Xhologha Forest Walk
Step into a different world, one unspoiled by man and revel in the natural beauty of the Xhologha Forest. This pristine indigenous forest is the second largest natural forest in South Africa after the Knysna Forest.
A choice of three beautiful walks start and end at the sheltered picnic area which is well equipped with braai places, tables and benches, a lappa and safe parking. The sound of trickling water constantly follows the Blue Route which is the shortest route. Crossing streams and rising quite sharply in some places, the path meanders for 1.5km leading to 3 stunning waterfalls. In the drier winter months they flow gently, but after the summer rains they often form spectacular torrents. The 7km Yellow Route winds along sheltered paths to higher up the hillside. Passing two striking waterfalls along the way, the route then turns back downwards through a different habitat before arriving at the forestry road leading back to the car park and picnic site. For those wishing for a longer days walk, the Red Routes is a must. It twists and turns for 17km and commands some dramatic scenery with a magnificent view point mid-way. Each route is clearly marked with coloured footprints. Another excellent option for exploring the area is to take the horse and mountain bike trail. With marvellous viewpoints, spots to stop and rest, the tranquillity and natural beauty of the indigenous forest is guaranteed to rejuvenate the mind, body and soul.
Cata Community Museum
The village of Cata is nestled in a beautiful crescent in the Amathole Mountains, approximately 50km from Stutterheim. Place of brutal apartheid-era forced removals in the 1960’s, the village now is a thriving model of integrated, community-driven development.
Development initiatives in the village include an agricultural co-operative, a forestry project and a tourism venture.
At the heart of the village stands the community museum- unique in South African that it is the only museum that tells the story of rural land dispossession and the community’s successful struggle for restitution. Inside visitors begin their ‘Cata experience’ in the indoor part of the museum, where they will find exhibits of world class standard.
Outside is a 20km guided walk along a professionally ‘cut’ heritage trail, featuring information boards and a toposcope. The trail brings one face to face with the devastation of forced removal
For more information phone 072 568 7926
Based on the edge of the indigenous forest, Natural High offers the adventure enthusiast a variety of activities including abseiling, archery, guided forest walks, kayaking (at Gubu Dam), obstacle courses and a host of team-building pursuits.
You don’t need to be an adrenalin junkie to enjoy a day out. All activities can be family orientated.
Booking Essential! – Tel: 043 683 2046
Stutterheim Engine Museum
The Stutterheim Engine Museum is thought to have one of the largest and most comprehensive collection of restored stationary engines, all in mint running condition, in the world.
The oldest gem is a Mietz & Weitz engine dating back to 1905. Forgotten names like Ruston Hornsby, Wholesly, Bamford, Lister and Massey Harris are all there, saved from a scrap yard where they would have been crushed and melted down to be lost forever. The development and advancement of technology can be followed in the engines on display, some dating back almost a century to the very recent, world class, advanced Mercedes C200 Kompressor engine.
• We are open from 8am to 4pm week days and technical staff are in attendance on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings
• For more info please contact the curator: Terry Archer 0436831507 or Tom Cole 0436832079
“Our heritage is our inheritance; the things we have received from our ancestors of whom we are proud. They gave our roots in the past and our identity in the present. These are also the things we choose to preserve for future generations”
The restoration, operation and maintenance of the engines is done by a group of dedicated volunteers. Funding is entirely through donations from visiting guests and our most valuable Sponsors.
Ron Starkey and Simon Morris were friends with the same interest, namely old engines. In the surrounding farming area were many engines, some still in use and others abandoned. Ron and Simon had the idea of collecting these engines from the veldt, repairing them and then displaying them in a museum.
It wasn’t long before various engines were housed in Ron’s workshop. Eventually a plot off Bush Road was found and purchased from Wylde Bros at a reasonable price. The next step was to build a suitable structure. Len Edgecombe (a King Williams Town building contractor) donated a steel structure. In June 1995 his company erected the steel structure on the plot.
Even before the building was completed, more engines kept arriving; some of them were big monsters. Ron and his two assistants worked on them steadily and so the collection grew. After about 5 years during one of the Stutterheim festivals, Ron opened the doors of the museum to the public for the first time. Only then was the best kept secret of Stutterheim revealed. Word got around and the public flocked to the museum to look in amazement at the shiny, newly-painted engines as they were started up.
Rock Art Paintings
The Rock Art Centre has been exquisitely built and reflects the feeling of a cave. Painted entrance walls in the exact replica of an original site, give one the first taste of what is to come. Victor is a fountain of knowledge and all around the walls are photographic displays, paintings and artefacts from both the early and late Stone Age.
The oldest painting in Southern Africa was discovered in Namibia and dates back 27000 years and over time the changing history is shown in the paintings by the addition of sheep and cows, men with spears and finally soldiers with guns. With such an expansive range of time, the actual art work remains similar with the same colouring and style up until fairly recently when finger painting became the norm and inferior paint was used.
For more information go to Thomas River’s website or phone 045 843 1504
One of the Eastern Cape’s best hidden treasures, Wriggleswade Dam lies nestled between the rolling grasslands of the Amabele farming area. Stretching across 17km and covering 1000 hectares, this expanse of water has fast become a haven for avid fishermen and those who enjoy water sports.
Wriggleswade is a hive of activity and many consider it to be the best Bass fishing dam in the Eastern Cape. Having previously been farm land, the dam is full of grassy areas, rock piles, old semi submerged tree stumps and plenty of nooks and crannies where fish love to hide. To date, the record bass caught weighed in at 5.01 kg and the largest carp at a massive 20 kg.
Wriggleswade Dam is run by the Stutterheim Aquatic Club. There are approximately 60 campsites, 60 caravan sites provided with power and 3 ablution blocks. There is also a lovely single roomed log cabin on the waters edge available for rent.
With the fantastic campsite, braai areas along the water’s edge for the day visitor and some of the best bass fishing in the Eastern Cape, Wriggleswade offers a brilliant venue for a family holiday or just a day away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
To make an enquiry please contact Amanda on 083 752 4545.
Take the forest drive to Gubu Dam, set in a beautiful valley ringed by trees at the foot of Mount Kubusie. The crystal clear water abounds with rainbow and brown trout and is the home of countless waterfowl.
Gubu Dam has a well maintained campsite with clean ablutions. Pinic spots and braai areas are very popular in the summer months with day visitors.
The trout fisherman may enjoy this sport after making contact with the Stutterheim Trout Fishing Club and obtaining the necessary permits.
At the North East end of the Dam is the Gubu Dam Caravan Park which has been established by the Department of Forestry. There are ample camping sites and there isn’t a facility for pre-booking. It is set in Idyllic surroundings amongst the trees; the walks in the forest from there are gentle and beautiful.
Eco Motor Bikes
Run by motorbike enthusiast Alan Steyn. A unique motor-bike experience from one hour trails to weekend packages, including complete family packages at Eagles Ridge Country House, where it is operated from. All biking gear is supplied by Eco Ride. Trails include scenic mountain routes, game trails, forests, the Kei Valley and various places of interest in the Amahlathi area.
To book your motorbike experience contact Alan on 082 494 3117