Where to Stay in the Eastern Cape for an Unforgettable Vacation
Visit the many restaurants to experience true Karoo food and hospitality, hike at the Camdeboo National Park, spend a day at the Nqweba Dam or take a casual stroll through the museums of Graaff-Reinet during a weekend or holiday in the Eastern Cape.
Are you planning a Karoo vacation and you do not know where to stay? Graaff-Reinet is the answer. Indeed, you will find that KarooRus in Graaff-Reinet offers all the luxuries you need for a comfortable stay and with our central location, you will be within walking distance of many of the attractions.
The museum opened its doors for public visits in 1956 and has been one of the main attractions in town ever since. Consisting of five historical buildings, the museum complex offers military displays, rare books, and extensive art collections. Rock fossils, antique historical furniture, some of the best artworks in South Africa, and displays depicting the cultural heritage of the Karoo people make for an interesting visit. Considered one of the main international tourist attractions in the Karoo, this museum is a must-see, whether you stay over or simply pass through Graaff-Reinet.
John Rupert Theatre
Graaff-Reinet is a town offering many cultural activities and the best place to visit if you want to experience theatre, films and musical performances is the John Rupert Theatre. Originally the Congregational Mission Church, the building was restored by Dr Anton Rupert. The theatre was named in honour of his father with its inauguration more than three decades ago.
If you stay in Graaff-Reinet on the first Wednesday of the month, you will be able to watch a film screened by volunteers in the theatre; as an alternative, consider visiting the town on the third Saturday of the month to enjoy watching a film in a historical setting. The theatre regularly hosts theatre productions, dance performances, and even comedy shows.
Hester Rupert Art Museum
If you are looking for arts and culture enrichment, you know where to stay by now. Graaff-Reinet boasts the Hester Rupert Art Museum in a historical old church building, which served as the Dutch Reformed Mission Church almost 200 years ago. As one of the oldest church buildings in the country, just visiting the Museum to admire the architecture is already a recommended activity.
The Rembrandt Group bought the building during the ‘60s and Dr Anton Rupert, as Chairman of the Group, took the lead in the restoration of the building, converting it into an art museum. It was later named in honour of his mother, Hester Rupert. Consisting of an exhibition from more than 105 South African artists and well over 100 artworks, the museum provides an accurate glimpse of the country’s art talent.
Even if you just want to know where to stay in Graaff-Reinet for a daytrip or for just passing through, then KarooRus should be at the top of the list. However, considering all the museums and natural attractions that the town offers, you most probably will want to stay a bit longer than just a day.
Discover and Learn about the Famous People of Graaff-Reinet
Graaff-Reinet is about exploring the past, embracing the beautiful natural heritage of the surroundings, talking to locals about famous people who lived here and about discovering unusual places. With the town located on the famous Karoo ghost route, you are bound to hear about the Uniondale hitchhiker and some other scary stories. However, you will need a few days in the town to truly dig in and learn why this is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Karoo. So, we recommend making use of our affordable self-catering accommodation in Graaff-Reinet. With self-catering units, a central location, and beautiful surroundings, KarooRus quickly becomes a home away from home.
Now that you know why one day is simply not enough for discovering all the jewels of the Karoo and agree that booking affordable self-catering accommodation in Graaff-Reinet will enable you to spend time learning about all the Karoo’s secrets, culinary mastery of the people, language, hiking trails, museums and more, let us take a look at some of the famous people who came from this historical town.
Lourens Jacobus Wepener
Several of the Boer Republic leaders had Graaff-Reinet as birthplace, including the likes of Lourens Jacobus Wepener, noted for his bravery during frontier wars against the Xhosa. Lourens also fought against the Basotho nation during the first Basotho War. He was later killed in action against the Basotho tribe. If you visit the Hester Rupert Art Museum in Graaff-Reinet, you will be able to see a bust sculpture of him.
Famous for her translation of Shakespeare’s plays into Afrikaans and her theatre performances, Anna was born in Graaff-Reinet in 1906. She received the Vaderland and Langenhoven Prizes for her contribution to Afrikaans literary art.
Famous Boer leader, Andries Pretorius, was also born in Graaff-Reinet, on a nearby farm in the late 1790s. Andries played an integral role in the establishment of the ZAR and he was also celebrated for leading the Voortrekker pioneers against the mighty Zulu army at the Battle of Blood River. Pretoria, the capital of the country, is named after him and his son Martinus Wessel Pretorius, who became the first president of the ZAR, was also born in Graaff-Reinet.
Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe
Born in this Little Karoo town in 1924, Robert Sobukwe later went to mission school where he developed a passion for literature. He also studied at the Fort Harare University and later joined the Youth League of the ANC. He is remembered for his activism within the ranks of the ANC.
Thomas Charles John Bain
He was one of the best-known road engineers of the country and was involved in the construction of no fewer than 24 of the country’s mountain passes. Thomas was the son Andrew Geddes Bain, also renowned for his involvement in the construction of mountain passes. Born in Graaff-Reinet in the 1830s, Thomas is credited for his involvement in the building the magnificent Swartberg Mountain Pass.
Book affordable self-catering accommodation at KarooRus and take the time to discover many more interesting people and facts about this historical town.
Find Ideally Located Self-catering Accommodation in Graaff Reinet
The area of Graaff Reinet is one that is steeped in history and culture. The area, which is somewhat of an artistic oasis of relaxation, is the perfect place to escape if you want to be somewhere interesting while detaching yourself from the stresses and strains of your usual busy city life. This little town is actually South Africa’s fourth oldest and presents travellers with the opportunity to see old buildings of an era gone by, art galleries, museums and various places of interest too. It is best to arrange self-catering accommodation in Graaff Reinet for your stay, especially if you like to explore and adventure at your own leisure.
At KarooRus, we offer the ideal accommodation for travellers to the area in the form of 6 self-catering units. When staying with us we recommend that you consider the following things to do:
- Find peace in the Valley of Desolation – this is found inside the Camdeboo National Park which is just 10 minutes outside of Graaff Reinet. You can make this a quick stopover or an all-day affair as the park has designed braai sites and also trails and walks mapped out for those feeling a bit energetic.
- Self-walk through the town – Graaff Reinet is small enough to explore on foot and you will find a rich heritage and culture here. The town offers many museums, churches, monuments and more. Some great places of interest to visit include Reinet House Museum, Dutch Reformed Church and Hester Rupert Art Museum to name but a few.
- Discover crafts at Windmill Junction – this is situated in the heart of Graaff Reinet and offers travellers the opportunity to buy handmade soaps, olives, olive oil, chandeliers, goat’s milk cheese and so much more.
- Birding – the town actually has a club for avid bird watchers where you can gather information on excursions and the best places to go to. Birds in the area that are commonly spotted include Pale Winged Starling, Booted Eagle, Black Eagle and many more.
These are just a few of the things that travellers to the area enjoy doing. If you wish to find out more, we will provide you with some tips and advice.
The KarooRus establishment is located ideally close to the town which means that you can even walk to the local restaurants and stores. Each room is also fully equipped with everything that you need to make your stay comfortable such as own private entrance, clean en-suite bathrooms, comfortable bed and bedding and fully equipped kitchenette. DStv is made available and we also offer secure off street parking for your vehicle for the duration of your stay with us. If you have any special requirements for your stay, simply let us know before your arrival.
If you are looking for self-catering accommodation in Graaff Reinet that is well situated and offers cost-effective rates, get in touch with us at KarooRus. We will ensure that your stay is comfortable, affordable and absolutely memorable too.
For More Affordable Places to Stay in Graaff-Reinet, Try Self-catering
Many of those who are unfamiliar with this quaint Karoo town might actually wonder why, affordable or otherwise, anyone would be looking for a place to stay in Graaff-Reinet unless, of course, they are headed further afield and are simply in need of a break from the driving and some refreshment. In fact, they would be doing the town a grave injustice. Just for a start, as only the fourth town to be established by the early settlers in the Cape of Good Hope, it occupies a unique and well-deserved place in the annals of South Africa’s history.
Founded in 1786 by the Dutch East India Company, the town’s name derives from that of the governor of the Cape Colony who, at that time, was one Cornelis Jacob van der Graaff, and his wife’s name – Reinet. Its chequered history began just nine years later when the town’s burghers unseated the landdrost and proclaimed the region an independent colony. However, its independence was short-lived, cut short by the British who invaded and ruled the Cape and its four settlements before returning ownership to the Netherlands in 1803.
These events and a great many more are chronicled in the museums and their heroes commemorated in the monuments of Graaff-Reinet and some of the other Karoo towns that followed. Together with its role in the Great Trek and Boer Wars, they serve to explain a little of what now motivates so many visitors to seek an affordable place in which to stay for a couple of days in this small but memorable community.
