Indwe was founded in 1896 as a centre for coal-mining activities and lies between Dordrecht (39km) and Elliot (60.1km) on the R56 road. It takes its name from the Indwe River, named after the blue crane (Xhosa: iNdwe), which occurred there in great numbers.

Indwe, in its day, was the fourth town after Johannesburg, Cape Town and Kimberley to have electricity. In Kimberley, in late 1894, the “Indwe Railway Collieries and Land Company” was formed - De Beers playing a big part therein. By 1899 this mine was producing well over 100 000 tons of coal a year, meanwhile however, a better quality of coal was discovered in the Transvaal, causing the Indwe mine to close in 1917.


You’ll find the main attractions in this town are fishing in the Doringrivier Dam (Indwe Dam) where fantastic catches have been recorded. Take an “offroad” trip that can be driven in a normal car and visit the Barkers Neck Pass, a fairly safe, high altitude gravel pass, located about 15km north-east of town.

How to get there

Follow the R56 from Middelburg through to Indwe, (Odometer 253km).
Follow the R56 from Pietermaritzburg through to Indwe, (Odometer 545km).

Getting Around

Self-drive would be best.

Where to Stay

No recommended accommodation places in town. Neighbouring towns have accommodation.

Where to Eat

As you are passing through you can grab a snack or a refreshment at the BP Garage shop in town.


Eastern Cape: Middelburg Karoo, Cradock, Schoombee, Hofmeyr, Venterstad, Steynsburg, Burgersdorp, Molteno, Aliwal North, Queenstown, Lady Grey, Dordrecht, Indwe, Elliot, Barkly East, Rhodes, Ugie, Maclear, Mount Fletcher, Matatiele, Cedarville.
KwaZulu-Natal: Swartberg, Kokstad, Harding, Umzimkulu, Ixopo, Bulwer, Richmond, Baynesfield, Camperdown, Pietermaritzburg.