Eastern Cape DestinationsUgie, Northern Ukhahlamba
In 2008 the pretty village of Ugie made history when it snowed in the little town that lies between the towns of Maclear and Elliot in the wild west region of the Eastern Cape for the first time in years. Small and insignificant Ugie may appear to be, but the town has its own website, a Facebook group with no fewer than 141 fans, and a rather thrilling rock formation known as Gatberg - a large hole in the mountain south west of Maclear.
Ugie lies beneath the towering cliffs of the Drakensberg Mountain range on the banks of the Inxu River. It derives its name from another river, however - not the one on whose banks it resides, but the Ugie River in Scotland. To all intents and purposes Ugie began as a little mission station at Gatberg, established by a reverend called William Murray who was born in Scotland. He was the first white man to settle permanently in Ugie.
But it is not the history that draws people to the villages of Ugie and Maclear, only 21 kilometres apart. Rather it is the incredible natural scenery - the towering mountains that form a backdrop to the towns, winding rivers and huge dams that lure fishermen of every description, and the hills and dales that provide hours of hiking opportunities.
Visitors will enjoy visiting the Gary Kashula tractor museum, the Ugie Methodist Church, easily viewable from most parts of the town, cave trails in the Prentjiesberg (the Prentjiesberg dam lies just outside of Ugie) and Woodcliff, and skiing at nearby Tiffendell Ski resort.