Explore the charm of the Walter Sisulu area
Story: Samkelo Fetile | Photo: Supplied
As the festive season approaches, there's no better time to embark on a journey of discovery and relaxation in the enchanting Walter Sisulu area. Nestled in the foothills of the majestic Southern Drakensberg Mountains and cradled by the Orange River and Kraai Rivers, Walter Sisulu is a hidden gem waiting to be explored. Comprising five unique towns—Maletswai, James Calata, Burgersdorp, Venterstad, and Steynsburg—the municipality beckons tourists with a blend of history, natural beauty, and adventure.
A tapestry of history and relaxation
Maletswai, is a town steeped in history. From the days of the San people to the Anglo Boer Wars, the town's historic buildings stand as silent witnesses to a bygone era. Explore the Garden of Remembrance, Walter Sisulu Freedom Square Memorial Site, and the Church Square Museum housed in the old 1864 Dutch Reformed Church.
For those seeking relaxation, Maletswai is home to the famous hot springs at the Aliwal Spa Resort. These rejuvenating springs, with water at a soothing temperature of around 34℃, offer a perfect respite for visitors. The town also boasts museums, historical sites, nature reserves, a beautiful golf course, and captivating San Rock Artwork.
James Calata, built on the farm Plessis Kraal in 1847, is a town adorned with historical landmarks and artistic treasures. Explore the Louw Wepener Monument, James Calata Museum, and the captivating rock art panels at Leliekloof's Valley of Art. Immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of James Calata's past and present.
Burgersdorp, known as one of the oldest town in the North Eastern Cape, invites visitors to delve into its unique history. Discover 10 monuments, including the old Theological Seminary and school for the Reformed Church. Embark on hiking activities and traverse the nature reserve, revelling in its unique landscape and natural beauty.
A gateway to nature and adventure
Venterstad, situated as the gateway to the Gariep Dam and nature reserves, is a haven for nature enthusiasts. The Oviston Nature Reserve, home to zebras, springboks, and gemsboks, beckons with hiking and bird-watching opportunities. Explore community tourism initiatives, including a cultural centre narrating the stories and legends of the area. The town's proximity to the Orange-Fish River Tunnel, the longest irrigation tunnel in the world, adds to its allure.
Steynsburg, a small Karoo town surrounded by mountains, offers a tranquil retreat in the sheep farming territory of the Eastern Cape. Enjoy a comfortable stay with amenities, a Country Club, a nine-hole golf course, a bowling green, and a gymnasium. Revel in the healthy climate and gaze at brilliant, star-filled night skies.
Walter Sisulu is not just a destination; it's an experience. Whether you're a history buff, nature lover, or adventure seeker, the five towns within this municipality offer a diverse tapestry of experiences. This festive season, embark on a journey through Walter Sisulu and create memories that will last a lifetime.