South Africa is considered as the paradise for the flora and fauna of the world. Along with being the safe haven for the wondrous creations of nature, South Africa is also the ideal place to experience mankind’s rich and progressive history. If you want to experience these things in the best way, you cannot find a better place than Mthatha.
The city has the best of the accommodations, from cheap prices to high-end hotels. Excellent services are provided during the stay. There are various guides and travel agencies to help in giving a tour in and around Mthatha. Along with a convenient array for the ideal accommodations, Mthatha is a city that is brimming with an innumerable of once-in-a-lifetime sights as it acts as the sanctuary and homes to exotic species of flora and fauna.
Mthatha is imbued with the purest essence of the South African nation. The city is intricately set alongside the banks of the river Mtata. The city has clean and calm beaches for those long walks and an unforgettable coastal hike. You can get engaged in various things to do in Mthatha, as there are majestic cliffs and grassy hilltops, nature reserves and an old long museum of South Africa’s most famous president, Nelson Mandela.
13 Best Things To Do In Mthatha
We have curated a list of some of the best things to do in Mthatha. Read along the article to know more on the interesting activities you can indulge yourself in while exploring around this town of Mthatha.
1. Wall Hiking Trail
With sandy beaches and beautiful mangrove swamps, cliffy hills and amazing caves, the hole in the walking hiking trail is one of the must things to do in Mthatha. The trail is a new twist to usual coastal hikes. This hiking trail is as historically significant as it is beautiful as it built on the foundation of an abandoned gold mine. The trail still retains its historical essence even after several decades as the hikers can still see the remains of what once was an extensively populated gold mine.
The trail starts from a pretty seaside village of Presley’s Bay. Then through the coffee bay beach and then ends in the cave of Dolerite cliffs. Climb down the cave and reach the ANC cadres fully stashed arms hailing the city during the time of liberation struggle. Consider yourself lucky if you find the whales and dolphins swimming and playing in the water in tandem.
2. Hluleka Wildlife Reserve Trails
The Hluleka nature reserve is paradise to the nature lovers. There are well-laid footpaths, suitable to take a walk. Through the beautiful forests of stink ebony, the rocky coastline, and the sandy beaches you can find absolute respite.
The flora and fauna are at its peak here. Take note of the Burchell's Zebras, spotted genets, blue wildebeest roaming in the forest.there are cape parrots, ground hornbill, African finfoot sitting on the branches, stop to click amazing pictures of them. The Hluleka Wildlife Reserve Trails stands as one of the elements that justify South Africa’s reputed title for being a sanctuary for all things natural.
3. Mdumbi River Kayak
Image Credit: Siggy Nowak for Pixabay
Drift in the clear waters of the Mdumbi River by a kayak and witness the most spectacular swarms of jellyfish, or catch the kingfishers swooping into the water. Through the swamps take a look at the nature’s most beautiful creations.
The Mdumbi River Kayak is the ideal choice if one wishes to witness the beauty of the oceanic scenic views that South African county has in stores for visitors. Along with various awe-inspiring oceanic sights, the kayaking trail is enclosed with an overwhelming family of fauna as they guide the path ahead towards the destination.
4. Coffee Bay Beach
Coffee Bay Beach starts from the freely flowing Nenga River and it is backed by grassy hills and cliff faces. The beach is clean, serene, and fantastic for those evening walks. There is a hiking trail through it and you can do horse riding along the shore.
Take a walk alongside the beach to unwind at the day’s end. This is the ideal spot if one wishes to relieve themselves from the mundane routine of everyday life. You can witness the wondrous oceanic sights as you sip on your preferred choice of beverage.
5. Dwesa and Cwebe Nature Reserve
Take time off the hustle and bustle of the city crowd in the reserves of Dwesa and Cwebe. These two reserves lie on either side of the River Mbashe. Less known to the people this is a quiet and less crowded place. The reserves protect the inter-tidal and marine environment.
Along with being the nexus for the endangered species, it also serves as the ideal candidate if one wishes to experience the beauty of nature first-hand. The reserves boast of birdlife comprising of over 290 species of birds. Take a walk along the coast to see the beauty of nature. Hikers can mark it in their activities to do in Mthatha.
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6. Second Beach
Rejuvenate yourself by taking a dip in the waters of Port St. Johns second beach. Go for a run or play volleyball in the sands. Go for The Gap and Blowhole near the beach. It is one of the popular places among the tourists.
