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Eastern Cape : Wild Coast : Mthatha
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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.

Get in

By car

The N2 highway runs directly through Mthatha and allows easy connections to Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, East London to the south, and Durban to the north.

The R61 regional road goes east to Port St Johns on the coast, and west to Queenstown as well as the mountainous and relatively remote interior.

By plane

Mthatha has its own airport and scheduled flights to Johannesburg are available with SA Airlink.

By train

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". At present trains only run on weekends, with passengers being conveyed from East London to Amabele (76 km north of East London) by bus. It is envisaged that from late 2008 trains will also operate during the week, not only weekends. The journey takes 10 hours.

Get around


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.




  • Ebony B&B. The Ebony Restaurant is perhaps the best restaurant in the Eastern Cape and one would not expect to find it in Mthatha.
  • Ocean Basket. A seafood chain found in most cities and large towns, it also offers a reasonable salad.



There are numerous places to stay in the town, and finding accommodation is usually not difficult.

  • Ebony B&B, (Not far from Walter Sisulu University). An enjoyable place to eat and sleep is the Ebony B&B. Steak, Jo'burg Urban Art decor, wrap around patio, plantation-style building. The site of the local Lions club dinners. R400per night.

  • 70 Blakeway B&B, (), [1]. When travelling to Mthatha,you can also use the excellent 70 Blakeway Bed and Breakfast. This B&B has clean and comfortable. From R390.

Get out

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