Eastern Cape DestinationsKirkwood, Greater Addo
The farming community of Kirkwood, in the heart of the Sundays River Valley, close to the town of Addo and the northern regions of the Addo Elephant Park, would arguably remain in obscurity were it not for the Kirkwood Wildlife Festival in June of every year.
Now in its eighth year (2009), the festival is a highlight of the area and the mix of conservation, eco-tourism, wildlife and entertainment attracts some 30 000 attendees. The festivalís main objective: to place Kirkwood on the map and to create awareness of the region as a tourist destination - not difficult given the beauty of the area. Set against the backdrop of the Zuurberg Mountains, the quaint town of Kirkwood lies in the northern reaches of the sun-kissed valley. Despite its apparent charm, it is a serious contributor to the citrus economy and rakes in close to R500m in foreign revenue annually.
Kirkwood is an area of stillness and wide open spaces, dominated by game lodges and old farmhouses that smack of the luxuries of a bygone colonial era. During the harvest (April to September), tractors loaded to the hilt with oranges are a regular sight on the roads leading into Kirkwood, and the town comes alive - the local co-op a hive of activity.
Whilst visiting make sure you take the pitted gravel road that leads to the pastoral village of the Moravian Mission Station, built for the Khoi at Enon in 1818. Sacraments are still given in the little church - teak window frames, yellowwood rafters and brass hanging lamps still intact.