Grahamstown is best known as the venue of the annual National Festival of the Arts and is generally considered to be a cultural and cerebral destination. With Rhodes University and many of the country's top schools, it has a definite air of intellectualism.
The festival, which lasts for 10 days at the end of June or beginning of July, brings tens of thousands of people into this tiny town - fortunately during university and school vacations so residences and dorms can be used as extra accommodation.
But even outside of festival time, there are so many unusual museums, like the National English Literary Museum, the Observatory Museum and the International Library of African Music, which deal with rather highbrow subjects, that the city retains its air of intelligence. Of course, this is somewhat compromised by the presence of thousands of cavorting students, but one does need balance.
The city status is by virtue of the beautiful Cathedral of St Michael and St George, which dominates the High Street. Within an hour's drive of the city is the wonderful Shamwari Game Reserve, Addo Elephant National Park and the newly opened Kwandwe Game Reserve - all of which offer excellent, malaria-free game viewing.
See Guest Houses in Grahamstown