A visit to the Eastern Cape would not be complete without spending some time in
the heart of the province, the Eastern Cape Midlands. The cultural heartbeat of
the province lies here, in this most pristine of country areas, where time seems
to stand still and locals welcome you like old friends.
Arguably the area’s most alluring feature is the dramatic diversity of landscape
that covers the second-largest region of the province, with the Karoo-like arid
regions of the west giving way to the high, mountainous regions of the central areas,
which in turn transform into the wild and open areas of the east.
This sense of wide open space and fresh country air is a lasting theme throughout
the region, which boasts numerous high-quality game reserves and hunting or safari
opportunities. In fact, you would be hard pressed to find a region more perfectly
suited to outdoor pursuits than the Eastern Cape Midlands. Adventure activities
abound, ranging from those requiring nerves of steel, such as white-water rafting,
to the more serene pastimes like leisurely strolls in the great outdoors and the
more skilled, such as fly-fishing in some of the country’s finest trout dams and
Rock paintings from the country’s earliest inhabitants, the San people, provide
a unique eye into the world of many generations ago. Most of the paintings are mapped
out, but there are still many that lie undiscovered in the more remote areas of
Perhaps the most underestimated attraction in the Eastern Cape Midlands is the abundance
of cultural and heritage sites that exist in the area. This is an area that played
a significant role in the liberation of South Africa and the routes not only provide
valuable insight into the struggle heroes and places but into the heart and soul
of a people who fought tirelessly to free themselves from an unjust system of government.
It is here where the great struggle icons Chris Hani, after whom the municipal district
in named, Walter Sisulu, Dr AB Xuma and James Calata were born and In almost every
town and remote rural area you can find traces of the local heroes and heroines
who made the ultimate sacrifice in the fight for freedom
The Chris Hani District Municipality has developed four intriguing tourism routes
that traverse the Midlands and highlight the numerous important tourist attractions,
including those of cultural and historical interest. Although the routes may overlap
at certain points, the four paths offer a comprehensive guide to the life and times
of the Eastern Cape Midlands. Best travelled at one’s own pace, the routes aim to
preserve both the present and the history of this remarkable area.