Quite apart from its colourful history, the town’s location also provides a powerful draw for the country’s nature lovers. Almost completely encircling the town is a national park that occupies some 194 km2 of the Karoo and is the twenty-second of its kind to be established in South Africa. Known as the Camdeboo National Park, after a Khoikhoi word meaning a green hollow or valley, among its most stunning physical features are the towering dolerite columns, formed by vulcanism and erosion over millions of years, that dominate the aptly named Valley of Desolation.
The park offers plenty of opportunity for recreation including trails for hikers to explore and others to challenge the skills of 4×4 enthusiasts. For the wildlife lovers, the region is home to numerous varieties of buck, including red hartebeest and klipspringer, as well as the threatened Cape mountain zebra. Picnic spots galore and a dam where visitors can enjoy boating, fishing, and windsurfing provide even more excellent reasons why affordable places to stay in Graaff-Reinet are now in such demand.
One of the ways that many tourists choose to economise is to see to their own meals and just pay for their room. In this Karoo town, there are quite a number of self-catering guest houses from which to choose but, for sheer luxury at a price that one can easily afford, there are none to compare with KarooRus. Consisting of six air-conditioned apartments and a separate self-contained flatlet, each with its own private entrance, the facilities include an en-suite bathroom, breakfast nook, a fully-equipped kitchenette, and DStv. Secure off-street parking and a stone’s throw to some of the best restaurants in town are the cherry on top.
How to Choose Overnight Accommodation in Graaff-Reinet
Passing through Graaff-Reinet and looking for overnight accommodation? A haven of peace and quiet in a tranquil and historical atmosphere, Graaff-Reinet is the oldest town in the Eastern Cape and is filled to the brim with history, culture and outdoor fun and adventure.
With over 200 buildings in town that have National Monument status, natural attractions such as the Camdeboo National Park, Nqweba Dam, the Valley of Desolation and the Owl House, which features some of the most amazing sculptures made from glass and concrete – it’s no wonder why there are so many different types of accommodation to be found. But don’t let that confuse you. If you’re at a loss of where to start your search – here’s exactly what you should be looking for when choosing overnight accommodation in Graaff-Reinet.
Location, Security and Accessibility
When passing through any town and looking for overnight accommodation, location is everything and the last thing you want is to be stuck in an area that is far from restaurants, shops and delis, especially if you don’t know the area very well. Another consideration to keep in mind is security and safety. It’s no secret that the crime rate in South Africa has escalated and if you’re looking for peace of mind, then do make sure the overnight accommodation you choose can offer you excellent security with an alarm system and undercover parking.
Local Flavour and Amenities
Upmarket, stylish and comfortable – these are just some of the things you may be considering when choosing overnight accommodation. While many overnighters may prefer to stay in a big, fancy hotel, not everyone enjoys being awakened by other guests coming and going. There are many overnighters who prefer to stay in a family-owned bed &breakfast and experience local flavour. If you’re a family, businessman or couple looking this, then you’re in luck. In Graaff-Reinet, there are many self-catering suites and bed & breakfasts that can offer you privacy, comfort and luxury. In fact, you don’t need to stay in a hotel to get all the whistles and bells such, as top-quality linen and towels, a modern kitchen with top of the range appliances, DStv and Wi-Fi. You can get all this from many local self-catering guest houses in Graaff-Reinet.
Finally, before making your final choice, always read the online reviews. Nowadays, you can find just about anything online and if there is one way to learn the truth about a guest house, lodge or hotel, it’s getting it straight from someone who has stayed there.
KarooRus is Located in the Heart of Graaff-Reinet
If you’re looking for the perfect affordable overnight accommodation in Graaff-Reinet that can accommodate families, groups of friends or executives passing by, then look no further than KarooRus. An impeccably managed, beautiful, modern and sophisticated guest house, we offer guests the choice of six stylishly decorated suites with beautiful wooden floors, top-quality bedding and towels, air conditioning, an alarm system, a flat-screen with DStv, an en-suite bathroom and a fully-equipped kitchenette with a dining room table and chairs.
One of the biggest advantages of choosing our guest house over any other is the element of privacy and the home-from-home atmosphere that our suites offer. Comfort is provided to the highest degree and our en-suite bathrooms, comfortable beds, separate entrances and other small touches ensure a pleasant stay at our guest house. Make your booking online or contact us directly.