Umtata - A Haven of Culture and History

The Eastern Cape town of Umtata (now officially known as Mthatha) was originally founded along the banks of the Mthatha River as a military post for colonial forces in 1882 and soon developed into a town, becoming the administrative center of the region. Areas close to Umtata were the birthplace of a number of notable black South Africans, including Nelson Mandela and Walter Sisulu, who went on to become leaders following the abolishment of apartheid, establishing Umtata as place of importance in the history of South Africa.

In keeping with its role in South African history, Umtata is a focal point of the Nelson Mandela Route which was established in response to the interest that people, both local and international, have shown in the life of this iconic South African statesman. The Nelson Mandela Museum is divided into three parts in three different locations – Mveso being Mandela’s birthplace, Qunu being the town where he was raised and Umtata being the seat of the Xhosa traditional authorities. A number of buildings in Umtata date back to the late 1800s and early 1900s, with a superb example being the Town Hall, constructed from sandstone and completed in 1908.

The Umtata dam is a popular leisure area with peaceful picnic spots under shady trees and a variety of water sports on offer. There are also a number of nature reserves in the surrounding area that are home to an abundance of wildlife and birdlife. There are some picturesque hiking trails to enjoy, with the most popular being the Madiba hiking trail. Visitors to the Eastern Cape can gain much insight into various aspects of the history of South Africa, as well as the fascinating culture of the Xhosa people, by spending some time exploring Umtata.

 





Combine Flights?













New Business Users, read more and join on the Business Affiliates page.

New Individual Users, join on the Forum Users Registration page.

Latest Travel Articles

Vulture Conservation in South Africa

As southern Africa's only endemic vulture species, the Cape vulture population has been reduced .... read more

Ramsar Wetlands: Barberspan and Blesbokspruit

Named for the city in Iran where the treaty was signed in 1971, the Ramsar Convention is an inte.... read more

Explore the Sevilla Rock Art Trail

Winding alongside the Brandewyn River in the Cedarberg region of the Western Cape, the 4km long .... read more

Enjoy the Tranquility of Rondvlei Nature Reserve

Home to the only hippos in the Western Cape Province, and a spectacular bird watching destinat.... read more

An Abundance of Quality Art at Durban's Art Galleries

With its temperate climate and laid-back vibe, Durban is one of South Africa's top holiday desti.... read more

More Articles