Tourism, Accommodation and Historical Attractions in Natal, South Africa
The Towns of East Griqualand
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Matatiele was founded by the Griquas after their trek across the Drakensberg. The name of the town comes from the name of an adjacent marsh called Madi i Yila or 'the ducks have flown'.
The town was very much the Wild West in the latter years of the 19th century and was a haven for horse thieves, gun runners and smugglers who used the nearby Drakensberg mountains as a handy retreat. "No Man's Land" was the name given to this area a hundred years ago.
Today, the small town is the centre of a farming area concentrating on maize and dairy goods. Horses are bred in the area. The road to Mount Fletcher and Maclear is shortly to be tarred and when completed, this route will be the shortest from Durban to Cape Town.
Matatiele Museum is located in a National Monument that has previously been a garage, an auction room, a Dutch Reformed Church and a telephone exchange. There are displays of artefacts from the San to the early white settlers.
Near the town is the Wilfred Bauer Nature Reserve (200ha) where there are picninc sites and springbok, wildebeest and zebra.