WATCH: Hogsback’s action-packed fantasy realm
Keen for a bit of adventure without leaving the Eastern Cape, a Daily Dispatch reporter and a photographer – armed with a notebook, camera and bucket loads of enthusiasm – took to the road.
Our mission: Hit the N6, pass through Stutterheim, then on to Alice, Hogsback, Seymore, Whittlesea to Komani (formerly Queenstown) and report back on all the excitement and thrills.
Our first overnight stop was in Hogsback, a quaint little town situated high up in the Amathole Mountains.
This is the first in our six-part Dispatch Everest Adventure series during which, with the help of a Ford Everest 4x2 from Eastern Cape Motors, we explore different regions of the Eastern Cape – from Hogsback and Bathurst on East London’s doorstep to Port Alfred and Port St Johns along our spectacular coastline to the wonderful mountain regions of Rhodes and Lady Grey in the north-east and the Baviaanskloof to the west.
After negotiating the twists and turns of the winding road which leads to the town, we were greeted by the sight of a little village so beautiful it resembles a scene from a movie.
Heeding autumn’s call, most of the leaves on much of the lush vegetation were a mixture of orange and yellow, with mountain views visible from almost every corner of the town.
Despite there being no available tourism office to assist visitors on the sights and activities the town has to offer, there is a map available from some of the stores in town which has local activities clearly marked.
With the town having a single main road, it is easy enough to navigate.
On our way to Komani, we made a brief stop at the Mphofu Game Reserve, situated roughly 78km from Hogsback. We were unfortunately not allowed to see any animals because of hunting season which only ends in September.
In Seymore, the tourism office had become an abandoned building, without much to see in the town save for the agricultural animals.
Komani tourist guide Tsepo Moerane – of 045.Com Tours and Events – said Komani was a jazz town.
According to Moerane, jazz events are regularly held in the city at certain restaurants or event halls, although for tourists it was by arrangement.
“We also specialise in township tours where we give tourists a glimpse of township life. There are many restaurants where they can eat and relax,” he said.
For animal lovers, the Lawrence de Lange Game Reserve offers an opportunity to view white rhino, giraffe, Burchell’s zebra, black wildebeest, red hartebeest, gemsbok, lechwe, nyala, blesbok, kudu, Cape eland, fallow deer, mountain reedbuck, impala, springbok, duiker and steenbok.
The reserve is situated just north of the town and covers 1700ha which include the Maderia Mountain.
The drive through the reserve was easy enough to navigate as the roads are well maintained, with the animals grazing close to the trails.
We were lucky enough to have a curious rhino meandering close to our car, breaking out into a rapid trot as it came closer, ending off our adventure on a high note of screeching tyres and squeals of fear and laughter. — firstname.lastname@example.org