Amathole, meaning ‘the calves of the Drakensberg’ (foothills) in isiXhosa, reflects a rural lifestyle where the Xhosa communities continue to take their Nguni cattle out into the veld. The Amathole Mountain Escape Route stretches from Hogsback in the north, to the Great Fish River in the south and the Dwesa/Cwebe Nature Reserve in the east.
Experience the Ubuntu spirit of the Amathole region and celebrate the rich culture and history of the area.
Known for its variety of fauna and flora, primal indigenous forests, clear-water mountain streams and magnificent waterfalls, activity highlights in the area include bird watching, fly-fishing, mountain biking and hiking. The six day Amathole hiking trail is ranked one of the best hiking routes in South Africa.
The main attractions of the area are the densely forested Amatola Mountains, famous for its panoramic views. The popular village of Hogsback lies at the summit of the Mountain pass. It is believed, the famous author J.R.R. Tolkien of the Lord of the Rings triology, found his inspiration to create his fantasy universe, Middle Earth, in the magical Hogsback surroundings.
Steve Biko, Black Consciousness Movement hero, was born in the Ginsberg Township near King William’s Town. The Steve Biko Centre, located close to Biko’s home in Ginsberg, pays tribute to the life of the anti-apartheid activists.
Established in 1916, the University of Fort Hare, with its main campus in Alice, was the first black university in South Africa, with alumni including Nelson Mandela, Mangosuthu Buthelezi and Thabo Mbeki.
Highlights to discover:
Three reasons to go on a township tour
Imonti Tours offer guided tours. Contact Velile on 083 487 8975 or [email protected] for bookings.
Established in 1995, the Stutterheim Enginge Museum displays 120 engines from 1903 to 1990. It is believed to have one of the largest collections of restored stationary engines in the world. Visit the museum to learn about the development and advancement of engines as well as the history the engines on display.
Visiting hours: 8am – 4pm Mondays to Fridays; except public holidays. Technical staff is present and available on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings.
Lister Lane, Stutterheim
Tel. 043 683 1507
Learn to speak isiXhosa – on a week-long home stay with a traditional Xhosa family.
Visit the Cata Cultural Village to discover the culture of the warm and hospitable Xhosa people. Take a sneak peek into their traditional way of life through their cuisine, customs, rituals, songs and dance.
The Cata Chalets, 120km from East London, offer overnight accommodation, inviting tourists to unwind, relax and simply be. The scenic area is perfect for mountain biking, bird watching and hiking.
Visit www.cata.org.za for more information.
“It is better to die for an idea that will live, than to live for an idea that will die.” – Steve Biko
Steve Bantu Biko, was an anti-apartheid activist in the 1960s and 1970s. Biko founded the Black Consciousness Movement which empowered and mobilised the urban black population. At the age of 30, he died while in police custody but his slogan “black is beautiful” is still well known today.
The Steve Biko Museum in Ginsberg, near King William’s Town, pays tribute to the Black Consciousness Movement activists.
For bookings and more information contact the Steve Biko Centre
Tel: 043 605 6700 Fax: 043 605 6710 Email: [email protected]
Centre Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 09:00 to 17:00; Weekends by appointment
Hogsback – Christmas in July
The little village of Hogsback, surrounded by scenic mountains, is often covered by a blanket of snow during winter.
The quirky people of Hogsback annually celebrate Christmas in July, with:
Ox wagon rides •Live music and entertainment – well known performers • Genuine Crafters • Celebrity food demo • Workshops • Children’s entertainment – circus etc • Port and muscadel tasting • Exhibitions – art and otherwise • Food glorious food • Bikers breakfast (charity effect – for Hobbiton) • Famous once a year Kings Lodge CHiLL Dip (for the thick skinned and very brave) • Trail run • Interdenominational
thanksgiving service • Etc etc • Amazing shuttle service – our community effort at going green- free. Save your car … hop on – hop off.
For more information contact the Hogsback Tourism Centre at 045 9621 245.