Mthatha (formerly called Umtata) was once the capital of the former Transkei homeland of South Africa, but is now one of the larger towns in the Eastern Cape. If you're heading to the Wild Coast it's the last place to get decent provisions.
To bypass the congested CBD N2 route, when traveling North, use the alternative route before returning to the N2, consisting of Sisson Street, then Sutherland Street (a portion of the R61), then back onto the N2 to Durban. If travelling N2 North to South, use Sutherland Street (R61), then Sisson Street and back onto the N2 to East London.
Mthatha has its own airport and scheduled flights to Johannesburg are available with SA Airlink.
The train station is just south of the city centre.
The railway line to East London via Amabele has been upgraded and a full passenger service between Amabele and Mthatha began operating on 1 March 2008. This route is called "Kei Rail". Trains run once a day, leaving early in the morning, with passengers being conveyed from Amabele (76 km north of East London) to East London by bus. The trip takes about 12 hours.
Since 2011 trains have been running all the way through to East London - no need to take a bus from Amabele to East London.
A must see is the Nelson Mandela Museum (open week days and on Saturday till 12) and its beautiful craft shop of the Ithemba project.
Life St Mary's Private Hospital
There are numerous places to stay in the town, and finding accommodation is usually not difficult.