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Graaff-Reinet

Home to the Valley of Desolation, Camdeboo National Park.
History of graaff-Reinet

The Karoo town of Graaff-Reinet is steeped in both ancient and modern history, surrounded almost entirely by the Camdeboo National Park. Visitors are immediately enchanted by its wide, tree-lined streets, historical buildings and endless vistas from the Valley of Desolation across the town and the plains of Camdeboo. 

Graaff-Reinet has one of the most attractive settings of any town in South Africa, mountains on three sides and the flat plains of the Camdeboo to the south. Few towns have conserved their townscape as well as Graaff-Reinet.

What to do in Graaff-Reinet

Graaff-Reinet is popular with wildlife enthusiasts, birders and history and culture enthusiasts who can enjoy walking tours of the town, hiking in the national park and Big Five game viewing at nearby game reserves.

More to do

Camdeboo National Park

Graaff-Reinet Museums – Reinet House, Old Residency Museum, Urquhart House, Military History Museum and Old Library Museum 

Historical architecture

Obesa Cactus Nursery

Big Five Game Safaris

Birding

Hiking and Mountain Biking

Die Groot Kerk – Dutch Reformed Church

Aberdeen

Where to Stay

As the oldest town in the Eastern Cape and the fourth oldest in South Africa, Graaff-Reinet has an interesting array of accommodation options ranging from beautifully restored town houses to the wilderness and luxury of big-five game reserves. 

Samara Karoo Reserve

Award-winning Samara Karoo Reserve is a conservation journey on 67,000 acres of ...

Camdeboo Cottages & Local Guided Tours

Camdeboo Cottages is located in the heart of old Graaff-Reinet, on the ...

Karoopark Guest House

Karoopark Guest House is located in the heart of historical Graaff-Reinet. It ...

Villa Reinet

Villa Reinet is perfect for your much-needed break in the historic country ...

Hartland Huis and Karoo360 Tours, powered by Toerboer

Karoo360, powered by Toerboer is a tour operator based in Graaff-Reinet that, ...

Drostdy Hotel

The Drostdy Hotel is situated in the beautiful Eastern Cape town of ...

Explore the town

Graaff-Reinet has one of the most attractive settings of any town in South Africa, mountains on three sides and the flat plains of the Camdeboo to the south. Few towns have conserved their townscape as well as Graaff-Reinet. The town has more protected buildings than any other in South Africa. The most prominent of these is the Dutch Reformed Church which is a Victorian gothic gem. Other notable structures are the Old Drostdy, now the Drostdy Hotel, as well as several splendid examples of Cape Dutch, such as Reinet House, Urquhart House and the old Residency, now part of the Graaff-Reinet Museum.

The Valley of Desolation is Graaff-Reinet’s gem; a dramatic cleft in the ironstone rocks: sheer cliffs and precariously balanced columns of Dolerite rise 120 metres from the valley floor, against the timeless backdrop of the vast plains of the Camdeboo. This is the product of volcanic and erosive forces of nature over 100 million years.

Karoo-skies-graaff-reinet valley of desolation
Graaff-Reinet-Skies
Dutch reformed church in Graaff Reinet
jakarandas in graaff reinet

national monuments

4 x 4 routes

PICNIC SITES

BIRD SPECIES