Stutterheim is located on the Amathole Mountain Escape Route in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. Stutterheim is a town in South Africa, situated in the Border region of the Eastern Cape province. This route stretches from Adelaide in the west to Stutterheim in the east, with the majestic Amatola Mountains standing as a clear beacon on the horizon.

Stutterheim was named after Major-General Carl Gustav Richard von Stutterheim (1815-1871), Commander of the British-German Legion that built a fort nearby. The Xhosa name for the place is eCumakala.

Stutterheim falls under the Amahlathi Local Municipality which is a Category B municipality situated in the Amathole District of the Eastern Cape Province. It is bordered by the Chris Hani District to the north, Buffalo City Metro to the south, Mnquma and Great Kei to the east, and Raymond Mhlaba to the west. It is an administrative area, and one of six municipalities in the district.
Amahlati is an isiXhosa name that means ‘a place where many trees are grouped together, a forest’. Forests are a key feature of the area.

Area: 4 505km²

This little town is situated 105 km’s north-west of East London and 110 km’s south-east of Queenstown.

Cities/Towns: Towns close to Stutterheim are Cathcart, Kei Road and Keiskammahoek.

Stutterheim Tourism

The Escape Route is also wonderful to explore as it includes the areas of Stutterheim, Thomas River, Cata and Keiskammahoek. Stutterheim boasts the second largest indigenous forest in South Africa, the Kologha Forest. The Kologha Forest offers visitors picturesque picnic spots and scenic walks of varying lengths and difficulty. There is an assortment of accommodation on offer ranging from rustic camping to the comfort of hotel rooms. Activities in Stutterheim and the areas surrounding include trout fishing, canoeing, bass fishing, mountain biking, archery and abseiling. For something a little different perhaps include visiting the Stationary Engine Museum, the Old Thomas River museum or rock art museum.


Due to it’s rich biodiversity Stutterheim is a must destination for bird watchers. Many species can been seen within a relatively short distance of each other due to the fact that the Amahlathi region encompasses 5 different biomes. These biomes are Southern Mistbelt Forest, Amathole Montane and Mistbelt Grassland, Kei and Eastern Cape Escarpment Thicket. Each of theses boasts rare and endemic birds.

The extensive forests on the southern slopes of the Amathole Mountains are home the critically endangered Cape Parrot (Poicephalus robustus) and birdwatchers are assured of sightings of these rare birds. Other special birds that are at home in the forests include the Knysna Loerie (Tauraco corythaix), the Narina Trogon (Apaloderma narina), the Orange Thrush (Zoothera gurneyi) and the Grey Cuckooshrike (Coracina caesia), to name but a few.

Wriggleswade Dam

One of the Eastern Cape’s best hidden treasures, Wriggleswade Dam lies nestled between the rolling grasslands of the Amabele farming area. Stretching across 17km and covering 1000 hectares, this expanse of water has fast become a haven for avid fishermen and those who enjoy water sports.

Wriggleswade is a hive of activity and many consider it to be the best Bass fishing dam in the Eastern Cape. Having previously been farm land, the dam is full of grassy areas, rock piles, old semi submerged tree stumps and plenty of nooks and crannies where fish love to hide. To date, the record bass caught weighed in at 5.01 kg and the largest carp at a massive 20 kg.
Wriggleswade Dam is run by the Stutterheim Aquatic Club. There are approximately 60 campsites, 60 caravan sites provided with power and 3 ablution blocks. There is also a lovely single roomed log cabin on the waters edge available for rent.

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Stationary Engine Museum

The Stutterheim Engine Museum is thought to have one of the largest and most comprehensive collection of restored stationary engines, all in mint running condition, in the world.
The oldest gem is a Mietz & Weitz engine dating back to 1905. Forgotten names like Ruston Hornsby, Wholesly, Bamford, Lister and Massey Harris are all there, saved from a scrap yard where they would have been crushed and melted down to be lost forever. The development and advancement of technology can be followed in the engines on display, some dating back almost a century to the very recent, world class, advanced Mercedes C200 Kompressor engine.

The restoration, operation and maintenance of the engines is done by a group of dedicated volunteers. Funding is entirely through donations from visiting guests and our most valuable Sponsors.


Stutterheim is situated at the foot of the eastern slopes of the Kologha Mountains, a spur of the Amatola range, in the Eastern Cape of South Africa.

Blessed by an abundant natural beauty of its surrounding dams, hills, indigenous forests, farmland and forestry areas, Stutterheim is perfect for hikers, mountain bikers, boating, fisherman, birders and campers. The Kubusie River and Wriggleswade Dam is popular for boating, fishing and swimming. Being situated on the N6 to East London makes for easy access to the town and its surroundings.

The Amatole mountain range, subsidiary of the Winterberg range, 15 km north-east of Alice and between Seymour and Stutterheim, extending westwards to the Great Fish River. The name is of Xhosa origin and means ‘weaned calves’.

The town’s primary industries are the surrounding farming (cattle, fine woolled sheep and citrus) and forestry areas and associated industries such as saw milling. The Dohne Merino sheep breed was developed at the Dohne Agricultural Research Institute just north of Stutterheim. The last several decades have also seen the development of a successful light manufacturing industry and recently the establishment of a growing tourist industry.

Key Statistics 2011

Total population 24,673
Young (0-14) 30,3%
Working Age (15-64) 63,4%
Elderly (65+) 6,3%
Dependency ratio 57,7
Sex ratio 92,9
Population density 203 persons/km2
No schooling aged 20+ 9,4%
Higher education aged 20+ 7%
Matric aged 20+ 16,1%
Number of households 7,045
Average household size 3,4
Female headed households 44,2%
Formal dwellings 73,8%
Housing owned/paying off 68,8%
Flush toilet connected to sewerage 50,7%
Weekly refuse removal 56,5%
Piped water inside dwelling 37,4%
Electricity for lighting 89,6%