Price range, per nightmin R max R
Estcourt has grown enormously from the fort that was erected in pioneer days to an industrial centre that specialises in livestock and meat products. In 1847 the fort was erected on a hill over the Bushman's river and is reputedly still haunted by numerous ghosts. Built to protect transport riders and the herds of cattle driven across the ford, it is as secure as any castle with drinking water tanks in the basement, a drawbridge, moat and two secret tunnels. While exploring the historical sites, you will learn much about the village that was named in honour of Thomas Estcourt, an English parliamentarian who sponsored the immigration of settlers into the area.
Movement is still popular in the form of hiking where numerous trails will lead to destinations such as Giant’s Castle, San caves and game viewing areas such as New Formosa Nature Reserve, Weenen Game Reserve and Moor Park Nature Reserve. Twelve different species of antelope, jackal, baboon and the lammergeyer (the largest eagle on the continent) live in Giant’s Castle. Thukela Biosphere offers guided walks, horse trails and day and night drives and Wagondrift Dam Public Resort offers fishing and water sport opportunities. There are various cultural sites from Ikukhanya Kwelanga Cultural Village (managed by a traditional healer) to the Bloukrans Memorial, where Voortrekker families were killed after the murder of their leader, Piet Retief to local township tours to a tavern to meet the local Zulu people and watch the dance troupe perform.
For a more down to earth experience there are guest houses. Less expensive than hotels, they offer a more homey environment, as well as more privacy. Converted from a private house it’s a much gentler environment and for those with furry friends, there are also pet friendly options. They are usually well situated with shops and places of interest nearby. Being so small it offers a much more personal and intimate attention to it’s upkeep, leaving you with a more polished and homely experience.