This small town was founded in 1893 and originally named Rossville after the Reverend David Ross. When the residents asked the Prime Minister of the Cape, Cecil John Rhodes, for a financial contribution, he sent them pine saplings. The town was then renamed in his honour and the descendants of those first saplings still adorn the town. Rhodes is mostly regarded as a winter holiday retreat because of its seasonal snowfalls that allow skiing on the 3 001-m-high Ben MacDhui Mountain but there is also plenty to do in the summer months. The whole town has been declared a national monument.

Adventure And Sport

Ben MacDhui Mountain Peak: The 3 001-m-high Ben MacDhui is the highest peak of the Southern Drakensberg Mountains in this region of the Eastern Cape. In the summer months (October to March) hikers, grass-skiers, and mountain bikers frequent the grassy, green slopes, to be replaced by enthusiastic snow-boarders and snow-skiers during the winter months from June to September. The Tiffindell Ski Resort, situated on the slopes of the mountain, boasts the two highest pubs and the highest restaurant in South Africa!

Fishing: Excellent trout-fishing opportunities exist in the mountain streams. This is the opportunity to pit your skills against these wily, elusive fish.

Road-running: The Rhodes Ultra-Marathon takes place here every July and follows a 60-km track through the mountainous landscape of the region.

Shooting: Partridge-shooting is allowed but only in season.

Archaeology And Palaeontology

San Rock Art: There are several superb rock art sites in the Rhodes area. However, as most of the sites are situated on private farms, viewing is by prior arrangement only. For more information, contact the local tourism office.

San Rock Art at Buttermead: This San rock art site is close to the Martindell site, easily accessible by foot and includes images of eland, birds, the “lightning bird” and distorted human figures.

San Rock Art at Martindell: The San rock art at Martindell is one of the best preserved in the country and includes scenes of a hunt.

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