Eastern Cape DestinationsMolteno, Amatola
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 Battle of Stormberg was fought in December 1899 - and not far off the N6 in the heart of the Stormberg Mountain range.
Molteno is one of the towns within the vicinity of the country's only ski resort, Tiffendal and, because of its record winter temperatures, promises the excitement of snow in winter in a country and region almost completely associated with sunshine, arid countryside and the passionate heat of summer.
It also has one of the oldest railway stations in South Africa, officially reopened in late 2007 after being closed due to disrepair; the area around town offers ample opportunity to view rock paintings, fossils and stone age implements uncovered in caves and diggings close to Molteno; and three extinct volcanoes in the vicinity add to the suggestion that perhaps this little unheard of town is worth more than just a cursory glance.
The town's history goes back to the time of its founding in 1874, after coal was discovered in the area. It gets its name from the then Prime Minister of the Cape Colony, Sir John Molteno, but it is interesting to note that its other namesake in Italy, is a commune in the region of Lombardy just 35 kilometres north east of Milan.