Grahamstown is known by many descriptive names, such as the ‘Settler’s City’ in memory of the huge part it played when it was still a frontier town. Also the ‘City of Saints’ on account of the number of churches, the ‘City of Schools’ as it is renowned for its many excellent schools and of course its University, and then also the ‘Sleepy Hollow’. The latter, apparently because it lies in a warm hollow in the hills, but perhaps more aptly when the schools and University are on vacation and the world famous Winter Arts Festival is not in full swing.
Grahamstown has a rich history and therefore many historical attractions can be visited. Grahamstown is host to a number of festivals each year, the most famous and most successful being the National Arts Festival during June/July. Other festivals include the School’s Festival and the Science Festival during March/April.
Take time to walk through this historic centre and visit the Observatory Museum which houses one of only two Victorian Cameras Obscura in the world – the other is in Bath, England – with a magical mirror that reflects the town onto a large circular table.
With Grahamstown at its centre, Frontier Country includes Adelaide, Alicedale, Alice, Bedford, Fort Beaufort, Hogsback, Peddie, Riebeeck East, Salem, Seven Fountains and Sidbury.
Frontier Country is one of the most diverse ecological regions in South Africa, with a variety of biomes that provide unspoilt and spectacular scenery. Thousands of hectares are devoted to nature and game conservation, bringing with them the return of great herds of wildlife to the places where they once roamed freely. This malaria-free region is fast gaining local and international popularity for excellent game-viewing with a variety of private reserves which include the Big Five.
The area offers much for the outdoor enthusiast and adventurer. Activities include skydiving, hunting, game viewing, fly-fishing, hang-gliding, abseiling, river rafting and mountaineering.
The Belmont Golf Club is an 18-hole golf course with a club house, a driving range and golf trail, situated in the picturesque Belmont Valley of Grahamstown.