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is situated on the N2 highway around 175km northeast of Port Elizabeth
in the Eastern Cape
region of South Africa
Perhaps more than anywhere else in the country, Grahamstown presents an orderly English facade to the world, with a distinctly protestant cathedral, streets of Georgian and Victorian buildings, pretty garden suburbs and a university.
But this genteel image conceals a turbulent past, the town having been the main outpost in a frontier land much disputed between European settlers and Xhosa tribes in the early nineteenth century. The descendants of both sides now inhabit the various areas of the town.
These days the town makes for an interesting stop on a self-drive trip, with several historical diversions and much lower cost accommodation than on the surrounding wildlife reserves.
We are very rarely asked to include Grahamstown in trips. Our guests tend to much more commonly base themselves at the lodges in the various wildlife reserves in the area, notably in the Shamwari