Travel to Graaff Reinet – South Africa’s Fourth Oldest Town
Graaf Reinet is the fourth oldest town in South Africa after Cape Town, Stellenbosch, and Swellendam and thanks to its living history, matchless architecture and abundant birdlife, Graaff Reinet is possibly one of the best tourist destinations in the Eastern Cape.
The city was established in 1786, covering all the territory from the Gamtoos River in the West to the Great Fish River in the East and from the Indian Ocean to a few kilometres south of the Gariep (Orange River). The town was founded by the VOC Dutch East India company.
Graaff Reinet was visited and described by such early travellers as Barrow, Burchell, Lichtenstein, and Moffat. Later in the 19th century, it was one of the starting points for the exodus of the Voortrekkers. From the late 19th century, right up to the arrival of the railway, a century later, Graaff-Reinet was a bustling trading centre.
Travellers will enjoy visiting the Valley of Desolation, the Camdeboo National Park, Stretch’s Court, Reinet House Museum, the Agave Distillery, the Dutch Reformed Church, Angel Square, the Old Library Museum, Urquhart House, John Rupert Theatre, and the Drostdy Hotel.
The Harley Davidson National Rally held every September, and the Dolphin Rally held in October are the two major events in Graaff Reinet .
Travellers to Graaff Reinet can enjoy paragliding, game drives, and hunting. Or if you head to the Valley of Desolation, a geological wonder of weathered dolerite pillars, you will be rewarded with superb views over the Karoo plains.
Relax by simply exploring the town and sampling local delicacies at its cafes and restaurants or by enjoying the stunning views across the beautiful Karoo plains.
The best way to get around is by hire car. You can hire a car in most major towns and cities as well as at the airports.
- Be in awe of the stunning views over the Karoo plains.
- Head a little way from the city to visit the Camdeboo National Park.
- Visit cultural museums and churches.