Mthatha (previously Umtata), Eastern Cape, South Africa

Worship place, Mthatha, Eastern Cape.

Umtata was founded in 1879 and was declared the capital of the Transkei, the homeland of the Xhosa people. As a present for their independence, South Africa donated the University of Transkei. Today, about 4 000 students are enrolled at this university.

Umtata rest on the banks of the Umtata River, and was the capital of the nominally independent Bantustan of the Transkei during the apartheid era. It is the largest town in the Transkei region and is quite a central place. It is conveniently located close to Port St Johns, Coffee Bay and East London.

Umtata is a typical African town, with fuel stations, fast food outlets and not much else to attract visitors. It is; however, a convenient place to stop, re-fuel and rest your weary body.

The best attraction in Umtata is the Nelson Mandela Museum in the Bhunga Building in Owen Street. This modern museum displays a substantial variety if historic documents and photo's of Mandela's 'Long Walk to Freedom'.

Umtata has an airport, which handles flights only to and from Johannesburg. It is situated on the N2, about 250 kilometres north of East London, and about 400 kilometres south of Durban.

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