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Matatiele lies at the junction of the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Lesotho, just 70 km from Kokstad in the lessor known Southern Drakensberg.
This quaint town lies on the popular Route 56 and is the perfect destination for those who enjoy the adventurous side of life – hiking, birding, fishing, 4X4 trials and mountain passes are all part of why tourism is growing. This region is also particularly popular for off-road biking.
Matatiele is essentially a farming community, it’s one of the few places in the country you can find 100% organic red meat from the local farms, with unmatched views from on top of the world. If you enjoy fly-fishing then this is the place to be as Matatiele has become quite the trout fishing hotspot, the Mountain Lake is fully stocked with Rainbow and Brown Trout.
The small, town museum building was originally a Dutch Reformed Church that is made of sandstone and is a National Monument. The donated collections tell the history story of Matatiele and the surrounding area. The beautiful Mariazell Mission is also a must when in the area!
There are a few accommodation options which includes Self-Catering units, Guest Houses and Farms, B&B’s as well as caravan and camping facilities in and around the town.
Things to do and see
- Matatiele Museum
- Maluti Community Trail
- Mehloding Hiking Trail
- Heros Acre Memorial
- Mountain Lake Nature Reserve
- Wilfred Bauer Nature Reserve
- Ongeluksnek Pass
- Route 56
- Matatiele Golf Course
- Mariazell Mission, 48 km
Matatiele receives approximately 710 mm of rain annually with most of its annual rainfall during summer.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 12˚C and 27˚C.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 4˚C and 21˚C.
There are daily flights into King Shaka International Airport in Durban, approximately 358 km away via the N2 and into the East London Airport, approximately 456 km’s away via the R56. Car hire facilities are available at the Airport.
The name Mataiele comes from the Sesotho words, “matata”, meaning wild ducks, and ‘ile’, meaning gone – used together the meaning becomes 'the ducks have flown' and probably refers to the fact that Matatiele was once dominated by wetlands and marshes.
Evidence of Stone Age inhabitants in the form of art adorning rocks are found throughout the area. In the early 1860's the Griquas settled here after migrating across the Drakensberg from Philippolis and the town became a municipality in 1904.
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