Uitenhage, Eastern Cape, South Africa situated only 38 Km from Port Elizabeth and 45 Km from the Addo Elephant National Park is well worth a short stop over. It is also fondly referred to as the Garden Town due to its many scenic parks and a climate that allows flowers to flourish naturally with prickly pears and aloes covering the countryside. The towns’ official flower, the Strelitzia, blooms just about everywhere painting a very pretty picture of the town and Magennis Park, in Church Street is renowned for its dahlias and aviaries.

Only 30 Km from the sparkling Indian Ocean this charming town offers sun-filled beach activities and water sport. Inland activities include hiking and many historical attractions with the Cuyler Manor as possibly the most popular of all. This building was the personal home of the Landrost of Uitenhage between 1802 and 1829. It has since been beautifully restored with period furnishings. Also featuring a demonstration farm including Angora Goats, spinning, weaving, farm animals and an old Mill House, it would be well worth the visit.

Places to Visit

Things to do and see:

  • Drostdy Museum
  • Old railway Station Museum
  • Groendal Wilderness Area Hikes
  • The VW Auto Pavilion
  • Despatch Museum
  • Canonhill
  • Hinterveld Mill Tours
  • Africana Museum

All types of accommodation from Camping, Backpacking, B&B’s, Guest Houses to Lodges and Resorts.

Climate

Uitenhage has rainfall throughout the year, but their highest rainfall month is March.

Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 14˚C and 27˚C.

Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 11˚C.

Transport

Commercial Airlines offer flights into Port Elizabeth, just 30 Km from Uitenhage. Car Rental companies can be found at the Airport.

Festivals

February/March – Prickly Pear Festival: A day of traditional food making.

March – Wings and Wheels Festival: Showcasing all types of air and motor vehicles on show.

December – Uitenhage Street Carnival: Two days of parades, art, culture and street markets.

More festivals can be attended in the surrounding areas, see Port Elizabeth and Grahamstown.

History

General Jocob Abraham Uitenhage de Mist was sent from Holland to take over the Cape from the British at the end of the first occupation in 1802.

He visited the Eastern Cape, then a frontier area much troubled by Xhosa raids. He founded the town, named after him, and it grew as a stronghold and seat of authority in a disturbed area.

Uitenhage today is an industrial town, the site of tyre and car factories and a railway workshop. Not such a small town, Uitenhage has approximately 300 000 residents. The Volkswagen factory located there is the biggest car factory on the African continent and is one of the main forms of employment for many who live there.

Notable people from Uitenhage include Okkert Brits, former Olympic Pole Vaulter and Smuts Ngonyama, ANC National Spokesperson during Thabo Mbeki’s era and now South African Ambassador to Spain.

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