WHAT TO DO IN GRAHAMSTOWN  

Visit the MUSEUMS  [ All museums closed on Good Friday, 1st of May, Christmas Day & New Year'ns Day ] 

The NATURAL SCIENCE MUSEUM, Somerset Street.  A fascinating coverage of man and his environment, which includes a reconstruction of the first South African
Dinosaur, an Egyptian Mummy, the Hall of Birds and Mammals and a Foucault'ns Pendulum.  Hours : Tues-Fri 09h30-13h00, 14h00-17h00, Sat 09h00-13h00.  Entrance : R5 adults, R4 children.  

The HISTORY MUSEUM, Somerset Street.  The history and art of the people of the Eastern Cape with beadwork from the Eastern Cape, traditional Xhosa dress, 1820 Settler history and art galleries in which exhibitions change regularly. 
Hours : Tues-Fri 09h30-13h00, 14h00-17h00, Sat 09h00-13h00.  Entrance  : R3 adults, R2 children.  

The OBSERVATORY MUSEUM, Bathurst Street.  An enchanting period house with the only genuine Victorian camera obscura in the Southern Hemisphere and a Meridian Room for ascertaining exact local noon. 
Hours : Mon-Fri 09h30-13h00, 14h00-17h00, Sat 09h00-13h00. Entrance  : R8 adults, R5 children.

The NATIONAL ENGLISH LITERARY MUSEUM & BOOKSHOP.  87 Beaufort Street.  South African Literature in English including books for children.  NELM has comprehensive collections of scholarly books and articles, press-clippings, photographs, interviews and biographical works on South African writers.   No entrance fee. Hours : Mon-Fri : 09h00-12h30, 14h00-16h30.  Closed weekends and public holidays. 

The SA INSTITUTE FOR AQUATIC BIODIVERSITY, Somerset Street.  Renowned as the home of the famous coelacanth fish.  Interesting arrays of other fish exhibits are on display. Hours : Mon-Fri 08h30-13h00, 14h00-17h00.  Closed weekends and public holidays.  No entrance fee. 

The PROVOST PRISON, Lucas Avenue.  A very different military gaol in the Botanical Gardens. 

Walk through the DROSTDY GATEWAY, top of High Street, which once formed the entrance to the military parade ground.  The stout wooden posts on either side of the Gateway were intended to protect the plaster work from damage by the protruding "timbers" of gun carriages.  Also visit UNDER THE ARCH CRAFT SHOP and IN TOUCH,  to the right and left of the Drostdy Arch - local art and crafts centres.    Hours : Mon-Fri 09h00-17h00, Sat 09h00-13h00. 

FORT SELWYN, Gunfire Hill.  A reflection of military life on the Frontier.  Open by appointment only.  Tel (046) 622 2312. 

The EASTERN STAR GALLERY, 4 Anglo-African Street, features printing machinery and other historical items related to printing, including John Fairbairn’s editorial desk.  Open by appointment only.  Tel: (046) 622 7042 (NELM) 

UMTHATHI TOWNSHIP TOUR including a traditional Xhosa meal at Umthathi Garden Project in Rhini Township.   Bookings essential, contact Fiona 082 784 1458, Marthie 082 809 3395 / (046) 622 9720. 

The GRAHAMSTOWN ARTS STUDIO, Paintings, photography, print work, ceramics and sculpture.  Approximately 800 works varying from traditional art forms to avante garde contemporary works.  Tel (046) 622 3712. 
Hours : weekdays 11h00-17h00 or by appointment.  49 Market Street.

Do the OLDENBURGIA HIKING TRAIL, grade medium / difficult.  The trail starts and ends at the Grahamstown Municipal Caravan Park and is a two-day circular trail.  More details from Tourism Grahamstown or the Parks Booking Office on Tel (046) 603 6072 / 603 6093.  R40 per adult, R20 per scholar. Overnight accommodation at the Thomas Baines Nature Reserve.

ARTIFICERS'n SQUARE, Cross Street.  The old artisan quarter with many restored original houses which reflect a number of 1820 Settler architectural styles. 

Visit the COMMEMORATION CHURCH in High Street whose foundation stone was laid on 10 April 1845 - "this being the anniversary of the arrival of the 1st Party of British Settlers".  The Church can seat 1 200 people, has ten stained glass memorial windows and possesses one of the finest organs in the country.   

The CATHEDRAL OF ST. MICHAEL & ST. GEORGE, Church Square, whose belfry houses the heaviest and first full ring of 8 bells on the African continent.  The building was started in 1824 and finally completed 128 years later in 1952!

