North West Area – Quaint Country Towns in the Eastern Cape
Along the North West border of the Eastern Cape Province, separating South Africa from the Kingdom of Lesotho, lie a group of quaint country towns including Lady Grey, Maclear and Elliot, with Aliwal North lying on the border of the Free State Province. With the majestic Drakensberg Mountains as an ever-constant sentinel, this area is strikingly beautiful and people appreciating the simple pleasures in life have found it to be an excellent holiday getaway.
Aliwal North, located on the banks of the Orange River (also known as the !Gariep River, Groote River and Senqu River depending on who you ask), has two powerful thermal springs providing therapeutic benefits to the many visitors who flock to this spectacular resort town. Located to the west of Aliwal North, the town of Lady Grey is surrounded by the Witteberg mountain range. In addition to the spectacular surroundings and scenic drives that visitors can enjoy around Lady Grey, the bushman paintings at Kalkoenkrans are so noteworthy that they have been declared a South African National Monument. The nearby Buffelspruit Game Reserve is also well worth a visit.
Heading southwards along the R58 as it makes its way through stunning untamed mountainous countryside, travelers will come across the little town of Elliot, which offers warm hospitality and breath-taking views of the Drakensberg, as well as interesting bushman paintings on the farm ‘Denorbin’. Turning north on the R56 past the Prentjiesberg Nature Reserve, the road leads to the picturesque village of Maclear, noted for its superb trout fishing, beautiful hiking trails and water sport on the Maclear Dam.