Winterberg, Amatola

Winterberg lies virtually in the shadow of the Winterberg Mountains that include some of the highest peaks in the province, roughly 20 kilometres from Tarkastad. Winterberg is beautiful. The valley scenery bounded as it is by majestic mountains, crisp, clear air, and incredible scenery allows one to experience real rustic, countryside living.

One of the highlights of staying here in the interior of the Eastern Cape is the trophy trout fishing for which the area is renowned.

The area is steeped in a history that belongs to the Bushmen, Boer and British soldiers, and Scottish settlers. The Winterberg was originally inhabited by San and Khoi people - hence the availability of rock art evidenced in caves and overhangs amongst the rocks. The Winterberg was also home to Piet Retief, responsible for leading a large group of Dutch farmers out of the area on their Great Trek, leaving their farms for occupation by the 1820 settlers.

All of these farms now form part of the Winterberg and Baviaans River Valley nature conservancies, through which many a horse trail, bike trail and hours of walking, hiking and climbing are a remedy for the fast pace of city life. During winter, Adelaide, the highest of the Winterberg peaks that rises some 2371 metres, is occasionally covered with snow; and winter woollies and fireside evenings make for an exciting holiday atmosphere.

The Tsolwana Game Park, Mpofu and Cradock Mountain Zebra Park make for wonderful outings and, if you can brave it, the Winterberg Mountain and Gorge extend their challenge.

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