Fort Beaufort, South Africa Tourist Attractions
Fort Beaufort lies 100km/62mi from the coast of the Indian Ocean on the borders of the former homeland of Ciskei. Founded in 1822 as a military outpost of the Cape Colony, it is now a citrus fruit growing and sheep-farming center.Fort Beaufort was the scene of an incident which sparked off the seventh frontier war, the "Axe War". In 1846 a Xhosa stole an axe from a shop in the town; a group of British soldiers and volunteers thereupon attacked the Xhosa settlement of Queen Adelaide; and this in turn led to a bloody conflict which ended only in 1847.
Hogsback, Katberg, Fort Beaufort, South Africa
A few km/mi east of Alice a road runs north to Hogsback, 50km/31mi northeast of Fort Beaufort. The town lies at an altitude of 1,300m/4,265ft in the beautiful Amatola Mountains. Hogsback and the little town of Katberg, 27km/17mi east, are popular holiday resorts in summer and winter, but the best time of year here is between June and September. (On some days during the year there may be snow, but most of the rainfall occurs in summer, when thunderstorms and mist are to be expected.) Round Hogsback are dense forests - good walking country. The beautiful scenery in this area is said to have given J. R. R. Tolkien the inspiration for his "Lord of the Rings".Part of the forested area round Hogsback is now the Auckland Nature Reserve, with a population of antelopes, gazelles, porcupines and reedbucks. Birds to be seen here include both predators and songbirds (among them the African golden oriole). The most striking natural features are the Madonna and Child Falls and the Kettlespout.
Tsolwana Game Reserve
50km/31mi north of Fort Beaufort (and west of Sada) is Tsolwana Game Reserve (area 10,000ha/25,000ac), established in 1979, which lies at heights of between 1,300 and 1,800m (4,265 and 5,900ft) in a relatively rainless area. After rain does fall, however, a luxuriant vegetation comes to life. The fauna includes rhinos, giraffes, mountain zebras and various species of antelope. The reserve can be explored by car on unsurfaced roads or on conducted walks; there is accommodation for visitors in old farmhouses.
Adelaide, South Africa
37km/23mi west of Fort Beaufort is Adelaide (pop. 10,000), founded in 1834 as a garrison town and named after William IV's wife Queen Adelaide. It is now the center of a corn and citrus fruit growing and sheep-farming area. Its Heritage Museum has a fine collection of porcelain, glass and silver.
Alice, South Africa
Alice, 23km/14mi east of Fort Beaufort, was founded in 1847 as a mission station and military post. The Municipal Museum has a display of traditional Xhosa dress. Outside the town, housed in an old British fort, is Fort Hare University, established in 1916 as a college for blacks and promoted to university status in 1970. Among its students have been Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo, Robert Mugabe and Kenneth Kaunda. It now has more than 8,500 students.