There is ladder through a narrow gap which can prove to be quite adventurous. Walking through a distance there is a blowhole at the edge of the ocean on a black rock. The water rushing out of the rock and then crashing against them is pure satisfaction to your aesthetic senses.
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7.Bird’s Nest Hike
Near the Second Beach is an indigenous forest that holds the most spectacular view of the town. Hike through the forest witness the view that is offered and up to the airstrip. There are various accommodations near it for you to enjoy the beauty of nature.
Added to that, tourists can take a hike and experience the fauna co-existing within their respective optimum conditions.
8. Nelson Mandela Museum
Take a tour through the museum to know about the life of world famous leader Nelson Mandela. Loved and respected all over the world, for his work and vision. The museum was opened in 2000, and it was Nelson Mandela's vision to open it for the enrichment of the people of Mthatha. This attraction is a must-visit for anyone who is curious about world-famous leaders and about the impact they had on the world through their legacy.
The museum features a wide collection of pictures and exhibitions that are dedicated to the work and passions of reputed leader that was Nelson Mandela. The museum stands as a tribute to the works and ideas of Nelson Mandela. Tourists can visit the museum from Monday to Friday during any hours between 9AM and 4PM.
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9. So What Lounge
Unwind yourself at this comfortable party place. Known to have the most ravishing parties in the town. The place is located at a non-residential area, so the parties go up-till morning. visit the place to dance to the beats and indulge in the city culture. There is a spacious dance floor, private lounge and pool tables.
The place is perfect for anyone who wants to lose themselves within crowds and loud music. It also serves as the hub to meet and interact with new people around the city. The So What Lounge also serves as the perfect getaway from the mundane as they have the opportunity to sip on their preferred drink of choice while munching on delicious South African delicacies.
10. Madiba Trail
The hike in the Madiba Trail is one of the things to do in Mthatha. The trail leads to Qunu where Nelson Mandela grew up and then past the University of Fort Hare, where he studied. The Mathatha dam is located along the trail, ideal for outdoor activities and picnics with family and children.
A wonderful way for fishing and bird watching. The trail serves as an all-purpose hike for experiencing the beauty and significance of the South African city. Not only does it acts as grounds that imbues the history of South Africa but also as the spot where the tourists can experience wondrous natural scenic sights as they witness the flora and fauna co-existing in perfect harmony within the trail. Tourists can spend their day with their family in the Madiba trail and indulge in various activities such as camping and fishing to make cherishable memories with their families.
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11. Kwelera National Botanical Garden
It is a conservation garden, promoting biodiversity among the locals as well as the tourists. You can spot various less known birds like Knysna turaco, or an emerald spotted wood dove. Visitors can spot various species of bird that they probably have never seen before. The Kwelera National Botanical Garden acts as the breeding ground for some of the most exotic species of bird kind.
12. Magwa Waterfall
A 50- minute drive from Port St. Johns will lead you to the Magwa Waterfalls, located in the middle of the Magwa tea plantation. It serves as the ideal spot to unwind during a long trip within the city. Tourists can witness the powerful yet incredibly soothing ambiance that the Magwa Waterfall makes for.
The waterfall is soothing to the eyes and the best way to relax. It is said to closely resemble the Victoria falls in Zimbabwe. The waterfall is 144 meters high and drops into a narrow canyon. The special part is that the canyon is made by the seismic movement. Owing to the fact that is designed by the natural movements of the Earth makes it the ideal spot to witness the beauty of nature and everything that exists within.
Visitors can take a walk in the tea estate and witness the aroma of freshly picked and brewed tea. It is one of the things to do around Mthatha.
13. Mthatha Plaza
South Africa doesn't just depend on its vast array of beautiful wildlife to entertain and impress tourists. The Mthatha Plaza is known to be the hub for any shopping-related activities that the tourists might want to indulge in. It is one of the town’s best places to hang out and to grab a cup of coffee. It is an all-time hangout place for youngsters.
It has a small shopping complex, where you can run errands for your trip. You can find checkers, music, debonair, and fish & chips shop here. Along with that, The Mthatha plaza also houses various other restaurants and eating points which are known to serve delicious authentic South African dishes.
The best time to visit Mthatha is from May to December. May is the beginning of winters in South Africa. It has summer months during November to February, while July to November is the best time for whale watching. This proves that there are several things to do in Mthatha that will catch your interest. So, what are you waiting for, grab your tickets now for an incredible vacation in South Africa.
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