Walk through the RHODES UNIVERSITY campus to appreciate the spacious estate and the wealth of fine historical buildings.  Some of these are Selwyn Castle, which represents the first serious domestic essay in Gothic style in South Africa, the Lillian Britten House which was the first purpose-built sanatorium at Rhodes, the Royal Engineers'n building, The Retreat, the Drostdy Lodge and Drostdy Barracks and the Chapel of St. Mary and All the Angels.  Among the research institutes associated with the university are the world-renowned SA Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (JLB Smith Institute), the International Library of African Music, and the Institute for the Study of English in Africa.   These can be visited by appointment Tel (046) 603 8111. 

The CITY HALL AND SETTLER MEMORIAL TOWER in High Street bears the simple marble table commemorating the heroic 600-mile (960km) ride of Dick King from Port Natal to Grahamstown, 24 May to 4 June 1842, which led to the relief of the besieged British garrison at the Old Fort in Durban.    The Tower was built to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the British Settlers'n arrival in 1820.  The City Hall was publicly opened on 24 May 1882.

On the traffic island in High Street, the WINGED FIGURE OF PEACE graces a monument to "the Men of Albany" who lost their lives in the Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902.  The sculpture is by Stanley Nicholson Babb and Rudyard Kipling specially wrote the inscription.  The site was chosen as one which was "in the midst of our daily work and so would serve as perpetual remembrance of the dead and be an inspiration for peace". 

Drive up to the 1820 SETTLERS NATIONAL MONUMENT on Gunfire Hill, which was built to commemorate the British Settlers in South Africa and was officially opened in July 1974.  It serves all South Africans irrespective of race or creed, and contains a large theatre and many conference facilities.  From the upper floors there are panoramic views of Grahamstown and the beautiful Belmont Valley beyond.  On a clear day, the mountains of the Winterberg and Amatola escarpment to the north are visible.  The Monument is home to the Grahamstown Foundation, the organisers of the annual Standard Bank National Arts Festival and the Sasol National Festival of Science, Engineering and Technology (SciFest).  Hours : Mon-Sun 08h00 - 16h30.  Tel (046) 622 7115.

Post a letter in the OLDEST OFFICIAL LETTER BOX IN SOUTH AFRICA, at the north-west end of Worcester Street, where it intersects with Somerset Street.  Though not the oldest letter box known, the Grahamstown "oldie" might rank among the top twenty of the world'ns traditional "red box" survivors.   

Look for the yellow-painted canary in the scrolls at the base of the right-hand turret on the Muirhead & Gowie Building (Clicks Building) on Church Square.    This building was Grahamstown'ns most elegant shop in its heyday - during the last century imported ballgowns were displayed in a candlelit room to show their colours by night, and the best bonnet-maker in the entire Cape Colony presented regular seasonal collections.  Next door is GROCOTT & SHERRY where the oldest family-owned newspaper still in circulation in South Africa is printed. 

The SOUTH AFRICAN LIBRARY FOR THE BLIND in High Street serves the entire country and was founded by Miss Josie Wood in 1918.  Tours of the library by appointment.  Tel (046) 622 7226. 

The INTERNATIONAL LIBRARY OF AFRICAN MUSIC (ILAM), Prince Alfred Street (follow ILAM signs from gate opposite RU Theatre).  ILAM is a research, publishing and teaching centre for traditional African music and houses a collection of more than two hundred traditional African musical instruments.  Open by appointment only.  Hours:  Mon-Fri 08h30-12h45, 14h00-17h00.  Tel: (046) 603 8557.

Learn to SKYDIVE with the Eastern Province Skydivers Club.  Jumping every weekend.  Contact Joos Vos. Tel (046) 636 2486 / 082 800 9263. 

Visit the EGAZINI MEMORIAL - one of the first township based heritage sites in South Africa.  The Memorial marks the event of the Battle of Grahamstown which took place in 1819.  Visit the artist’s and crafter’s at the Egazini Outreach Project who will share their interpretations of Grahamstown’s rich heritage through authentic art and craft available for sale.   Contact Dr Julia Wells 083 556 1268 or Zandisile Sakata 083 545 0842 or Giselle Baillie 082 435 0995.   

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE CITY
      CONTACT MAKANA TOURISM
   Tel: (046) 622 3241. Fax: (046) 622 3266
          Email:  info@grahamstown.co.za
Website:  www.grahamstown.co.za