The son of a Fulham horticulturalist, Burchell spent five years teaching in St. Helena before arriving in Cape Town in 1810. He 'made drawings of Cape Town and vicinity, as far afield as Genadendal and Tulbagh, until 18 June 1811, when he started his journey into the interior. This journey, across the Karoo to Klaarwater (now Griquatown) and on to Lithako ... and back by way of the Kowie mouth and what is now known as the Garden Route, lasted until April 1815; he was on trek for a period of nearly four years. He returned to England later in 1815 and spent the next ten years in arranging his botanical and zoological specimens, in propagating South African plants at Fulham and in writing his Travels in the interior of Southern Africa, v.1. published in 1822 and v. 2 in 1824. The originals of most of the illustrations in the Travels are in the [MuseumAfrica's] collection. The published Travels only carried the narrative to 3 August 1812; the journal of the later part of his expedition was never published.' (R.F. Kennedy, Catalogue of Pictures in the Africana Museum, Johannesburg, 1971, VI (Supplement: A-G), p. 42).
Burchell's party on the descent from the Snow Mountains in February 1812 included Mr and Mrs Anderson and Mrs and Mrs Kramer who accompanied him on the Klaarwater.
'The country of the Sneeuwbergen may be described as a very elevated region, level in many parts, but almost every where thickly studded with high rocky mountains.
After this, we travelled between four and five hours longer, without halting; and were rejoiced at finding ourselves at the top of the descent from the Snow Mountains. The prospect was exceedingly fine, as wild and rocky scenery. Lofty mountains in the distance seemed to close the view before us, but the road, after descending into the valley, leads round on the right, into the extensive plains which lie between Sneewbergen and Graaffreynet. The view, and the appearance of our party, are represented in the second plate.' (W.J. Burchell, loc. cit.).