Hogsback is a small, enchanted village in the gorgeous Amatola Mountains of the Eastern Cape. It is surrounded by high peaks, plunging valleys, majestic waterfalls and rumbling rivers. The three mountain peaks are believed to be the origin of is intriguing name, since they resemble a hog in profile.
The locals of Hogsback are known for being a little eccentric and always colourful, which has created an atmosphere of fairytale fantasy within this remote setting. The village is situated 30 kilometres from the small town of Alice. It is also fairly close to Cathcart, Waterdown Dam and Keiskammahoek. This entire area is rather rural; even the towns and farming communities around Hogsback do not have many of the infrastructural features or tourist attractions of the big city.
Gaika’s Kop is the highest peak in or around Hogsback, and towers over the village at 1954 metres.
Summers are usually hot, although the nights stay cool, even cold. Some days start off rather chilly but, when the mist lifts, they are hot and balmy. Winters are very special, as they frequently bring thick blankets of pristine white snow, which coat the homes, mountains and forests like wedding cake icing, only much sweeter. During spring, the entire village and its surrounds erupts into a kaleidoscope of colours as flowers burst into bloom.
So, here’s what to do when visiting Hogsback:
- The Spring Festival is an annual celebration of the gardens and flowers of Hogsback. Visitors, musicians and performers come from all around to share in the natural palette of these blossoms and to create an atmosphere that reflects this vibrancy.’
- There are so many hiking and walking trails through the forests and mountains that it would take a lifetime to finish them all. These trails range from short strolls for those that can’t manage long distances or challenging terrain, to hikes of three to four hours long. They are also ideal for mountain biking. Some of the best trails include the Labyrinth at the Edge, Madonna and Child Falls (a bolted route that is sure to get the adrenalin pumping), Kettlespout Falls, The Three Hogs, Three Waterfall Trail, and Sunset Loop.
- Take a horse-ride through the forests to appreciate the beauty from the elevated heights of one of these graceful animals.
- Visit the many art and craft places within the village; including Applegarth Garden, Eco-Shrine, Starways Pottery, the Sand Castle Glassware, Camelot Fairy Realm, Mafika Pottery and the Little Studio.