Graaff-Reinet Travel Guide

  • Valley of Desolation
    Valley of Desolation
    by Eish
  • Viewsite
    Viewsite
    by Eish
  • Porch at Trymore Cottage
    Porch at Trymore Cottage
    by Eish

Graaff-Reinet Things to Do

  • Soak up the silence in the Valley of...

    Just 10 minutes out of Graaff Reinet is the Camdeboo National Park, and the magnificent views of the Valley of Desolation. This is suitable for a quick drive and short walk, or a whole day, whatever your time allows. There are braai (barbecue) sites, and walks mapped out throughout the park (ranging from 1km to 14km long).If you drive slowly, there...

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  • Explore Graaff-Reinet's Heritage

    Graaff-Reinet is a gem of a town situated in the heart of the Karoo.Graaff-Reinet is a walkable town that has lots to offer guestsGuided town walks can be arranged - contact Chantelle - info@camdeboocottages.co.za or on +27 (0) 71 670 4747 to book a tour.Discover a beautifully interwoven tapestry of legends, ancestry, architecture, bloodlines and...

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  • Valley of Desolation

    Amazing views of the dolerite columns and surrounding area. There are short walks to some of the look-out points and longer hiking trails if you want.

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  • A beautiful church

    Right up the main road is a beautiful church, really stunning, you can miss it as you drive around it when going up north.

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  • Museums and historical buildings

    Many museums in this town, and many historical buildings, if you like historical stuff you could spend days here..........This may not be a very big town but its loaded in history and anyone visiting South Africa with this kind of interest should add this to their tour.

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  • exploring streets and surroundings

    once you are in Graaff Reniet, the 1st thing you can do it to take a walk around the town and explore one of South Africa's oldest town still in the colonial form.. streets are wide and clean and buildings and shops are still in original 18th century form... its one of the sunniest place and it has got the beautiful lake in fact the town is at one...

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  • Samara Private game Reserve

    This is a large private game reserve, malaria free!Unfortunately the private game parks are very expensive so I have not been here myself, but have heard its good will include the web sitehttp://www.samara.co.za/reservations_rates.htmthey also have accommodation.

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  • Visit a Karoo farm- Dalham Farm

    The farm Dalham is only a few minutes drive out of Graaff-Reinet. Ideally situated as a stopover or to relax for a couple of days for those who enjoy scenery and fresh country air. Farming activities include sheep, angora goats, pigs and cattle.There are walking trails 10 km north of Graaff-Reinet on N9 They also have self catering accommodation on...

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  • Crafts- Windmill junction

    This is unique place, worth a visit, Conveniently situated in the middle of Graaff-Reinet, an easy walk to the shops and museums Handmade soaps Wrought iron furniture Goats' milk cheese from Nieu Bethesda Local olives and olive oil Enamelware Chandeliers

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  • Bird watching

    There are lots of places in surrounding area to do bird watching, Graaff-Reinet also has a bird club and am sure they can give bird lovers more info as they have meetings where they go to spots for bird watching.At the Valley of Desolation and on the road to it, the following Karoo and mountain species were sighted: Black Eagle, Booted Eagle,...

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  • Karoo National Park - Valley of...

    Perhaps one of the least known aspects of the area is the Stone Age settlements that have been found in the area, esepcially in the south-eastern part of the plains in the reserve. A number of implements have been found and even rock paintings at one small cave site. It si known that in the 1600s the Inqua tribe lived in the area between Aberdeen...

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  • Karoo National Park - Valley of...

    It is indicative of the advanced state of management of natural heritage assets in South Africa that as well as the unpoiled nature in the park, the authorities have built leisure facilities on the edges of the Park to cater for the more general needs of the local population. On the west side of Graaff-Reinet on the lowest slopes of Cave Mountain,...

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  • Karoo National Park - Valley of...

    High up above Graaff-Reinet lies the Valley of Desolation, one of the prime attractions of the area. The dolerite crags of the Spandaukop, the Agtersfotein and the Eerstefontein rise up dramatically from the Camdeboo Plains and the Great Karoo beyond. Even more impressive than the view itself is the rapid change in the vegetation from the dusty...

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  • Karoo National Park - Game Viewing Area...

    Roads wind their way around the park, including a big loop into the northern grasslands. We parked up for over an hour and weren't passed by a single other vehicle in that time, having the herds to ourselves. The birdlife wasn't as rich as we expected and was less varied than the slopes of nearby mountains, and this surprised us. The park brochure...

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  • Karoo National Park - Game Viewing Area...

    The bigger residents include Cape Buffalo (which we didn't see here), steenbok, springbok (all over the place), blesbok and black wildebeest all on the open plains in the northern part of the park. In the thickly forested thickets between the plains and the entrance gate are herds of kudu, many of which can be seen close up. We saw red hartebeest...

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  • Karoo National Park - Game Viewing Area...

    In January 2006, the Karoo nature Reserve became a National Park, but even before that, it was a rather special place, little visited and home to a wide variety of birds and wildlife. Although most of the animals in this Park are not dangerous, the preence of extremely unpredictable Cape Buffalo mean that it is dangerous to leave your vehicle,...

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  • The World's Largest Grapevine

    The 'Black Acorn' grape vine was planted in 1870 in the garden of the Reinet House (then just the parsonage) by Charles Murray, son of Andrew Murray, and also the minister of the NGK Church. By 1983, the root stem of the vine had reached a circumference of 3.10 metres, but it has subsequently had to be cut back because of vine rot. It is expected...

