This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Grahamstown. To help you make friends with Grahamstown before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!
Known as the “City of Saints,” Grahamstown, South Africa boasts more than 40 churches – helping this picturesque little city retain its old-time charm. Bringing together the best Africa has to offer, the city of Grahamstown is well worth a visit to South Africa’s Eastern Cape.
There is tons to do in Grahamstown, whether you’re into history, recreation, culture, or nature. From your local hostel, attractions here are virtually endless. Learn more about the roots of South Africa at the Cory Library for Historical Research, or visit the 1820 Settlers National Monument to see how English settlers contributed to the country’s history.
The Eastern Cape is a perfect place to enjoy activities like rock climbing, mountain biking, skydiving, hiking, and even helicopter rides. Take your family to Fraser’s Camp Adventures to enjoy team-building activities including zipline tours, or enjoy one of the many golf courses in the area, including the Bushman Sands Golf Course, designed by Gary Player.
Check out the Makana Botanical Gardens to discover the ghost of Lady Juana Smith, or stop by the South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity to study some of the fish species native to this area. Grahamstown hosts festivals throughout the year, so plan to attend one of these fun cultural celebrations.
Grahamstown also offers some unique accommodations. In addition to traditional hotels and hostels, visitors here can stay at incredible safari lodges and luxury resorts. You can also stay in town at a hostel and visit the game reserves for a day trip experience to see some of the incredible South African wildlife. Many of these facilities also offer incredible dining experiences.
Tourists can fly into either Port Elizabeth or East London, both approximately 120km from Grahamstown. From there, you can get to Grahamstown by rail, bus, or car – either paying for a taxi, or renting a vehicle and driving yourself.
Written by local enthusiast for Grahamstown hostelsJakob Lombardi