Tourism destinations

MATATIELE is blessed with amazing natural and heritage tourist
attractions that have drawn visitors to experience
the real African adventure
Ongeluksnek Nature Reserve

Ongeluksnek offers fantastic hiking for all fitness levels. There are several marked trails from 1km to 12km, as well as longer mapped but unmarked trails for the more adventurous – ideal for horses or mountain bikes.

Mountain Lake Nature Reserve

Located 12 km from town, on a plateau of rolling grasslands and wetlands. The reserve offers magnificent views of the Drakensberg. The lake covers 30 ha when full and offers excellent trout fishing (rainbow trout). The reserve is home to more than 80 species, including the rare Rudd’s Lark.

Wilfred Bauer Nature Reserve

Situated 5 km west of town on the Lesotho road the reserve offers picnic facilities, fishing, walking and game viewing. Come and visit the unique Zedonk (a cross between a donkey and zebra) which roams the park. Other species include various bird life, Wildebeest and Zebra.

Matatiele Museum

Established in 1993 Matatiele Museum houses a collection of artefacts and historic items of the town, including but not limited to fossils, antique household objects, post boxes.
The Museum also houses a diverse cultural and historic information of the town, from the San people, Hlubi’s, Sotho’s, Zulu’s, Missionaries, etc.
This beautiful sandstone building was originally a Dutch Reformed Church which has since been declared provincial heritage site and national monument.

Monday – Friday

  •  09:00 AM – 12:00 PM
  •  14:00 PM – 16:00 PM

Closed on Weekend

Mariazell Mission

Mariazell Mission is a 47km ride outside the town of Matatiele, at the foothill of the Drakensberg Mountain. The drive to this Catholic mission is paved with a bumpy dirt path on rolling rocky hills. Hurried automobiles, small and big, raise a storm of dust from the gravel surface en route to this tranquil, picturesque hamlet.

Matatiele Heroes Acre

The Matatiele Heroes Acre was built in memory of the many fallen heroes who passed away during the struggle era. Many of the victims’ bodies were exhumed from countries like Lesotho and Botswana and buried in South Africa.

Off-road Motorcycling

Matatiele is home to some of the very best adventure biking terrain in the world and it is not uncommon to see whole families enjoying some time riding their bikes out in the open. Organisations like Rock Rabbits and Route 56 Matatiele Bike Adventures offer guided off-road motorcycle tours in the district.  Matatiele also annually play host to household events like:

  • MATAT2PONT| 3 Day Enduro

Matat2Pont is an annual 3 day marquee event, which begins in Matatiele where riders ride through some challenging sections of the mountainous region of the Eastern Cape, through Kokstad southern KZN, passing some undulating hills, valleys and river crossings towards Harding, and finally passing over the infamous floating bridge at The Pont in Port Edward.  The event attracts thousands of riders, spectators and live broadcast viewers on social media. READ MORE

  • RAMASGATE – Africa’s Hardest One Day Enduro

Gaining a reputation as the hardest one day enduro in Africa, RAMASGATE focuses on giving riders unrivalled Lesotho and East Griqualand riding terrain and designed to harness the fellowship across all off road riding facets with a dash of East Griqualand hospitality aimed to create an off road riding weekend like no other.

Mountain Biking

Mountain biking is one of the fastest-growing sports in the country and it is hard to imagine a more suitable area to take your bicycle off road than here at Matatiele. Whether on predetermined mountain-biking trails or out for a casual ride, the area is home to an infinite number of rides for all levels of skill

The surrounding villages have a myriad of footpaths which make for excellent singletrack riding. The area has good riding up the passes, with some loops and links for the adventurous and technically skilled rider, allowing exploration of the little known southern berg/Lesotho border area, such as Nene’s pass.

4×4 Trails

Matatiele is conveniently situated at the southern border of Lesotho, making it the perfect base from which to explore this mountain kingdom and the Southern Drakensburg. Considered by locals to the ‘last outpost’, Matatiele offers three border posts into Lesotho, of which two are 4×4 passes. Other interesting 4×4 routes include the Ongeluksnek Nature Reserve and 4×4 Pass, Mariazell Mission and the Three-Sisters 4×4 Route

Dagga Three Sisters Trail | Cederville Scenic

From the Cedarberg Guest Farm 8 km from Cedarville, through several trails of  the Cedarberg into the beautiful foothills of the Drakensberg Mountains. The Cedarberg Scenic Trail is not for the faint-hearted, but if you are looking for that adrenalin rush, the Dagga Trail route is a must, while you work your way towards the Three Sisters. Seeing muddy terrain and rocky gorges will greet you on the way, it is essential that you use a high-clearance 4×4 with low-range capability. Bring along recovery equipment – you may well need it.

Ongeluksnek Pass Trail

Ongeluksnek pass or along northern bushcamp track along Jordan river to picnic sites. Can drive through border up into Lesotho to the spectacular Lake Letsie wetland area (24km from lodge).

MEHLODING HIKING TRAIL

Mehloding Adventure Trail is a community owned fully guided four day local community hike through rural villages, mountainous foothills and fording mountain streams in the southern Drakensberg that provides the hiker with overnight stays in traditional huts/chalets & visits to caves with ancient rock art.

For More on the Trail: www.mehloding.co.za/trailinfo.htm

FLY FISHING

Fly-fishing If you enjoy the peace and quiet of fly-fishing, you’ve come to the right place. Matatiele is a popular trout fishing hotspot and offers a number of pristine destinations that are perfect for lovers of this cunning sport. We are spoiled for choice when it comes to fishing in the area. With Matatiele being a water-rich area, one can enjoy fishing for rainbow and brown trout, bass and carp. There is a wide selection of fishing options available, with locations ranging from stocked farm dams and a lake to cold mountain streams and raging rivers.