Geography and History
Grahamstown is situated in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. The name change from Grahamstown to Makhanda occurred in 2018. The historical town of Grahamstown is known by many names. Named after its founder, Lieutenant-Colonel John Graham, first commanding officer of the Cape Regiment, which had its headquarters here from 1811. Established by British Settlers who came to South Africa in the early 1800s, particularly 1820, Grahamstown is also sometimes known as “Settler City”.Due to the many churches in the town, Grahamstown is also fondly known as the “City of Saints”This area of the Eastern Cape is known by the Tourism industry as Frontier Country and the centrally situated
Grahamstown is also known as the Heart of the Frontier Country. The Frontier Country region includes Alicedale, Sidbury, Salem, Seven Fountains, Riebeeck East, Bedford, Fort Beaufort, Adelaide, Alice, Hogsback, and Peddie.With its small-town Victorian charm, set in the beautiful unspoiled countryside of the Eastern Cape, its University, schools and festivals, Grahamstown has a great deal to offer visitors. Many of its residents simply call it “Good Old Grahamstown.”
The town is best known for the Grahamstown Arts Festival. Venues are set up all across the city and the town becomes a hub of activity from early morning trading of food and crafts to late night live music concerts and shows. The National Arts Festival offers a wide programme over ten days, with literally hundreds of exhibitions and performances. The Arts Festival has become the premiere showcase for South African visual arts, music, theatre and dance.
As much a part of Makhanda as its defining architecture and festival buzz is the campus of Rhodes University.
Grahamstown’s architecture features exquisite examples of Victorian, Colonial and Gothic Revivalist building styles. The most stunning example is undoubtedly the Anglican cathedral of St Michael and St George, a prime example of the Early English Gothic, the thirteenth century architectural style that was revived during Queen Victoria’s reign. Situated on the town square and completed in 1952, it replaced the much simpler Georgian parish church. It is also the only church on the continent boasting the ring of ten bells.
There are many Game reserves in the area where visitors can get up close and personal with their favourite member of the Big 5!
Accommodation in Grahamstown includes Guesthouses, B&B's, Self Catering, Hotels, Game Lodges and Farm style accommodation.
|Grahamstown (Makhanda) Tourism Office Information|
|Telephone:||+27 46 622 3241|
|Address:||63 High Street, Grahamstown