Things To Do in Makhanda and Surrounds

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Thursday, 1st September 2022

Makanda and its surrounds are full of authentic experiences! Check them out and add to your bucket lists:

Fossil display:

The exhibit is currently available by appointment at 87 Beaufort Street in Makhanda, from Mondays to Thursdays. Visitors must phone ahead to arrange a viewing and will be hosted by a member of the Devonian Ecosystems Project. Depending on the day of the week, your visit may be arranged in English, Afrikaans, Zulu, or Xhosa. For appointments, visitors can contact Dr. Rob Gess on 082 759 5848 or Ryan on 083 390 3030.

Innovative Farming:

The new generation of innovative farmers: Home Grown Practical Aquaponics Group is making that journey to a sustainable life a little bit easier with its fascinating work in natural food production. The technology that Practical Aquaponics utilises makes it possible for everyone to access natural and chemical free food. The Practical Aquaponics Centre, which is based in the historical and quaint village of Salem, also offers small group in-person training sessions in a variety of topics for individuals and businesses in sustainable food production. The training sessions showcase the Centre’s proven systems in Modular Aquaponics including appropriate systems design, practical construction, economics and potential ROI of their Modular systems, water quality and routine maintenance, to mention but a few of the topics. For enquiries, you can contact Martin Fick from the Home Grown Practical Aquaponics Group on:

Cell: 083 278 4201


Exploring the history of Makana:

Alan Weyers is an accredited historical tour guide, if you would like a tour, you can contact him on 082 825 2685.


Albany Museum was established in 1855 and is the second oldest museum in South Africa. Albany Museum is an affiliated research institute of Rhodes University. The Museum today consists of a family of seven buildings which includes the Natural Sciences Museum, the History Museum, the Observatory Museum, Fort Selwyn, the Old Provost military prison, Drostdy Arch and the Old Priest's House which is leased to the National English Literary Museum.

  • Learn more about indigenous plants, ceremonial crafts Xhosa cosmetics, rites and rituals at the History Museum. You can visit the museum from Monday to Friday between 09:00 - 16:00.
  • Experience the topmost turret of the Observatory Museum. Here, you will find the only genuine Victorian camera obscura in Southern Africa and is such a great way of viewing the city. While you are at the Museum, don’t miss out on some of the other historic treasures such as the Meridian room, Diamond Gallery, open clock-works, fine Victorian furnishings and a relaxing garden. For information, contact the Observatory Museum on 046 622 2312.
  • Visit Amazwi South African Museum of Literature. Previously the National English Literary Museum, Amazwi is a museum that houses archival material relating to South Africa's literary heritage. It is located on 25a Worcester Street. For more information, visit: or 046 622 7042.

History of Makhanda

  • Take a walk down High Street and you will see plenty of historic buildings. Take a moment to read the plaques that reveal the story of the buildings. They were built with materials such as stone and stained glass that come from around the world. A fine example is the Town Hall –a specimen of Gothic Revival architecture, completed in 1882. It has five different types of stones that can be connected to five different countries.
  • Take a walk through the flora and fauna up to Fort Selwyn located on Gunfire Hill near 1820 Settlers’ National Monument. It was built in 1835-36 to protect approaches to town and guard its water supply.
  • Witness the grand architecture of the Cathedral of St Michael and St George. The Cathedral is home of the Anglican Diocese of Makhanda and is situated at the intersection of High Street and Hill Street. The interior of the Cathedral will tell a story of many generations that had a hand in building this iconic structure – taking a period of 160 years to complete. Each builder from the same family used their own architectural style and each of those styles are visible.
  • Commemoration Methodist Church was installed in 1875 and is the third-largest pipe organ in South Africa. This building also has impressive Gothic Revival style architecture worth seeing. The Wesley Methodist Church, at the corner of Market and York Streets has the first and only organ in South Africa to be proclaimed as a National Monument. This pipe organ is in regular use and was ordered during the mid-1830s by Lt Colonel Henry Somerset for his home in Grahamstown (Makhanda).
  • The Old Provost was a military prison finished in early 1838. The prison was designed to allow for constant surveillance of the prisoners, hence its unique structure, where it is shaped as a circle with eight cells. It is currently used as a coffee shop. The Old Provost was a military prison finished in early 1838. The prison was designed to allow for constant surveillance of the prisoners, hence its unique structure, where it is shaped as a circle with eight cells. It is currently used as a coffee shop. Visitors are welcome.
  • Drostdy Arch, which is now the entrance to Rhodes University, was built as an entrance to military grounds. It was designed by Major Selwyn and built by the Royal Engineers in 1842.

Nature Ramble

  • Visit the Botanical Gardens for a unique bird watching experience. Makhanda is a bird-watcher’s paradise with over 30 species of birds.

