About Fort Cunynghame Pass

This rather odd rendition of ‘Cunningham’ is the name for the pass on the N6 near Stutterheim. Whilst the pass is a modern road, easy to drive and with some pretty spectacular views, its name is an historical one - named after a general and the commander of the British Forces in the last Frontier War.

Did you know? Before you drive the Fort Cunynghame Pass, walk Stutterheim’s heritage trail, which starts at the Bethel Mission Station, the very first church built in the area in 1837 for the Berlin Missionary Society.

The N6 heads up to where Fort Cunynghame, closed since 1879, stood just north of Stutterheim.

In its time, the fort had 100 men stationed here, as well as an 88th and one seven-pounder gun. Stutterheim’s history includes over 100 years of Frontier Wars, when the British and the Xhosa were at war over this portion of land at the foot of the Amathole Mountains.

The pass proper begins just after the road intersects with the Xaxazele River when it swings gently left and then heads through pine plantations, where the scenery becomes rather impressive. The forests and mountains around Stutterheim are worth exploring on hikes.

In particular the Xholora Forest (also spelt Kologha), an indigenous forest thick on the slopes of the Amathole. The N6 bypasses the Kologha Forest Reserve to the west of it (to reach the forests take the R352 out of Stutterheim and follow signs). Marked hikes start at the main picnic site and head into the forest, varying between 3 and 17 km in length. Look out for the Cape parrot.

Need to Know

WhereFort Cunynghame Pass, Outside Stutterheim, Amatola Region, Eastern Cape, South Africa

WhenBest during daylight hours.

OvernightStay in Stutterheim Accommodation, Eastern Cape

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