th of February 1686, having sailed from Bengal on the 18th of December i685. This was due to mere carelessness of the Mate, who was on watch and was twice warned of heavy breakers ahead by the look-out and by the people on the forecastle-head, but who threatened to kick their backsides since they were fully 200 miles from the coast. Thus they were wrecked on the mainland of the Cape, but still very far from the Table Bay. All the crew got ashore except for 13 who were lost or drowned in the heavy surf. The Master, Willem Knyf, was no sooner ashore than some Hottentots came to him, and informed him that somewhat further North a ship had been wrecked, with white men aboard, which they took to be English. With these they resolved to build a vessel from the pieces and scraps, and sail her to the Cape. This being done, the Master, Knyf, sailed with 10 sailors and some Englishmen, reaching the Cape at the beginning of March; but the rest of his crew, about 48 in number (among whom was this sail-maker) did not dare to sail in this vessel, and went inland, to see if they could thus reach the Cape.
As soon as they were come somewhat inland they met some cattle-owning Hottentots, who not only received them in a very amiable and friendly manner, and fed them for 2 years with the meat and milk of their beasts, but also showed them all imaginable friendship and affection to the best of their ability, and at last brought them safe to the Castle.
By their long stay among these Hottentots most of them had learnt their language, and there were also some, who (for lack of better) had so far become intimate with some Hottentot women, that they had fathered some children on them, and some of these, in acknowledgment of the love and trust shown them for 2 years, had been moved not to abandon these Hottentot women (as did their comrades) but rather to remain with them for the sake of the children they had already had by them, as also they indeed did thus remain……
Edited and annotated by prof. P. Serton, Maj. Raven-Hart, Dr. W.J. de Kock.
Final Editor Dr. E.H. Raidt.
Introduction by Prof. P. Serton.
English Translation by Major. R. Raven-Hart.