Amatola, Eastern Cape
Once you've booked your hotel or Amatola accommodation explore our destination pages below for info on attractions and what to do in the Amatola Region.
The Amatolas stretch into the hinterland just north of Grahamstown and west of Stutterheim, their slopes covered in dense natural forests of white stinkwoods, yellowwoods, Cape chestnuts, and a myriad other indigenous trees. Some of the peaks are decked with snow in winter and reach over 2000 metres, providing wonderful forest trails and a prolific bird life.
Nestling in their shadow in the valleys are a cluster of villages, a mission station, churches and towns that line the valleys of an area not only rich in history but in incredible scenery too. This is frontier country and many of the settlements, such as Cathcart, Fort Beaufort and Adelaide began as military outposts, whilst towns like Stutterheim served as a settlement for disbanded soldiers of the British German Legion, hence the name. Other towns like Alice and the beautiful Hogsback have a more peaceful origin - Hogsback’s first citizens were farmers.
The treasures of the Amatola region are, without doubt, the pockets of original Afro-Montane rainforest that remain protected today - the Knysna and Amatole forests are South Africa’s largest individual forests. The Amatola Hiking Trail, ranked as one of the country’s top mountainous forest-clad walks, is 105 kilometres and six days of strenuous walking, from King William’s Town to Hogsback through immense, spacious indigenous forest, incredible waterfalls, crystal pools and rushing trout streams.
But you don’t have to climb the mountains to benefit from the beauty of the Amatolas. Rambles and walks in the area around Hogsback will take you past clear mountain streams and waterfalls, and provide scenery over which to lose your breath, without the exertion that accompanies a hike. In the west of the Amatola range is the area known as the Katberg. It is a special experience to climb the Katberg Pass - a rather rough, untarred road - past incredible rocky slopes rich in forest with some of the most remarkable views in the area.
Destinations / Town & Suburbs of Amatola
Where to Stay: Amatola Accommodation
Lying just south of the Winterberg Mountains, seeped in settler history, Adelaide is a charming little town some 37 kilometres from Fort Beaufort - one of the largest towns in the area that also happens to boast one of the finest ... adelaide information
Where to Stay: Amatola Accommodation
Just west off the N10 between Cradock and Cookhouse lies the settler town of Bedford on the southern edge of the Winterberg mountain range. It lies in what is termed the smaldeel, probably Dutch for 'small section' as it refers to a... bedford information
Where to Stay: Accommodation in East London
A city that still manages to retain some of its old fashioned values blended with a dollop of laidback charm makes East London - the gateway to the wild coast and the sunshine coast and the only river port in South Africa ... east london information
Where to Stay: Accommodation in Fort Beaufort
Lying in the heart of the citrus farming Katriver Valley, Fort Beaufort is a little historical town that dates back to 1822, when a frontier post was established here by the British, who occupied the town until 1870 during ... fort beaufort information
Where to Stay: Amatola Accommodation
The little seaside village of Kidds Beach, just 30 kilometres from East London, lies on the rocky shore of the Indian Ocean, its beach an uninterrupted landscape of white sand and sea, and little else to interfere with its sheer ... kidds beach information
Where to Stay: Accommodation in King Williams Town
Considered one of the most interesting towns to visit in the region, along with Grahamstown, King William’s Town began its life on the banks of the Buffalo River as a mission station in 1834. About 50km west of East ... king williams town information
Where to Stay: Molteno Accommodation
Regarded as the coldest town in South Africa and home to Ouma rusks and the Stormberg biltong factory, the little farming village of Molteno lies north west of Hofmeyr, roughly 13 kilometres from the town of Stormberg - where the famous... molteno information
Where to Stay: Accommodation in Stutterheim
Lying nestled at the feet of the eastern slopes of the Kologha Mountains, the little town of Stutterheim is on the N6 to East London, is easy to reach, and is situated in one of the most naturally beautiful parts of the ... stutterheim information
Featured and "Must See" Attractions in Amatola
The Amalinda Nature Reserve is situated less than 10 kilometres from the ever-growing city hub of East London in the Eastern Cape. Established in 1968, this reserve measures 134 hectares and boasts some of the stunning vegetation for which this part of the world is so loved. This includes an enormous ... more information
You can visit the grave of Steve Biko, one of South Africa's most famous political martyrs in Ginsberg, just outside King William's Town. The Ginsberg home where Biko was born was recently declared a national monument. The Garden of Remembrance includes graves of ... more information
Think warm Indian Ocean waters and sub-tropical weather that allow visitors to enjoy the climate all year round - East London basks gloriously between the Nahoon River in the north and the Buffalo River to the south of the city, and the phrase ‘unspoilt beaches’ was termed with ... more information
Set close to the little community of Blinkwater, Fort Fordyce Nature Reserve lies on the Post Retief road, almost equidistant between Adelaide and the historical town of Fort Beaufort, in the Amatola escarpment. This roughly 2 000 hectare reserve conserves scarce Dohne ... more information
There are four excellent three-pars at the King Williams Town Golf Course as well as trees, bunkers and water hazards that will challenge all levels of golfers. The Amatola Sun Classic, which forms part of the South African Winter Championship was established at King Williams Town ... more information
Kwelera Coastal Nature Reserve is one of ten nature reserves that collectively make up the East London Coast Nature Reserve – a gorgeous stretch of coast that extends from the Great Kei River in the north east, all the way to the Tylomnqa River in the south east ... more information
The craggy heights of the Mountain Zebra National Park's Bankberg embrace rolling plains and deep valleys, and has become an entrancing preserve for the Cape mountain zebra. The proclamation of the park in 1937 saved these animals from extinction, and currently their population stands at 350 ... more information
The annual Hogsback Arts Festival features a multitude of events and displays created by local artists who live and work in the Eastern Cape. It offers travelers the perfect opportunity to explore other cultures and interests and to rediscover nature and be inspired. The festival features music and dance, poetry ... more information
Featured Things To Do in Amatola
Holiday Accommodation in Amatola
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Whether you're in the mood for an informal seaside escape, an encounter with the "Big Five" on safari, or a choice of scintillating city diversions, you're sure to find what you're looking for in the Eastern Cape.
destinations / attractions in the eastern cape