This pretty little town between Maclear and Elliot, situated on the banks of the willow-lined Inxu River, lies beneath majestic sandstone cliffs of the southern Drakensberg Mountain Range. Ugie, a strange name? Yes, it was named by a Scot! A Scottish Reverend settled here and named the spot after the Ugie River in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. The district is a centre for sheep and cattle farming.

The beautiful scenery found in the 21kms between Ugie and Maclear keeps drawing people back here – Gatberg is an interesting ‘hole in the mountain’ geological formation (SW of Maclear). The majestic mountains attract hikers and mountain bike riders, whilst the meandering rivers and impressive dams, both well stocked with trout, are a fishing enthusiasts dream. Whilst in town you can visit the interesting Tractor Museum or head out to the hills and explore the Prentjiesberg and Woodcliff cave trails.

To the northwest of Ugie lies the picturesque Prentjiesberg (‘picture mountain’), with its interesting crenellated spires and rocky turrets. The mountain was named after the numerous rock paintings (attributed to the San) found in the caves and overhangs.


But it is not the history that draws people to the villages of Ugie and Maclear, only 21 kilometres apart. Rather it is the incredible natural scenery - the towering mountains that form a backdrop to the towns, winding rivers and huge dams that lure fishermen of every description, and the hills and dales that provide hours of hiking opportunities.

How to get there

Follow the R56 from Middelburg all the way through to Ugie, (Odometer 360km).
Follow the R56 from Pietermaritzburg straight through to Ugie, (Odometer 408km).
Or via the N2 and R56 through to Ugie, (Odometer 405km).
Or go via the R617 onto R56 through to Ugie, (Odometer 423km).

Getting Around

Self-drive would be best.

Where to Stay

Some of the Guesthouses, B&B’s and lodges are what you’ll find here are Clarendon Guest House, Mountain View Guest House and Forty Winks B&B.

Where to Eat

Between the two towns of Ugie and Maclear you have a selection of restaurants and coffee shops to choose from.


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.