Township Cruise experience

  • Township Cruise experience, you can take a gentle drive into the township for lunch at the local taverns and tshisa nyamas. Learn more here:

Walking Trails

  • Oldenburgia Trail has the Pride Rock as one of our pitstops, you can take magnificent pictures. Makana region has several hiking trails such as Manley Flats Community Trails
  • Makhanda Wild hikers Crew will take you to a front row seat to the natural beauty of Makhanda.
  • Assegaai Trails near Salem has 35km of hiking trails that suits all fitness levels. As a multi-faceted nature reserve, Assegaai Trails has various venues for country weddings, conferences and team building, as well as self-catering accommodation. Check out the action here:

For enquiries and bookings please contact us on 046 6228619 0r 0824451042 or email

Riebeek East

  • Located approximately 40km northwest of Grahamstown lies the small village of Riebeek East. Affectionately considered a “town that time forgot”, it is a relatively undisturbed area known for its astonishing vistas of the surrounding scrub-covered hills. Officially established in 1842, this quaint spot was originally named Riebeek, but this was later changed to Riebeek East in order to avoid being confused with Riebeek West, located in the Western Cape.
  • The historic church in Riebeek East holds special significance in the History of the Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk (Dutch Reform Church) in South Africa. The church bell was cast in 1861 in Dublin Ireland; the clock was manufactured by Henry Carter Galpin of Grahams Town in 1873; and the locks on all the doors in the church were manufactured by J Carpenter at his factory called Summerford Works in New Road, Willenhall, England - Source: Kruger, L. R. (1981-09) Thesis (MTh) -- Stellenbosch University, 1981.

Game Reserves

Treat yourself and the family with an upmarket safari experience with Pumba private game reserve, Assegaai Trails and Mansfield Private Reserve.

Pumba Private Game Reserve is set in the malaria-free Eastern Cape and provides an intimate African safari experience never to be forgotten. The reserve is home to Africa’s Big Five as well as rare white lion, hippo, hyena, cheetah, giraffes, various antelope and more than 300 bird species. For more information contact 046 603 2000.

Assegaai Trails is a multi-faceted nature reserve situated in the heart of the Eastern Cape, offering over 100 beds in various accommodation options, from delightful rustic hiking camps and affordable group accommodation to comfortable self-catering cottages. For more information contact 082 445 1042

The 3-star Mansfield Private Reserve is in Port Alfred, a little drive out of town. Plains game, including giraffe and zebra, roam the Eastern Cape bushveld. It is safe to walk the pretty hiking trails on the reserve. The indigenous Aloe grows in abundance on the farm. When in flower, their bright orange blooms are hard to miss! For more information contact 0861 748 374.

Temba Private Game Reserve is a luxury piece of heaven situated outside Makhanda (Grahamstown). The reserve is ideal for bird watching, hiking, game drives.

For bookings call: 046 622 2239 or Email:

Makana’s Good Food Guide

One of the best ways to learn about Makhanda and its surrounding historical villages is through the variety of local cuisine. Taste and experience the area through its many and varied restaurants, bars and eateries.

Restaurants and Coffee Shops:

Fine dining:

  • Seven Fountains Farm restaurant: 076 175 1589/ 076 478 9738
  • The Highlander: 046 622 3564

Italian Cuisine

  • The Pothole and Donkey: 046 622 2324
  • Gino’s: 046 622 7208
  • Delizzia: 046 622 8728 / 061 505 8529
  • Cafe Capellini: 046 622 8042

Craft Beer & Eatery:

  • Major Fraser's: 063 548 2903
  • Olde 65: 083 221 3446
  • The Pothole and Donkey: 046 622 2324

Coffee Shops:

  • Famous Sisa: 078 764 8967
  • Red Café: 046 622 8384
  • The Barista: 046 004 0006
  • Revelations Coffee Shop: 046 636 2433
  • La Café: 076 975 5020
  • Relish: 082 366 3881

Wood-fired bakery and café:

  • Jacques' Artisan Bread: 084 454 2351

Fresh Sushi:

  • Panda Asian Kitchen: 063 182 2227/083 252 5924

Plant based food, Vegan and Vegetarian:

  • Red Café: 046 622 8384

Pub Grub and Cocktails:

  • Olde 65: 083 221 3446
  • The Rat & Parrot: 046 622 5002
  • The Pothole and Donkey: 046 622 2324

Child and family friendly:

  • Seven Fountains Farm restaurant
  • Belmont Golf Course: 087 809 0698
  • The Pothole and Donkey: 046 622 2324
  • Redwood Spur: 046 622 2629
  • The Highlander: 046 622 3564

Fast Food:

