Matatiele is situated in the shadow of the Matatiele Mountain in the former ‘no man’s land’. During the latter part of the 19th century, it was the home of horse thieves, gun runners and smugglers – something like an African version of the Wild West. This area was once dominated by wetlands and marshes. And thus the name, Matatiele – derived from Sesotho – translated ‘the ducks have flown’.
Today the town is essentially a farming community. It is also one of the few places in the country where you can find 100% organic red meat from the local farms. The town museum was located in what was initially a garage, an auction room, a Dutch Reformed Church. And finally a telephone exchange, before becoming a national monument.
If you’re a biker, a hiker, a fisherman, a birder or someone who just loves the fresh outdoors, then take a trip on the wild side and head to Matat (as the locals call it). Explore breath-taking mountain trails, take in the ancient rock art or get all man vs fish with a big old local trout.
To do in the area:
Mehloding Hiking Trail,
4×4 trails, fly-fishing (Matatiele is water-rich with plenty of well-stocked farm dams and lakes), Ongeluksnek Nature Reserve,
|Mountain Lake Nature Reserve,
Wilfred Bauer Nature Reserve (see the unique cross donkey and zebra known as a zedonk)
|Country name||South Africa|