Bhisho, Eastern Cape Province
Bhisho has been named as the capital city of the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. Before this, Bhisho was also the capital of what used to be the Ciskei region, which was assimilated into South Africa. During 2004 the correct spelling of the city was published and changed from Bisho to Bhisho, by the Department of Arts and Culture but many still refer to the city by its old spelling.
The region is the headquarters of a number of the government departments and the Premier of the Eastern Cape offices are located in Bhisho. Many of the residents who live in the area are those who work for the government. The name Bhisho means “Buffalo” in Xhosa. Bhisho is only a few kilometers away from King Williams Town and 70 km away from East London.
The Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality includes the towns of East London, King Williams Town and Bisho, as well as the townships of Mdantsane and Zwwlitsha. The Municipality was formed in 2000 and got its name from the Buffalo River that forms the only river port in the country. This Port is located at the mouth of the river in East London.
The major buildings in Bisho are mostly government offices, including the department of health, the department of rural development and the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature buildings. There is also a division of the University of Fort Hare and adjacent to this is the Bhisho sports stadium. If you need to fly anywhere then the best option would be the airport in East London.
Some of the suburbs in the region are Bisho Central, Bisho Rural, Bisho Park, Bisho Gardens and Amatola View amongst others. Properties for sale in the area are very reasonable; you can find a five-bedroom home going for just over R2 million Rand. Many of the three-bedroom homes in Bhisho go for under R1 million.
Those who live in Bisho are close to some schools including the Bisho High School and the Bisho Hospital Primary School. Adjacent to the Primary School is the Bisho Hospital. There is also the Civic Square Building, which has a shopping Mall that provides the basic needs. Luckily King William’s Town is only a short distance away and can provide a few more restaurants, shopping facilities and more schools. Bisho and King William’s Town both have a few accommodation options including some bed and breakfasts and guesthouses. The main road leading into Bhisho is the R63 or Maitland Road; from this road you will also be able to access the N2 and the R346, which will eventually take you through to East London.
Nearby are the Amatola Mountains, which offer excellent hiking trails. You will pass through forested areas that have many trees more than 100 years old. Bordering Bhisho is the protected area of the King William’s Town Local Authority Nature Reserve. King William’s Town also has some museums and memorials to visit, such as the Amathole Natural History Museum. This town close to Bisho also has a thriving Industrial area producing clothing, textiles, soaps, candles and more.