The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa


Afrikaans name: Mthatha

View over Mthatha

View over Mthatha

Photo © Johan van Zyl

Eastern Cape

The town of Mthatha was formerly known as Umtata and was, for 18 years, the capital of the 'homeland' known as Transkei. It was then re-incorporated into South Africa.

European settlement of the area first started in the 1870s. The British established a military post in 1882 and the town was founded in 1883.

The area around Mthatha will always be linked with former President Nelson Mandela. His home town was Qunu which is not far away. There is a museum dedicated to the life of Mandela in Mthatha.

There is a wide variety of accommodation available in Mthatha. These range from hotels to B&B's.

Mthatha weather


There are a number of things to do in the surrounding area including visits to nature reserves, a hiking trail and visits to historical buildings.

View of Mthatha

Above - View of Mthatha

Photo © Johan van Zyl

References and further reading

The Pictorial Motoring Atlas of South Africa - Author: Maxwell Leigh - Published: 1987 - Page: 111

Readers Digest Illustrated Guide to Southern Africa - 4th edition - Author: - Published: 1986 - Page: 403

Southern Africa from the Highway - Author: AA RSA - Published: 1991 - Page: 203

On Route - A region by region guide to South Africa - Author: B.P.J. Erasmus - Published: 1995 - Page: 108

Book of the Road - 4th edition - Author: MapStudio - Published: 2019 - Page: 133

Conollys Guide to Southern Africa - 2nd edition - Author: Denis Conolly - Published: 1982 - Page: 172


Got a comment about the content on this page?

Copyright Steven Herbert Projects, 2013 - 2022. All rights reserved.

Privacy Policy - FAQ - Terms of use