Frontier Country

Telling a tail of a tumultuous past, frontier country in the Eastern Cape reveals the strength and character of the Khoi, Xhosa, Boer and British cultures who once clashed in mighty battles across the region. Today the area reflects some of the pristine vegetation and indigenous nature known to the country making it hard to envision the vicious past these landscapes used to see.

Get Out And About and Explore!

5 Star Green Building – the National English Library Museum

One of South Africa’s literary treasures, The National English Literary Museum (NELM) in Grahamstown houses a vast collection of creative writing by southern African authors – novels, short stories, plays, essays, poetry, theatre, television and film scripts, autobiography, travel, letters, memoirs and diaries. Critical writing on the authors and their works is also collected, as well as writings on related subjects such as literary history, censorship and literary awards.

Not only is a visit to NELM an informative and interactive experience, it is also worth seeing why the Green Building Council of South Africa certified this as the first (5 Star) Green Star project in Public & Education Buildings in South Africa. This modern building with installed energy saving measures, humidity controlled sealed archives, and a green garden area at the back of the building on the first level is well worth a visit on a road trip through Frontier Country.

Operating Hours: Mon – Fri: 09h00 – 16h30                                  
046 622 7042 for more info

Simply Great Fish River – Nature Reserve

When your family needs time out together, leave the smart phones behind and head out to Great Fish River Nature Reserve. Spend time doing the simple things like picnicking, going for game walks, braaing on the deck overlooking the river, or simply chilling together.


The Great Fish River Nature Reserve is located just over 200 km from Port Elizabeth along the N2 and 141 km from East London. The reserve is approximately midway between Grahamstown and King William’s Town.


Camera Obscura – One of the only two in the world

If you’re interested in physics, a visit to the topmost tower of the Observatory Museum, an unusual multi-storeyed 19th century Victorian building in Grahamstown, is a must! It houses one of last two existing Victorian Camera Obscura, once considered ‘The Magic Mirror of Life’, in the world. The other is in Bath, England. Using a design of lenses and a mirror in the revolving turret of a darkened room, this clever device projects a beautiful full colour panorama of the activities in the town onto a flat surface.

A Telescope Room nearby houses an 8 inch reflector telescope. Initially installed in the rooftop observatory, this gave the house its name.

Known also for its identification of the Eureka diamond in 1867, this house had a place in the identification of the first diamond that was found in South Africa, and a display on the ground floor tells this story.

This connection with the Eureka prompted De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd. to purchase and restore the Observatory in the 80s to commemorate the start of the diamond industry in South Africa.



The City of Grahamstown together with the nearby towns of Alicedale and Riebeek East and the quaint villages of Fort Brown, Salem, Seven Fountains and Sidbury make up the Makana Municipality in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. This region also forms part of the popular Frontier Country route so named because it was literally the 19th century frontier between the British Cape Colony and the Xhosa territories. It was the scene of first contact, cultural clashes, confusion and, inevitably, conflict. Much of what happened here set the tone for South Africa’s turbulent multi-cultural history.

Fast gaining in popularity, Grahamstown is home to the well-renowned National Arts Festival as well as Rhodes University. This part of the world offers visitors easy access to the unspoilt beaches of the Sunshine Coast and premier game reserves in a malaria and bilharzia-free environment. View the Big 5, enjoy our spectacularly rugged scenery, immerse yourself in our rich history and enjoy warm hospitality!


Fort Beaufort

Fort Beaufort is a town in the Amathole District. The town was established in 1837 and became a municipality in 1883. The town lies at the confluence of the Kat River and Brak River between the Keiskamma and Great Fish Rivers. Fort Beaufort serves as a mini-’dormitory’ for academic staff and students of Fort Hare University, based in the nearby town of Alice, and is also close to sulphur springs. Schools in the area include the historic Healdtown Comprehensive School.



Literary records of frontier life, autobiographies, as well as stories have their settings in and around Adelaide. Authors such as Thomas Pringle, Sir Andries Stockenström, Pieter Retief, FA Venter and Iris Vaughan (The Diary of Iris Vaughan), are but a few. Thomas Baines recorded places and events through his paintings, which capture the early history of the Adelaide Area in the Eastern Cape, thus adding colour to it’s fascinating scenic environment.

Many historical graves can be seen near the battlefield sites, old posts, and forts and in the Adelaide cemetery.


A vibrant country district famous for its garden festival, (last weekend in October) fun-loving farmers and fabulous hospitality, Bedford is waiting to welcome you. The historic village is tucked up against the Kaggaberg mountain (part of the Winterberg range) and many farms stretch across extensive grasslands and up into the dramatic Mankazana, Cowie and Baviaans River valleys. Angoras, merinos, beef cattle, goats and game are to be seen all over. Bird watching, hiking, cycling, fishing, golf, tennis, bowls and bridge are among the local activities you can join in on. The area is a treasure trove if your passion is history, botany or geology. Raconteurs tell a story better than anyone in the Eastern Cape and local legendary cooks, inspired by local produce, never fail to amaze. You might even find yourself moving to Bedford so you can indulge in the pleasures 24/7. Often referred to as the ‘hidden treasure’ of the Eastern Cape, Bedford is a quaint village that offers a pleasant reprieve from the hustle and bustle of South Africa’s cities such as East London and Port Elizabeth. Situated near the foot of Kaga Mountain, Bedford combines with its neighbouring village of Adelaide to form the Nxuba Municipality.

The town has a distinct historical atmosphere and Bedford real estate is typically full of character. Many of the buildings are old, but well maintained, and are excellent examples of colonial-style settler homes. With its tree-lined streets and wide-open spaces, Bedford has a slow pace and offers a stress-free lifestyle. Huge skies, fresh air, friendly people and overwhelming natural beauty bring our visitors back again.

CYCLE SAFARI                                                                                  BEDFORD GARDEN FESTIVAL

Reserves In Frontier Country