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Lady Grey, Eastern Cape Highlands

Lady Grey, Eastern Cape Highlands

Lady Grey in the Eastern Cape Highlands has so much to recommend it. It is situated in the stunningly beautiful and often snow-capped Witteberg Mountain region on the border of Lesotho. The quaint Victorian style village can be entered from Joubert’s Pass, the third highest pass in South Africa and a major draw card. The peaceful, almost magical atmosphere, where gravel predominates over tar on its tree-lined streets makes it a charming place to stay.

In recent years, a number of artists and nature lovers have made this peaceful village home and the Lady Grey Arts Academy has produced a number of graduates who have gone on to play leading roles in the performing arts.

Lady Grey Passion PlayEach year at Easter, the town holds the very popular Lady Grey Passion Play in various venues and the streets of the village. The play includes a cast of 132 speaking characters as well as a chorus, choir, troupe of dancers and live visual artists, and is presented over a period of three days during the Easter Weekend. Audiences attending the various depictions become part of the story by dressing up in costumes of the period and experiencing the scenes in an interactive way. Contact: The Lady Grey Arts Academy at (051) 603-0046.

Drive, hike or ride up the spectacular Joubert’s Pass, to the Lady Grey Dam which is in the centre of a nature reserve. It provides good swimming in the rock pool below the dam wall and is a good spot to enjoy a picnic. A natural staircase allows you to scale the wall of the dam.

Try the other spectacular passes of the Eastern Cape Highlands, if you love the 4×4 challenge and exploring out of the way places.

This area has some of the best fly-fishing waters in the country with crystal clear streams and breath-taking scenery. Fishing is catch and release only. You will catch yellow fish and trout on some fine beats on the Karringmelkspruit.

The Cape Vulture Sanctuary in the Karringmelkspruit gorge is well worth a visit where you can get an eye-level view of these magnificent birds.

There are numerous hiking options from the scenic Lammergeier Nature Reserve, from easy to difficult, from hours to days. This area supports over 280 species of bird including specials such as the orange-breasted rockjumper and alpine swift. Grey and red rhebuck are also plentiful and depending on the time of year, wonderful wildflower displays will enchant. Horse riding and fly fishing are also offered.

Lady Grey hosts the Lammergeier Mountain Challenge of 24 kilometres in September. Starting at the Lady Grey Country Club, the route follows an old trekkers’ pass to the communications tower, along Joubert’s Pass for a way and returns to town via mountain paths. Tel 083-294-9477)

For those who are into extreme events, try the two-day, 107-kilometre Skyrun across the spine of the Drakensberg mountain chain from Lady Grey to the Wartrail Country Club, via Halston’s Peak, at altitudes averaging 2500 metres. Even though the race is held in November, sometimes it snows and runners have had to be airlifted to safety. Tel Adrian Saffy 082-566-5668

There is a range of accommodation available including camping sites on the Karringmelkspruit River and in town.

 For more information on the Eastern Cape Highlands, visit ShowMe Northern Ukhahlamba.

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