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  • The Reinet House

    The Reinet House is the premier museum of Graaff-Reinet, which is saying something in a town full of interesting museums.It was formally the parsonage of the Dutch Reformed Church, and its most famous resident was the Scottish parson Andrew Murray. He and his family quickly became "the" family in Graaff-Reinet; the shutters of his study window have...

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  • Dutch Reformed Church

    The Dutch Reformed Church in Graaff-Reinet is the symbol of the town. few small towns anywhere in the world can have such a spectacular centre-piece.Constructed between April1886 and consecrated in 1887, the church is loosely modelled on Salisbury Cathedral in England. It must have been irritating to the townspeople when the nearby town of Aberdeen...

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  • The Old Library Museum - William Roe

    The William Roe Photographic ExhibitionBorn in England in 1827, William Roe emigrated to South Africa in 1858 with his wife and three children. Although trained as a chemist, his real love was photography and he enroled at the London School of Photography. On his arrival, he opened a studio at Port Elizabeth but quickly moved his business to...

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  • The Old Library Museum - Sobukwe

    The Sobukwe ExhibitionNow this is where it starts to get difficult for modern-day Graaff-Reinet. Mangaliso Robert Sobukwe, the founder of the Pan-African Congress, was born and brought up in the town. Despite his very rational, well argued and polite way of struggling against apartheid and white rule, Sobukwe terrified the authorities. So much so...

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Graaff-Reinet Hotels

  • Camdeboo Cottages

    16 Parliament Street | Chantelle Marais, Graaff-Reinet 6280, South Africa

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Business

  • Drostdy Hotel

    The town is a gem, the Drostdy is a boil on its rear - Never Again!!! - I use to frequent this hotel...

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Graaff-Reinet Restaurants

  • The Homestead

    Just a little coffee shop that also does light meals...for more substantial offerings either cross the road to The Drosdty Hotel or continue down the street to Pioneers.The wide verandah looks out onto the busy main street, while being away from the noise of traffic. The warm shade can be soporific after a long lunch on a hot day (of which there...

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  • Pioneers Restaurant

    At the far end of Parsonage Street (which runs opposite the Drosdty Hotel) is a great little coffeeshop and restaurant, complete with mini-golf behind. It is next door to the Old residence and just yards away from the Reinet House, the main museum in Graaff-Reinet. We didn't eat here, but the menu looked excellent, with a lot of venison available...

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  • Graaff-Reinet Hotels

    2 Hotels in Graaff-Reinet

Graaff-Reinet Transportation

  • nora_south_africa's Profile Photo

    by nora_south_africa Written Jul 13, 2008

    Here you can fill up with petrol/fuel as well as find a toilet, shop, places to buy eats as well as a bank machine to draw cash, there is a steers, and kentucky, Toilets have not been too clean on several occasions that I have visited, and many children begging for money and food so maybe take some fruit to give them.

    Children begging Not clean toilets
    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Family Travel

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Graaff-Reinet Local Customs

  • Township Tours - Make use of a local...

    Visitors can experience a taste of life in a local township by joining the two-hour long tour through Graaff-Reinet's township, Umasizakhe. Walk around with your local guide - Isaac and visit his family where you can enjoy a refreshing cup of tea and snack on some freshly made roosterbrood - a small bread baked on an open fire. Pass the house where...

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  • Begging Children

    You find many children begging in Graaff Reinet, so maybe its a good thing to buy a bag of oranges to hand out to them or some other fruit, its better not to give money as they use it for beer and drugs, so rather buy them food or fruit.

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Graaff-Reinet Off The Beaten Path

  • Explore the area around Graaff-Reinet

    Graaff-Reinet is situated near Nieu-Bethesda & Aberdeen.Both these little towns have lots to offer.I recommend a day exploring the artistic highlights of Nieu-Bethesda - Owl House, various artists studios & ending with a homemade beer & some local goats cheese at the 2 Goats DeliAberdeen is known for its architecture. Explore the town on foot or...

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  • Views of Old Graaff-Reinet

    There are plenty of old photographs of Graaff-Reinet taken by William Roe, and on display in the Old Library Museum, but there are also two old prints of Graaff-Reinet in the Reinet House.Although damaged by water (from the disastrous May 1980 fire at the museum?), these two prints show what the town looked like 100 years ago. What is astonishing...

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Graaff-Reinet Favorites

  • Life in Graaff-Reinet

    One must visit the Valley of Desolation - it's 16km outside of Graaff-Reinet on a tar road. Entrance Fee is payable at the Camdeboo National Park Gate. This Entrance Fee is valid for the whole day & includes entrance to the Game Viewing Area near Nqweba DamFor more information on the town of Graaff-Reinet see this video on You...

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  • "Plains of Camdeboo" by Eve Palmer

    If you are in the Graaff-Reinet area, you may wish to read "Plains of Camdeboo" by Eve Palmer about life on a Karoo farm. It's on sale locally and from online bookstores. It really nrings the area to life for outsiders and probably residents). Recommended.

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  • Graaff Reinet Tourism Office

    As elsewhere in South Africa, the tourism authority people are helpful, knowledgable and friendly. If you are the kind of person who normally likes to find out things for yourself or relies on the LP or RG, I would suggest a different approach here.Not only are the tourism offices absolutely stacked with information but there is masses of...

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