The area is dominated by its rich heritage that is captured in numerous graves, battle sites and forts that are included in the Frontier Wars Route. There is only one game reserve and commercially protected area the Double Drift Game Reserve, currently managed by the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency. It provides self-drive game drives and self-catering accommodation.
Along the coast is the Sunshine Coast Route is actively marketed however not all products are listed except for the two coast resorts Mpekweni and Fish River Sun.
Further inland the Frontier Country route extends into the municipality and offers huge opportunities to link into the route that could attract and extend visits in the area.
Along the coast is remarkably unspoilt beaches and natural coastal line features that’s left largely untapped. Two beach trails name the Sandy Trail and Ship wreck trail exist however are not actively maintained or marketed to visitors also lacking dedicated infrastructure.
THE MAKANA HERITAGE ROUTE COMPRISES OF A NUMBER OF HERITAGE SITES:
Situated on the opposite side of the N2 from the town of Peddie, the remains of the fort form a living link between the town’s history and current town’s people. The tower and the original barracks stand check by jowl with the Dick King Memorial, the new Crafts Centre and the municipal council offices.
In the 1830s the Glenelg – Stockenstrom Treaty System has pushed the Xhosa further back, establishing the Keiskamma River as the border between the colony and ‘Kaffirland’ To protect t this border, the fort was built in 1835 on the banks of the Hlosi River and named after Colonel John Peddie, commanding officer of the 72nd Regiment (Seaforth Highlanders).
DICK KING MEMORIAL
The memorial, initially erected to commemorate a single man, was rededicated in 1950 to those from the region who died in both World Wars and again, more recently, to the memory of all South Africans that have died in wars, Battle and skirmishes fought for ideals and principles.
Born in Chatman, England, he came to Albany in South Africa in 1813 at the age of seven with his family as part of the 1820 settler programme. Eight years later he went to live in Port natal, where he become one of the pioneer traders, interacting with various missionaries and soldiers – including Captain Allan Gardner and Reverend Grancis Owen.
In Owen’s company he met influential people of his day, including the Zulu King Dingane. In 1838 following the death of the Voortrekker leader, Piet Ritief, in a skirmish with the Zulu armies, Dick King made the first of two legendary journeys .He covered 190kilometres on foot in four days and four nights, warning as many voortrekker settlements as he could that the Zulu armies were closing on them. In the end, he was able to save only one – that of Gerri Maritz.
In 1842, together with his ‘servant’ Ndongeni, he made a horse-back journey from Natal to Grahamstown.
Through the Peddie graves and so called Peddie “German Village” are linked to German settlement in the Eastern Cape in the 1850s and 1860 because a number of German immigrants did settle there and form a distinctive “village” and grave section. Peddie is not one of the original German settler villages.
In 1950, it became clear under the apartheid government that this area would become of Ciskei-designated Xhosa homeland-German descendants of the early settlers started to leave the village, selling their small holdings to blacks.
The fort and the barracks are linked through an underground tunnel that was closed off. Efforts to reopen the tunnel are underway and with more information displays and guided tours could offer greater tourism opportunities.
BATTLE OF UMGWANGQA
The site of the battle in not officially marked, but you can find it easily enough a few kilometres outside Peddie, at the Alice turnoff. The battle is significant not so much because it could be counted a huge error of judgement on the part of the Xhosa (they attacked a much larger, better equipped British force in broad daylight) but because it indicates that a sense of desperation has developed among Xhosa following nearly four decades of resistance to British colonization.
The church is one of three Wesleyan Mission stations established in the area in 1835 and the closest to the Fort Peddie Watchtower.