Ndlambe Municipality

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History and Culture

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The town of Kirkwood is situated in the heart of the Sundays River Valley and can be considered the citrus capital of the Eastern Cape. It is hard to believe that this beautiful valley was witness to bloody border wars a mere two hundred years ago. Also a place where, a little more than a 100 years ago, Afrikaner farmers (Boers) fought for freedom against the British Empire.

The 250km (156 miles) long Sundays river, with its origin in the Compassberg mountains near Nieu Bethesda (highest mountains in the old Cape Province), is the fastest flowing river in South Africa. It flows into the Indian Ocean at Algoa Bay near Port Elizabeth. The river winds its way through the Zuurberg mountains and passes Kirkwood in the fertile Sundays River Valley. Kirkwood is 80 km (50 miles) from the ocean and 100 meters (330 feet) above sea level. The weather bureau recorded a temperature of 50.3 C (122.5 F) in 1928. This is still the highest temperature recorded in South Africa. All these factors add to Kirkwood's subtropical climate and make it ideal for the growing of citrus fruits.


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