The historic little town of Stutterheim, situated in a scenic setting encompassing mountains, rivers and woodlands, is a strong reminder of the German Settler influence in the region. It was named after Major General Baron Richard von Stutterheim, Commander of Britain’s disbanded German Legion, which had fought in the Crimean war. In 1857, after the war, the General and his men settled near the Bethal Mission Station, established 20 years previously by Pastor JL Dohne. The eccentric General immediately set about building himself a castle (it subsequently blew down during a storm). After returning to Germany, he squandered the family fortunes and later committed suicide.
Adventure And Sport
Boating, yachting, wind-surfing and angling: Enjoy a picnic and some boating (not motor), yachting and wind-surfing at the Gubu Dam, west of town. Angling and trout-fishing are allowed. International trout-fishing competitions are hosted here every year. The trout-fishing season extends from September to May.
Kologha Hiking Trail: This two-day, 34,5-km trail takes hikers to areas of breathtaking natural beauty in the Kologha State Forest at the eastern end of the Amatola Mountains. Day visitors have a choice of several delightful short walks through the forest. Walks are colour-coded and all start at the Kologha picnic site.
Kubusie State Forest Hiking Trails: There are various hiking trails in the Kubusie State Forest.
Water sport: Wriggleswade Dam offers bass-fishing, boating, picnicking and camping.
Archaeology And Palaeontology
Haddon Museum: Discover the world of San rock art and learn to interpret art sites with the help of a comprehensive photograph display at this private Rock Art Museum situated at the junction of the N6 and the R63, near Stutterheim. Visits are by appointment only.
History And Architecture
Bethal Church: Some of the older Mission buildings have survived. The present church dates from 1865. Other church buildings in the town are just as old.
Dohne Post: The lock-up part of the old Dohne Post, in the Caravan Park, was built before 1861.
Fort Cunynghame was built in 1878 towards the end of the Ninth (and last) Frontier War and named after General Cunynghame. A small graveyard with several unmarked graves is situated near the fort.
Grave of Chief Sandile: The grave of an honoured chief of the Ngqika (Gaika) Xhosa tribe lies in the area and has been declared a national monument.
Old Mill: An Mill built in 1861 stands on the land granted to the eccentric German General.
Waterfalls: Follow a meandering path under a canopy of stately yellowwood and white stinkwood trees to the various lovely waterfalls in the Kologha Forest. Linger awhile to enjoy these wonders of nature.
The Dohne merino-sheep breed, unique for its ability to eat the sour grasses of the area, was developed at the Dohne Agricultural Research Institute.