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The centre of Grahamstown ebbs and flows with energy throughout the year, springing into overdrive when great swathes of students make their way to the bars and clubs that sprout from Rhodes University. Once they are gone, the “City of Saints”, with more than 40 churches kicks back into relaxed mode, offering visitors a wealth of charming gothic chapels, handsome post-colonial homes and interesting cultural institutions; from the sprawling Albany Museum Complex, to the definitive Library of African Music.
Outdoorsy types should ask their Grahamstown tour guide for the low down on the various adventure pursuits that abound throughout the outlying country. Most notably there are a wealth of game reserves touting the coveted Big Five African species, not to mention some all-new luxury-orientated safari spots. Then, of course, there is the famous Oldenburgia Hiking Trail through the wilds of the Eastern Cape, taking walkers through rugged backcountry that’s peppered with traditional Xhosa town steads and some of the best bird-watching South Africa has to offer.