Friday, 1st December 2017
If you and your family are not going to join the mad exodus to the coast or journey somewhere distant and exotic this year, and you’ve decided that you’ll be spending the holidays in the Grahamstown area, here are a few suggestions to keep you and your family busy.
Into the Wild
National Addo Elephant Park is about an hour’s drive from Grahamstown and is open from 7am to 5pm. Entry costs are R68 per adult and R34 per child – take your South African ID books/cards.
The Thomas Baines Nature Reserve is just 12kms from Grahamstown off the N2 (as you travel towards Port Elizabeth). The reserve is open from 6am till 6pm. Entry is just R20 per adult and R10 per child.
Take a “poor man’s” game drive. Take the Southwell-marked left turn about 20kms after Salem on the R343 travelling towards Kenton. The turn-off is shortly after Kariega Reserve’s main gate. Stay on the road as this is private land. Walking or cycling is not advised.
Treat yourself to a weekend away in the newly renovated 300 year-old farmhouse at Seven Fountains Farm. Children are welcome and there is a playground, and dogs, piglets and chickens to pet. Your taste-buds will be treated to delicious home-cooked food made with locally sourced organic products. For those of you who don’t want to stay the night, the farm is open to the public every Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 3pm for lunch, and open weekdays for lunch and/or dinner on request. Bookings: www.sevenfountainsfarm.co.za.
Enter the popular Kariega Classic Mountain Bike Challenge on the 28th December. This race is the initiative of Springbok rugby legend, Hennie le Roux, and started out as a ‘social’ ride. For the first time, the Kariega Classic is upgraded to an event with all the bells-and-whistles of a proper race while maintaining the vibe and fun-factor of a social event. Choose between two routes, 20km or 54km, and race entry prices are R200 or R260 per person. More info: 083 294 5260.
The Belmont Golf Club will be open for business every day except for Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Their special holiday rate is R1240 per 4-ball including carts, Mondays to Thursdays. To book: 079 637 8153.
Something for Shop-a-holics
December in Grahamstown offers a slower pace than usual; there is plenty of parking to be found and you can get a seat at your favourite restaurant.
When last did you pick up a bargain in High Street and Church Square? Stop by Knight’s Shoes which has well-priced shoes for the whole family. They also stock men’s formal clothing and caps, and ladies’ hats and bags.
Pamper yourself at Green Fountain Farm near Port Alfred where they have a Body and Skin Clinic for December. To book: 046 622 2564.
For something different try The House Planner (Tel: 046 648 3408) in Kenton and stop to have a bite to eat at The House Kitchen (046 648 1786) on the same premises.
Accommodation for Family
If your entire family is descending on you for the festive season and you need an extra room or two, contact the following accommodation providers:
- 28 Stones Hill B&B. Self-catering accommodation just outside Grahamstown. Tel: 076 838 5953.
- Applebee Guest Cottages. Self-catering; swimming pool. Tel: 083 680 3111.
- Crown River Safari. Offers boating, bird watching and fishing activities. Tel: 082 672 9814.
- Eagles Nest B&B. Relaxed self-catering accommodation; swimming pool. Tel: 082 657 0359.
- Oak Lodge. Centrally situated. From R390pp sharing. Tel: 046 622 9122/3.
- Seven Fountains Farm Guesthouse. Self-catering or B&B. Tel: 076 175 1589.
- Temba Private Game Reserve (off the Salem Road to Kenton). Competitive accommodation rates. End of year function venue. Tel: 046 622 2239.
- The Best Exotic Frangipani Happy Beach Cottage (Kenton). Tel: 082 772 5062.
Sun, Sea, and Sand
Our city is so centrally situated that you can easily visit the beaches of the Sunshine Coast within an hour, and Kenton-on-Sea and Port Alfred have a host of exciting events taking place this summer.
Of course, you don’t actually have to do anything or go anywhere! You could just stay home and enjoy the peace and quiet of a Christmas in Grahamstown!
All prices and telephone numbers are correct at time of going to print. For more information on accommodation and events in and around Grahamstown go to www.grahamstown.co.za.
Makana Tourism will be closed from 25 December and will reopen on 3 January 2018.