Geography and History
The Chris Hani municipal region lies at the heart of the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. It is the second largest of the Eastern Cape province’s district municipalities and it covers an area of 37 111km². It has a population of about 823 000 giving it a low population density of 22 per square kilometre.
The region is named after assassinated freedom fighter Chris Hani and the district is characterised by a changing landscape that slopes down from the southern Drakensberg Mountains and crosses the eastern grasslands to the Karoo.
The majority of its people speak isiXhosa. Its boundaries stretch between the Ukhahlamba district in the north, OR Tambo district in the east, Amathole in the south, Cacadu in the south-west and a small stretch of the Northern Cape province lies to the north-west. This region is divided into eight local municipalities. The seat of the district is Queenstown. The key towns in this region are Cradock, Middelburg, Queenstown, Elliot and Cofimvaba.
Tourists to this region will be treated to zebras, aloes, game farms, mohair, heritage and real hospitality! Game reserves, rock art, fossils, farm stays, heritage and agriculture are what you can expect when you visit this region.
Some of the biggest attractions of the region include the Mountain Zebra National Park near Cradock, one of South Africa’s great conservation success stories.
The town of Cradock has the Olive Schreiner House (former home of the renowned author of Story of an African Farm), the Dutch Reformed Church (built as a replica of St Martin’s-in-the-Fields in London) and the beautifully restored 19th century artisan cottages, the Tuishuise.
The longest known gallery of San rock paintings in South Africa exists on the Denorbin farm between Barkly East and Elliot and the Ruth Lock Shell Art Gallery in Queenstown displays one woman’s lifework in the form of intricate shell sculptures.
A variety of accommodation is available to suit every taste, including luxury guest houses, Bed and Breakfast establishments, chalets,Game Lodges, caravan and camping facilities as well as self-catering cottages on farms in the area.
Farms around Middelburg and Cradock specialise in mohair, mutton and wool. Queenstown is also a manufacturing centre producing furniture, wood and processed dairy products. The region is rich in Aloe Ferox from which commercial skincare products are made and food processing occurs around Cradock and Middelburg.
Tel: +27 (0)45 838 3467
Fax: +27 (0)45 838 1582