About the Eastern Cape Highlands

Eastern Cape Highlands

The Senqu municipal area is part of the greater Joe Gqabi District which is situated in the north of the Eastern Cape. It includes Sterkspruit, Barkly East, Rhodes, Rossouw and Lady Grey.
The southern part of the Drakensberg runs through the area and the particular part of the mountain range is called the Witteberg. This mountainous area is also known as the Eastern Cape Highlands and it borders on Lesotho in the north. It includes the Tiffendell Ski Resort as well as some of the highest mountain passes in South Africa such as Naude’s Nek and Joubert’s Pass.
The area is rich in sandstone, fossil beds and rock art and is well known for its biodiversity, fly-fishing and hiking trails. The majestic mountains, deep gorges, pristine rivers and absolute beauty of the Eastern Cape Highlands make it a “got to go” area for all nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. Visitors are amazed by the openness, space and clean, unpolluted air.
The area is steeped in the history of Africa. Geologically, the volcanic peaks bear reference to the great turmoil that created the magnificent Drakensberg range. Botanically, the high mountains are home to South Africa’s own alpine plant species. Culturally, it hosts a substantial collection of paintings by our earliest inhabitants, the San Bushmen, and many historical places that commemorate events of the many later inhabitants. The Xhosa, Sesotho and Hlubie tribes played a significant role on the area, as did the British, Dutch and German settlers.
Most visitors drive through and enjoy the scenery without realising they have missed the hidden gems on route. Details about the most interesting tourism attractions are not published and the sites closed to the general public, only to be visited by special arrangement.
This is where RURAL TOURS can assist. We plan a tailor made tour according to your interests and with your vehicle type, family or group, time and budget in mind. Anything on the list of possible tourism attractions can be included or excluded and you may even wish to include an event or workshop that takes place at the time of your tour. We supply the necessary information for your self-guided tour, arrange your accommodation, meals, access and guides (where necessary) to ensure a memorable holiday… and somewhere in the background we monitor your progress and are there to arrange for assistance should you encounter vehicle or other emergency issues on route.
Accommodation establishments in the area are renowned for their friendly, relaxed atmosphere. You can choose from those in the towns, or experience farm life. You can stay in the valleys or on the highest mountains. Come and unwind … and when you have fed your soul, head for the hills for hiking, biking, scrambling, birding, snow-skiing and many more activities.