Considered the Eastern Cape's oldest town, Graaff-Reinet offers a trip back to yesteryear and is home to hundreds of lovingly restored Victorian buildings and national monuments. Graaff-Reinet lies at the foot of the Sneeuberg Mountains next to the Sundays River. The imposing Dutch Reformed church presides over the quaint Karoo Heartland town. Famous for prehistoric fossils, it’s also the hometown of Robert Sobukwe, founder of the Pan African Congress. Visit the stunning Valley of Desolation in the surrounding Camdeboo National Park. The area has some great hiking trails and contains one of the largest concentrations of ancient fossilized bones. Nieu-Bethesda is only a 52 km drive from Graaff-Reinet and is a worthwhile day trip to check out the Owl House, Fossil Interpretation Centre, little galleries, craft shops and cafes.

Graaff-Reinet Fun Rating

from 83 customer reviews
4.5 out of 5 stars!

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We based ourselves in Graaff-Reinet while exploring the area. The Camdeboo National Park almost surrounds the town, and as it only has limited tented accommodation, Graaff-Reinet is a logical choice for a stop over. The Valley of Desolation is one of the highlights of the Camdeboo National Park and is an easy 3/4 hour drive from Graaf-Reinet. We also did the self drive through the other side of the Park (included in your entrance fee) and in 2 hours saw Gemsbok, Kudu, Vervet monkeys, Red Hartrbees, Eland, Duiker, Black eagle and Ostrich. On the next day we did the drive to the Owl house in...
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Cathy Shardlow
South Africa

As jy verby ry, mis jy uit
Dal van Verlatenheid. Camdeboo reservaat. Museums. Koffie winkels. Snuistery winkels. Alles is in Graaff-Reinet.
Susan Keyser
South Africa

Staying over in Graaff- Reinet
We love Graaff-Reinet and it was good to visit it again. Special mention should be made of the impressive cactus garden and nursery, not to mention all the lovely old buildings! Such a lovely town with so much character.
Emmie Van der Berg
South Africa

Coldstream Restaurant is great
Excellent dining in Graaff-Reinet.
Albert Venter
South Africa

The Gem of the Karoo
Graaff-Reinet is South Africa's 4th oldest town and is jam packed with museums, interesting architecture, friendly people and restaurants. The service is amazing and so is the Karoo Food not to mention local crafts. It is sourrounded by the Camdeboo National Park which is also well known for its picturesque Valley of Desolation. Well placed for a night or two on the way to the coast from Johannesburg but also well worth a visit as a destination.
Jenny McFadyen
South Africa

Graaff-Reinet is a Beautiful CLEAN town! Keep it up!!!
bessie van der walt
South Africa

Stay at Graaff-Reinet
Graaff-Reinet was such a friendly town. Unfortunately we arrived there on a Sunday and couldn't do much tourist things. We found it very clean and piecefull and the B&B where we stayed was excellent. Will go back for more exploring! Overnight Stay in Graaff-Reinet
Magda Hammond
South Africa

Rustic Graaff-Reinet
Graaff-Reinet is a beautiful little town in the Karoo.. The valley of Desolation is a beautiful nature reserve close by, and there is also a dam. It is place to really catch your breath, a great place to relax and spent time in nature...
Annette Waagemans
South Africa

Fond Memories of Graaff-Reinet
I spent all my schooling years at boarding school in Graaff-Reinet so have very fond memories of the town and the school's alma mata. The town is steeped in history and tradition and am proud to say I was part of it for 10 years of my life.Tessa de Villiers on Graaff-Reinet
Tessa de Villiers
South Africa

The Gem of The Karoo
For many travellers Graaff-Reinet is that town about eight hours drive from Guateng where you rest for the night and then you are very close to the next stop - the Cape coast - yipee.But did you know that the town offers seven routes to explore.These routes include Palentolgy (fossils to most of us) Eco trails which includes a new 4x4 trail in the Camdeboo National Park - and I mean 4 x 4, Creative route - visit the artists and watch them at work, Culinary - Karoo slow cooking at it's best, Heritage with five museums which tell the stories of this wonderful town with its most amazing ,diverse...
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Ailsa and Nick Grobler
South Africa

Gem of the Karoon
Come and see the historical town of Graaff-Reinet with lots to see and to do.
stephanie theron
South Africa

The Gem of the Karoo
Graaff-reinet is 'n pragtige karoo dorpie vol interesante dinge om te doen en te sien. Kom kyk gerus self. Kry die rustige gevoel van die platteland hierby ons in Graaff-Reinet.
Elizma Venter
South Africa

Graaff-Reinet as a destination
Graaff-Reinet is a town known for so many historical events and sites. For city dwellers the hospitality and friendliness is superb. There are many sites nearby such as Owl House in Nieu Bethesda and the Valley of Desolation. Recommend a Guest Farm to stay at near Graaff-Reinet and you have the best of both worlds. Graaff-Reinet also can claim some of the best schools in South Africa.
Janine vd Merwe
South Africa

Graaff-Reinet is a beautiful town with a vey interesting history. The museums are fantastic. The Church is unbelievably beautiful. A pity that we could not see the inside.
Jasper Hulley
South Africa

We love visiting Graaff-Reinet. The town has been beautifully maintained and restored.
Lesley strachan
South Africa

Lovely town
Dit is 'n pragtige dorp en die eerste keer dat ek daar oorgebly het. Ooral waar ons gegaan het was almal so vriendelik en behulpsaam.It is a lovely town and it was my first time staying over at Graaff-Reinet. Everywhere we visited, the people were very friendly and helpful.
Trudy Botha
South Africa

Barry and Sue, KZN
A quaint, neat and tidy town with most amenities and very pretty streets. Close proximity to the awesome national park.
Barry Kitching
South Africa

Was a beautiful old town, and ever so clean. Recommend anyone traveling through to go the N9 and visit these towns. Unfortunately we could only visit the Nature Reserve, wow what sites.
Anne Olivier
South Africa

Charming village
Graaff Reinet is handsdown the best place in the Karoo. It is beautiful maintained and have lots to see and do for the visitor. And this is without the Valley of Desolation which is a place all by itself - a place to visit and enjoy for a whole vacation!
Eneth Dannhauser
South Africa

A stunning Karoo town
Graaff Reinet is absolutely beautiful, all the beautifully maintained old houses built in the typical 'Karoo ' style give it a charm not found anywhere else. There are lots of interesting shops and great places to eat. Polka and Coldstream served great food and friendly service.The view from Valley of Desolation was amazing - such peace. We will be back.
Sally Claasen
South Africa