"Grahamstown - City of Saints" Grahamstown by Kurtdhis

Grahamstown Travel Guide: 24 reviews and 27 photos

Grahamstown is situated in a temperate valley between the coastal plain and the hinterland of the Eastern Cape. Its position 60km from the coast and 535m above sea level endows Grahamstown with a mild climate, which is famous for its changeablity: locals claim it is possible to experience all four seasons in a single day. Grahamstown is 127km from Port Elizabeth and 180km from East London. An airstrip links the city to the rest of the country and several long-distance bus companies include Grahamstown on their schedule.

Grahamstown was founded in 1812 as a military outpost. Its unique atmosphere is a result of its long and varied history. This is frontier country where people of Khoisan, Xhosa, Boer and British origin met. The result was a fascinating history that influenced the subsequent events that took place in South Africa. The longest and most expensive colonial war ever fought by the British against the indigenous people in Africa took place in frontier country, which has more forts than the rest of South Africa combined. It is where people of British origin first settled in Africa, and where the philosophy of African Nationalism was first developed.

Known as South Africa’s festival capital, Grahamstown at present celebrates 6 festivals, of which the largest and most colourful event is the Arts Festival. It offers the best of both indigenous and imported talent, with well over 500 000 people flocking to the city for a feast of arts, crafts and sheer entertainment. The festival offers more than 500 shows from opera, cabaret, jazz and drama to stand-up comics and folk music.

Grahamstonians are proud of their city’s historical heritage, a pride that is evident in the care taken to preserve and enhance the many historic buildings which endure to this day. Prominent among these are the city’s many places of worship – over 40 – which testify to the variety of cultures which coexist in the city, the premises of Rhodes University and several excellent schools, all of which lend the city its air of cultural diversity.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Friendly people & watering holes
  • Cons:To many beggars in the main road
  • Last visit to Grahamstown: Sep 2002
  • Intro Updated Jul 11, 2004
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Reviews (33)

Comments (8)

  • sayville's Profile Photo
    Nov 3, 2005 at 6:20 PM

    I just revisited your page of Grahamstown...so cool to see and read about where I was in Aug. I walked under the arch so many times. My daughter loves Rhodes University. Great town with wonderful friendly people.

  • Tourtech's Profile Photo
    Apr 8, 2005 at 10:00 AM

    Now these are some interesting travels. Have fun out there... From the travelling Canadians!

  • Braveheart.southafrr's Profile Photo
    Nov 19, 2003 at 12:22 PM

    ive enjoyed plenty of drosday hof wine . lol............thanks graham

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Oct 5, 2003 at 1:55 AM

    Great details and helpful information. I found "The Drostdy Gate" especially interesting. Lots of restaurants! Thanks.

  • whitecliff62's Profile Photo
    Sep 19, 2003 at 11:21 PM

    Flat pig restaurant hahahahaha, great name Graham.

  • DylanDamian's Profile Photo
    May 13, 2003 at 12:33 PM


  • kenHuocj's Profile Photo
    Apr 22, 2003 at 8:07 PM

    the city of the Rooinek se fees and the Rodents plus other ;-))) good of you to place Grahamstown on the VT map !!!

  • tini58de's Profile Photo
    Apr 17, 2003 at 1:00 AM

    very interesting page!!! Wow, and sooooooo many restaurants and pubs!!! ;-)


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