vlakte, noun

Formerly also vlaakte, vlackte.
vlaktes, formerly vlakten or vlaktens.
a. An open plain; an extent of flat country; vlaat. Also attributive.
1786 G. Forster tr. of A. Sparrman’s Voy. to Cape of G.H. II. 222The vlaksteen-bok was the name given at Agter Bruntjes-hoogte to animals (probably of the gazel kind) two feet in height, which used, in some sort, to herd together on the vlaktens, or plains.
1852 C. Barter Dorp & Veld 82The plains, or vlakten, occupy more than two-thirds of the whole extent of the Sovereignty.
1911 State Dec. 643 (Pettman)There were berg tortoises and vlakte tortoises.
1934 Cape Argus 20 Jan. (Swart)In another case Constable du Preez followed the spoor of a donkey cart for many miles into the vlakte.
1947 H.C. Bosman Mafeking Rd (1969) 77Everywhere, except for a number of lonely graves on hillside and vlakte, things were as they had been before Shepstone came.
1972 Daily Dispatch 22 July 4The taxidermist has given the quagga herds of the South African vlaktes a certain fading, mouldy immortality.
1972 Daily Dispatch 29 July 4Two years later, Captain Cornwallis Harris..crossed the same vlaktes, the prairies of South Africa.
1979 Sunday Times 15 July 16He was remembering the way springbok on the Kalahari vlaktes grow restless before a coming storm, and slowly begin moving out of their territory into new and unknown fields.
1984 Fair Lady 30 May 176The Free State vlaktes hang grittily on to their heart of the country status — although you don’t actually live there unless you’re a mealie magnate, they provide an inimitably earthy start to any curriculum vitae.
1985 Fair Lady 3 Apr. 139Taking of cuttings or collecting of seed in the wild or in public gardens is strictly prohibited and even in the vlaktes of Namaqualand you are not alone — there’s a man from Flora and Fauna behind every kokerboom.
b. In the phr. ver verlate vlaktes /ˌfɛːr fərˌlɑːtə ˈflaktəs/ [Afrikaans, ver far, verlate deserted], ‘the far, deserted plains’, a phrase from Die Stem van Suid-Afrika (see Stem). Usually used ironically.
1988 H. Prendini in Style June 102The cuisine of the Trekkers, with its roots in the ver verlate vlaktes and the kreun van ossewa.
1989 T. Botha in Style June 108A love story about the long open road, putting foot, fly-bitten caffies, ver verlate vlaktes.
2. combinations Especially as an element in the names of animals:
vlaksteenbok, vlaktebok, or vlakte steenbok obsolete /-bɔk/, /-stɪənbɔk/ [see steenbok], bleekbok;
vlakte haas /-hɑːs/, also vlakhaas [Afrikaans haas hare], the Cape hare (see Cape sense 2 a), Lepus capensis;
vlakte vark, see vlakvark;
vlakte veld /-felt/ [see veld], plains country.
1786vlaksteenbok: [see sense 1].
1844 J. Backhouse Narr. of Visit 485The Cape Hare or Vlaakte Haas, Lepus capensis is a smaller species inhabiting the open country.
1905 W.L. Sclater in Science in S. Afr. 134The Hares, known as the Vlackte haas (Lepus capensis), Rhebok haas (L. saxatilis) and Roode haas (L. crassicandatus)..are spread all over the country.
1977 F.G. Butler Karoo Morning 131Apart from the occasional loping light of a springhare’s eye on the side of the road, or a vlakhaas frozen momentarily in the beam, we saw nothing.
1972 Daily Dispatch Jan.Grazing consists of a third berg veld and two thirds vlakte veld.
An open plain; an extent of flat country; vlaat. Also attributive.
‘the far, deserted plains’, a phrase from Die Stem van Suid-AfrikaStem. Usually used ironically.
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