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Kingwilliamstown and Bisho

Bisho is the capital of the Eastern Cape but it seems to be dominated by the nearby Kingwilliamstown, which is much older. In fact, these two towns are virtually one, being only a few kilometres apart.

Kingwilliamstown has some interesting old buildings and is the home of the Kaffrarian Museum in which there is a display of the stuffed hippo called Huberta who went walkabout from her original home in northern KwaZulu-Natal and got as far as Kingwilliamstown before she was shot by a trigger-happy farmer. It’s a long story and a very interesting one, but more serious visitors will probably be more interested in the grave and home of Steve Biko – one of the more notable of the apartheid era liberation struggle martyrs. The founder of the Black Consciousness movement in South Africa, Steve Biko was catapulted to the front pages of the world’s newspapers when he was brutally murdered in police custody in 1977. The story is well documented in the feature film Cry Freedom starring Kevin Kline and Denzel Washington.

This is also one of those trips which is best done with a knowledgeable guide otherwise much of the meaning may be lost.

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