Mthatha (previously Umtata) is best known for the Nelson
Mandela Museum in town and as stop-over en-route from East
London to Durban.
Umtata is the colourful and lively centre of the region. The
city stands on the banks of the Mtata River - the name
derives from the word thatha (taker), owing to the damage
and fatalities caused by the flooding river.
At a village near the town, Mvezo, President Nelson Mandela
was born into the Madiba clan of the Thembu royal family.
The greatest attraction of Umtata is the Nelson Mandela
Museum in the Bhunga Building in Owen Street.
The modern museum displays a substantial variety of historic
documents and photos of Madiba's "Long Way to Freedom".