  • Sea Flight Fisheries: 082 922 7896
  • KFC: 046 622 5182 / 046 622 8833
  • Lemon ‘n Spice: 046 622 2999
  • Roman’s Pizza: 046 622 3125
  • Redwood Spur: 046 622 2629
  • Slip Stream Sports Bar: 082 477 3689
  • Steers: 046 622 5490 / 046 622 3313
  • Theatre Café: 071 350 5439
  • The Day Kaif: 046 603 8271
  • The Provost Café (RU): 060 489 1166
  • Wimpy: 046 622 5422
  • JD takeaways: 066 2460 244
  • House of Curry: 060 344 5913
  • Chicken Hut: 074 713 9883
  • Munchies: 082 212 1998

Nightlife Route:

  • Olde 65: Neighbourhood bar offering food, wine, cocktails, craft beers, music & live sports.

Contact details:

65 New St, Grahamstown, Makhanda.

083 221 3446

  • The Rat & Parrot: The beloved Rat and Parrot is one of the best-known pubs in Makhanda offering refreshing drinks and food, from juicy steaks to scrumptious pizza.

Contact details:

59 New Street, Makhanda.

046 622 5002

  • The Rustic Route: Based in the heart of Makhanda, Rustic Route prides itself in serving mouth-watering food and thirst-quenching drinks it's almost certain that it is your favourite spot. 

Contact details:

1 Scotts Ave, Makhanda.

The restuarant is temporatily closed. For more inforation, please call 081 825 0292.

  • 37 on New: An eclectic outdoor and multi-purpose venue set in lush gardens in an urban environment, catering comfortably for over a 1000 personal.

Contact details:

37 New Street, Makhanda.

084 847 0193

  • Champs: This dance, music and pool venue is a Makhanda’s favourite hangout for pool and live music.

Contact details:

046 622 2324

  • SSS Top Bar: SSS Top Bar is a venue dedicated to live music. We have a full in-house sound system with a drum kit, a keyboard and guitars. Come jam.

Contact details:

19b New Street, Makhanda.

082 477 3689

  • The Vic: An event venue that brings you live music evenings, acoustic, blues and more. The multi-purpose venue is a catering and event organizer all in one and provides for conferences, private parties, sit down dinners or cocktail.

Contact details:

8 New Street, Makhanda.
046 622 7208

Other Food & Beverages Suppliers

  • Checkers: 046 603 4600
  • Cherry on Top Confectionary:
  • Connocks Butchery: 046 622 4412
  • Early Moon Caterers & Decorators: 046 622 8506
  • Featherstone Brewery: 078 040 0982
  • Forever Pure Water: 046 622 7147
  • Fusion Speciality Food Shop: 046 622 9843
  • Handmade Coffee: 079 388 7654
  • Home Industries 046 622 3004
  • Inyama Rama Butchery 046 622 4985
  • OBC Butchery 0870585037
  • Jacques’ Artisan Bread 084 454 2351
  • Kekkel & Kraai 046 622 7992
  • Lu’s Kitchen 082 561 8580
  • Mustard Seed 046 636 1496
  • Oak Cottage Kwik Spar 046 622 4737
  • Oasis Water 073 237 7901
  • Pick ‘n Pay 046 940 0002
  • Springvale Olive Estate 046 622 2484
  • Table Too 082 671 8558/ 083 960 2366
  • Three Doors down 072 292 8029
  • The Farm Box 071 912 0236
  • Tip Top Butchery 046 622 2456
  • Wylie’s Dairy 046 637 2941
  • Yummylicious 083 689 1153


  • Zimmy Developments - Event planner and cater: 073 713 3175
  • Cibo caterers: 082 942 9014
  • Gail Banfield Catering: 072 478 4500
  • Great Occasions Caterers 082 924 4797

Who are we?

  • Makana Tourism was established in 1960 as Grahamstown Publicity Association and is a PBO/NGO entity which promotes Makhanda and the surrounding district.
  • The Makana region is made up of the City of Makhanda together with the nearby towns of Alicedale and Riebeek East and the quaint villages of Fort Brown, Salem, Seven Fountains and Sidbury, under the umbrella of Makana Municipality in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. The Makana region forms part of the Sarah Baartman District Municipality.

Become a member today:

  • You can benefit from being a Makana Tourism member in so many ways! Makhanda is an established brand; provides free exposure to members and public through digital platforms such as a highly responsive and functional website that is optimized for different devices, browsers, data speed, search engines, and users. Other platforms include promotional and advertising programmes; special rates, discounts and offers from our suppliers.

Where to find us:

Disclaimer: The listed information in this guide is subject to change. Makana Tourism does not assume liability for adverse reactions to foods consumed from the listed establishments, or items one may encounter while eating at any of the listed establishments.

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