What to Do in Graaff-Reinet Over the Festive Season

With the holiday season upon us, South Africans will soon be heading to destinations around the country for rest, relaxation, and fun. From vast savannahs, rolling hills, jaw-dropping mountain peaks, and Big 5 national parks to picturesque coastlines that stretch for kilometres, South Africa offers an endless variety of places to holiday. However, if you want a combination of history, nature, adventure, architecture, art, great food, shopping, and water sports, the beautiful and vibrant town of Graaff-Reinet will keep you and your family busy for days.


To Know Graaff-Reinet is to Love Graaff-Reinet

On the banks of the Sundays River lies the beautiful historical town of Graaff-Reinet. Holding the title of being the oldest town in the Eastern Cape and the fourth oldest in the country, Graaff-Reinet is often referred to as the “Gem of the Karoo”, and for many reasons. An exciting destination for both South Africans and tourists from around the world, here is what to do in Graaff-Reinet over the festive season:


Get A Fun Start to Your Holidays at the Camdeboo National Park 

Pack a picnic basket and visit the Camdeboo National Park. Home to nearly 250 bird species, at least 336 types of plants, and 43 mammal species, the Camdeboo National Park is also the old home of Bushmen and as such, numerous drawings can still be found in caves and on rock cliffs.


Visit the Valley of Desolation

An amazing geological phenomenon, the Valley of Desolation offers stunning rock formations that feature unique cliffs and piled dolerite columns that have their origin in ancient volcanic activity. While the Uitkyk peak is a popular launching spot for paragliders and microlites, hikers and photographers are spoilt for choice at ground level. The weather may be windy, so take along something warm.


Explore the Old Graaff-Reinet Museums

For history lovers, the past is preserved in four museums that hold collections of firearms, artworks, and fossils. The richness of pre-dinosaur fossils in this region is world-renowned. Once a lush swamp-like environment that was the battleground of gigantic lizards, such as the Pareiasaurus and Diictodon, many of the dinosaur fossils displayed around the world come from Graaff-Reinet.


Make Life-Long Memories on the Nqweba Dam

Graaff-Reinet is home to the Nqweba Dam, which hosts a number of water sports, such as canoeing, kayaking, fly-fishing, and angling. Want to take the kids on a day outing they will never forget? Book a boat for the day and take the family wakeboarding, knee-boarding, or tubing.


The Owl House Museum

Located at the foot of the Sneeuberg Mountains and a 40-minute drive from Graaff-Reinet, art lovers will be blown away when they visit the Owl House, featuring the most amazing glass and concrete sculptures.

If you want to spoil your family with a holiday that offers everything from beautiful views, great shopping facilities, historical sites and museums to exciting adventures such as quad biking, walks in nature, horse riding, game viewing and water sports – Graaff-Reinet is the place to visit this festive season. You can be sure you will leave wanting to return again and again.

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