Stutterheim lies at the foot of the Amathole Mountains approximately 75 km from the coastal city of East London.
The quiet, peaceful town is easy to reach, it lies along the N6, and is located in one of the most naturally beautiful part of the country. Due to the fair amount of rain the area receives annually, Stutterheim is surrounded by indigenous forest, rolling green hills and widespread plantations of pine, gum and wattle. It is easy to see why the town is appealing to hikers, mountain bikers and outdoor enthusiasts.
The Gubu Dam is a must for keen fishermen, it is not just beautiful, but well stocked with trout and bass fish. Stutterheim is the centre of the Escape Route, a tourism initiative driven by members of the community, which includes the areas of Stutterheim, Thomas River, Cata and Keiskammahoek. A huge draw car for tourists is the Kologha Forest, the second largest indigenous forest in South Africa, offers visitors a pictuesque picnic spot and well sign posted and scenic walks of varying lengths and difficulty.
Other than the beautiful forest, cascading waterfalls and sweeping views, Stutterheim also has a rich history from the Xhosa groups who moved into the area to the German Settlers and to the English Colonists that followed. The Thomas River Historic Village is a must-see as is the largest stationary engine Museum in the Southern Hemisphere!
There is an assortment of accommodation in the town and surrounding area which includes rustic camping, B&B’s, Guest Houses, self-catering units and several Hotels.
Things to do and see
- Stutterheim Stationary Engine Museum
- Thomas River Historical Village
- Cata Village Museum
- Mgwali Village
- Stutterheim Heritage Trail
- Andersons Dam Trail
- Kologha Forest Blue Day Walk & Hiking Trail
- Pirie Forest Hike
- Gubu Dam MTB Trail
- Amathole Forest
- Wriggleswade Dam
- Fort Cunynghame Pass
- The Escape Route
- Stutterheim Farmer, Arts & Crafts Market
Stutterheim receives approximately 788 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 5˚C and 22˚C.
There are daily flights into East London Airport, approximately 88 km’s away via the N6. Car hire facilities are available at the Airport.
Missionaries arrived in the area in the 1830s from the Berlin Missionary Society, who established the Bethel Mission Station in 1837. The Dohne Post fort was built around the same time, named so after the first German missionary Dr Dohne.
On 23 March 1837, soldiers disbanded from the British German Legion which had fought during the Sixth Frontier War (1835) and settled on the forest covered slopes around the Dohne Post and founded a town. They named the town after their Commander, General Richard von Stutterheim, who commenced building a large mansion which was never finished owing to his return to Germany on urgent private business, after only eight months in this country.
There were hopes of von Stutterheim returning later, but these did not materialise, and he died at Wiesbaden, Germany in 1872, aged 65 years.
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