Eastern Cape DestinationsCathcart, Amatola
The little town of Cathcart, set in the foothills of the Amatola, is something of a sanctuary, although its popularity amongst the gliding fraternity means that numerous gliders take off from the nearby hills, their silent and somewhat eerie flight in no way hindering the quiet of the surrounds.
Cathcart is named after George Cathcart, governor of the Cape during the mid 1850s who is remembered for his somewhat abortive second major European-led invasion of the Sotho kingdom, during which his supreme arrogance came up against a formidable force in the form of Moshoeshoe and his men.
Residents swear that on a clear day you can see the Drakensberg from Cathcart, so it is no surprise to hear that nights are star-filled wonders and days are spent in a combination of bird watching, hiking - a number of trails begin at the historic Post Office - fishing, mountain biking - the town’s annual ‘Mean Cuisine Challenge’ takes place in November - and drinking in the surrounds, which include some beautiful and rare examples of wild flowers in season.
Cathcart, together with Hogsback and Bathurst, are inland towns that tend to be overlooked, a mistake when you consider the historical charm and easy access from East London - all can be reached within an hour.