About Hogsback

Hogsback is a village high up in the Amatola Mountains in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. The village overlooks the rivers and slopes of the Tyume Valley. It got its name from nearby mountain peaks which resemble the bristles of a hog’s back. Hogsback is also known by its Xhosa name Qabimbola, which means “Red Clay On The Face”, which is used during initiation rites. The area is known for indigenous forests, waterfalls and trout fishing. It sports a rich variety of birdlife (more than 100 species) which includes the Cape Parrot (there are reportedly only 300 left in the world) as well as the Knysna Lourie, Hornbill and many more. See the Hogsback Bird Directory.

Waterfalls in the area comprise of Madonna & Child, The Thirty Nine Steps, Swallowtail Falls, the Bridal Veil Falls, Tyume Falls, and the Kettle Spout Falls. The vegetation in Hogsback is lush with cherry blossoms, rhododendrons, azaleas and lilies abound. Many forest walks are begging to be explored and takes one through the mystical forests, past the many waterfalls and streams and up peaks where you can have a magnificent vista over the Amatola basin.

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The Amatola Forest in the Hogsback area is often claimed as Bloemfontein born, JRR Tolkien’s inspiration for The Lord of the Rings and many Tolkienesque names can be found.


Hogsback initially provided home to the earlier English farming settlers after the frontier wars. Among the earlier settlers was Thomas Summerton, who was a gardener by trade. He is said to have planted many apple orchards, hazelnut avenues, berry fruit trees and many colourful flowering plants that have spread throughout the area. For more history of the area, click here

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