Keiskammahoek

Keiskammahoek lies in a curve of the Keiskamma River, protected by the Amatola Mountains and Hills. The town has several charming Victorian and German Settler buildings and various other buildings of national historical interest. A modern hospital takes pride of place, albeit in stark contrast to the ruined but still impressive stone Keiskammahoek Post, an extensive military complex.

Adventure And Sport

Amatola Hiking Trail: The challenging Amatola to Hogsback Trail starts at Maden Dam, is 160 km long and takes six days with five overnight stops. This trail is one of the most popular and demanding trails in the country. It winds through plantations and primeval forests, over grasslands and up into some of the higher peaks of the Amatola Mountains.

Piri/Evelyn Hike: This two-day hike through the beautiful Piri Forest and Amatola Mountain area is ideal for the less experienced hiker. Enjoy an overnight stay at Evelyn Hut, a farmhouse. For the very inexperienced there is a 4-hour, 9-kilometre walk through the Piri Forest, following the route of an old railway line built in 1910 to transport logs from the forest.

Sandile Walk: The less strenuous Sandile Walk starting from Maden Dam is suitable for day visitors and will take you to the cave where, in 1878, the Xhosa chief, Sandile, took refuge from pursuing British troops.

Zingcuka Trail: The trail is a two-day hike with overnight accommodation in a comfortable wooden log cabin.

Entertainment And Shopping

Yellowwood furniture: A factory in town produces various articles made from yellowwood. Orders can be placed and articles bought.

Fauna And Flora

Natural fauna and flora: The natural plant- and wildlife of areas, such as the Amatola Basin, the Cata, Wolfridge and Dontsa Forests, Emnayameni Gorge, Sandile Dam and the Keiskamma River is without equal. There are several hiking trails and trout-fishing opportunities in the area.

History And Architecture

Ballantyne’s Wagon Works: The remains of the largest wagon-making factory in the Eastern Cape can still be seen.

Fort Cox Monument: A military outpost was established here in 1835 and the fort was built in 1847.

Fort Eyre: The ruins of Fort Eyre, a British military outpost established after the War of the Axe, are in this area.

Frontier Wars sites: Many historical events took place in this area during the nine Frontier Wars. Reminders of these wars are scattered over the area and some historic buildings and sites from this time can still be seen.

Ngqika’s Grave: The turn-off to the grave of Ngqika (Gaika), father of Chief Sandile, is reached after passing the 994-m-high Mount MacDonald. He was killed on the nearby plains of Amalinde during one of the bloodiest battles in Xhosa history.

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