ID #3188

Mpongo Park, East London, Border, Eastern Cape.

The park takes its name from the Umpongo River that meanders through the reserve. 

The river features prominently in Xhosa history.  In 1856 a “minor prophet” (a girl of nine) called Nonkosi claimed she heard spirits talking when she went to fetch water from the river.  A similar encounter between Nonquase, the daughter of a chief’s counsellor, her uncle Umhlakaza, and “the spirits of resurrected men” followed this episode.  They were told that if the Xhosa slaughtered their cattle, destroyed their crops and did not cultivate their fields, the white settlers would be blown into the sea by a giant whirlwind.  The prophecy was not fulfilled and led to the mass starvation of the Xhosa.  This forced them to seek assistance from the white settlers in the area. The event is today known as their “National Suicide.” Legend has it that relics of Nonkosi’s kraal are to be found in the park.   Incidentally, Nonquase is buried on Steven and Paul Fick’s farm west of the road between Boknes and Alexandria, which is on the R72 east of Port Elizabeth.

Mpongo Park is East London’s premier tourist destination. 4000-Ha inhabited by giraffe, zebra, wildebeest and 40 other species as well as abundant birdlife. Features include:

•    Self-drive tours: 25-km of game viewing roads.
•    Day/Night safari Tours: Tours last approximately 3-hours. In open safari vehicles with an experienced guide.  Book in advance
•    Horse Trails: Trails last 3-hours. For both novice and experienced riders.  Booking essential.
•    Hiking: Only if accompanied by a guide.
•    Touch Farm and Children’s playground: Domestic animals include pot-bellied pigs, miniature horses, bunnies, Aldabra tortoises, ducks, geese, birds and more. Wild animals include lion cubs, baby giraffe, warthog, duiker, bushbuck. Swings, slides, jungle gyms, etc. Pony and tractor rides on request. Catering for children’s birthday parties.
•    Curio shop
•    WJ Burchell Natural History Museum: The entrance is through the curio shop.
•    Huberta Restaurant: Fine food and wine at our restaurant on the banks of a hippo pool.  A la carte menu during the week.  We also cater for weddings, staff parties and other functions.  See the hippo really closeup.
•    Lapa: Spit braais around a bonfire. An unforgettable experience.
•    Picnic and braai facilities: Several throughout the area.  Firewood is available for sale at the shop

Mpongo Park is in the Mpongo River Valley, 29-km from East London, which is at the intersection of the N2 and N6. Travel northwest on the N6 from East London.  Turn left at the Newlands/St Luke's Road turnoff (approximately 23-km) and follow the Mpongo signboards. AZMpongo

Contct:            The Manager
Box 73 Homeleigh 5212
+27 (43) 739 1668 telephone and fax

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Last update: 2014-05-30 12:40
Author: Alan McIver
Revision: 1.2

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