The area south of where the Kei River flows into the Indian Ocean has been called many names, including ”Hinterland”, “Frontier Territory” and “Settler Country”. These names mainly refer to the tumultuous history of this area, but the area should also be recognised as the birthplace of a new people, forged through sacrifice, conflict and hardship, a people worthy of inheriting a new world. Today, the people of this region call it “the place of opportunities”. The Amatola Mountain Escape Tourist Route takes travellers through the region and to its many popular attractions. This fertile region includes a magnificent coastline, the Winterberg and Amatola Mountain Ranges and the foothills of the southern Drakensberg Mountain Range. The network of rivers, lagoons and estuaries that criss-cross the grassy plains and mountain ranges, provide visitors and inhabitants alike with adventures galore. The adventures include rock-climbing and abseiling, mountain biking, hiking, hunting, bird watching, 4×4 trails, kayaking and some of the best fishing-, swimming- (the warm Mozambique current flows here) and surfing-spots in the world. For the more culturally-minded there is the world-renowned African art collection at Fort Hare University in Alice, (alma mater of former President Nelson Mandela) as well as numerous San rock art sites and cultural villages, to visit. The picturesque little village of Hogsback, set on the edge of the misty Amatola Mountains, is said to have inspired the renowned author Tolkien, to write his famous work, “The Hobbit”. Since earliest times, the major river of the area, the Buffalo River, has played an important role in the lives of all the inhabitants. The Khoi-Khoi, relatives of the nomadic San, called the river “Ingaab ab” (buffalo) and the Xhosa tribes, who arrived later, named it Bisho, also meaning buffalo. The British Settlers translated this name into English. At the mouth of the river lies South Africa’s only river port and the city of East London; now part of the Buffalo City Metropolitan Area. Buffalo City encompasses the coastal town of East London, Bisho, the provincial capital, King William’s Town and the towns of Mdantsane and Berlin. It falls under the jurisdiction of the Amatola District Municipality but is awaiting confirmation of its status as the areas’ second Metropolitan Municipality.