Bisho, South Africa Tourist Attractions
Bisho, 60km/37mi northwest of East London, was capital of the Ciskei, declared an "independent homeland" in 1982. (Ciskei, in which 97% of the population were Xhosa, had been granted domestic self-government in 1972). This state, which was not recognized outside South Africa and was not economically viable, was reincorporated in the Republic of South Africa when the transitional constitution came into force on April 27th 1994.The town was founded only in the 1970s, succeeding Zwelitsha, 15km/ 9mi south, which had previously served as the administrative center of the Xhosa people.The townscape of Bisho is dominated by a number of modern office and government buildings. Befitting its role as one-time capital of Ciskei, it has a large airport.
Shipwreck Hiking Trail
Along the Ciskei coast, between the Great Fish River to the southwest and the Ncera River to the northeast, runs the 64km/40mi long Shipwreck Hiking Trail. The sections of the trail between the Great Fish River and the Bira River (22.5km/14mi) and between Hamburg and Kiwane (6km/4mi) are particularly attractive.Although in the past many ships ran aground on this stretch of coast, the Shipwreck Hiking Trail fails to live up to its name: not a single wreck is anywhere to be seen.
Hamburg, Bisho, South Africa
A number of side roads (sometimes unsurfaced) run south from N 2 into a coastal strip some 25km/15mi wide fringed by beautiful beaches. The little town of Hamburg lies on the estuary of the Keiskammer River, which here forms a lagoon. As the town's name suggests, it was founded in 1857 by German settlers who set out to establish a port at the mouth of the river. The project was frustrated by the silting-up of the harbor, but thanks to its beautiful beach Hamburg has developed into a popular holiday resort. 6km/4mi east is Kiwane, a small holiday village with a camping site and simple bungalows
6km/4mi east is of Hamburg is Kiwane, a small holiday village with a camping site and simple bungalows.
Stutterheim, Bisho, South Africa
42km/26mi north of Bisho on R 346 is Stutterheim (pop. 38,000). Outside the town to the east is the Bethel mission station, established by German missionaries in 1837. In 1857 more German settlers came to the area - members of the German Legion, which had fought on the British side in the Crimean War. The town is named after their commander, Richard von Stutterheim.Stutterheim is a good base for hikes into the beautiful forest country round the town, with many native species of trees (yellowwood, stinkwood, wild fig, etc.).
Peddie, Bisho, South Africa
53km/33mi from Bisho on N 2, the road to Grahamstown, is Peddie, which during the Kaffir Wars of the mid 19th C was frequently the scene of bitter fighting between the Xhosa and the white conquerors. An outlook tower erected in 1841 stands on the site of a fort which was a military base during the Kaffir Wars.