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The small resort of Hogsback is a magical place of mountains and forests. It lies in the heart of the Amathole Mountains surrounded by centuries-old indigenous Afro-montane forests.
Hogsback has an unbelievable natural beauty, so stunning that it inspired J.R.R Tolkien to write his Lord of the Rings Trilogy, or so we have been told. It offers loads of nature based activities and is undoubtedly the ultimate break away destination for peace and tranquillity, being only an hour-and-a-half’s journey from Grahamstown.
Here you will find gardens with exotic plants from Australia, China, the Himalayas, Europe and North America and you are likely to see birds such as the Crowned Eagle, Cape Parrot and the Knysna Lourie. The gardens alone are an attraction that bring gardening tours from as far as Cape Town and Johannesburg to Hogsback every year.
Residents of Hogsback include a number of artists, poets, musicians and photographers who all seek the quiet beauty of a small village over the rush of city life. The community farmers Market is the ideal place to find crafts and produce from the locals.
A range of accommodation is provided from several Hotels, B&B’s, Guest Houses and self-catering units. Camping and Backpacker facilities are also available.
Things to do and see
- 39 Steps Waterfall
- Madonna & Child Falls
- Kettlespout Waterfall Hike
- Amatola Hiking Trail
- Big Tree Trail
- Camelot Fairy Meander
- Hogsback Labyrinth
- Military Path
- Applegarth Gardens & Nursery
- Amathole Forests
- Voice of the Earth Eco-Shrine
- Hogsback Pass
- Starways Pottery & Gallery
- St Patricks on the Hill
- Hogsback Farmers Market
Hogsback receives approximately 745 mm of rain annually with most rainfall occurring during Summer.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 13˚C and 26˚C.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 3˚C and 17˚C.
There are daily flights into East London Airport, approximately 143 km’s away via the R63. Car hire facilities are available at the Airport.
Hogsback was the mountain stronghold of Xhosa chiefs during the time of conflict between the white settlers and the Xhosa, but in 1839, the first white settlement was built at Fort Mitchell.
The Xhosa name for the area is Qabimbola, meaning red clay on the face, from the pits from which people sourced traditional cosmetic red clay. The indigenous name for the three peaks of the Hogsback range is Belekazama as it looks like a woman carrying a child on her back. The highest of the three peaks is Gaika's Kop, where bushmen witchdoctors once lived. The name Gaika's Kop comes from the renowned Xhosa chief, Gaika.
Beliefs on how the Hogsback got its “settler” name. Some believe it is due to the fact that the Hogsback peaks look like the back of a hog while others say the area was named after a Captain Hogg of Fort Mitchell.
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