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Friday, 10th February 2017

To all our new families and students and returning students, Welcome. I hope that your experiences in our City this year provide happy memories.  Once the newness of the place wears off many of you may start getting “cabin fever” and feel that our valley is closing in on you so it’s always a good idea to jive up your routine and do something different. You needn’t go too far either. 

Get your blood pumping:

  • The Parkrun every Saturday morning at the Botanical Gardens (Bots) in Lucas Street is a firm favourite;
  • Contact Jason of The Motion Shop in Cuyler Street for group cycling around town and he will provide you with a bicycle and helmet at a minimal cost (078 460 8356).
  • Assegaai Trails, on the way to Kenton-on-Sea, is great for hikes (046 622 8619), or contact the friendly folk at the Oldenburgia Hike Club (Kate 076 149 0622) for group hikes in and around our district.
  • Like the wind in your hair as you gallop across the veld? Call Shawn at Settlers’ Horse Trails (082 808 6136) for an outride of 1 ½ to 2 hours. Beginners welcome.

If you’d like something a little less vigorous:

  • Take a walking tour around Grahamstown – there are 4 walks which you can do at your own pace. Get the brochure from Makana Tourism.
  • Gather your friends together and a picnic basket or two, and head for Bots. Alternatively Bezali Lodge (Ancoise 076 150 8888) will make you picnic basket to enjoy while you laze at the edge their picturesque pond.
  • Head to the SPCA and volunteer to walk the dogs and play with the cats.
  • If you’re a bit of a golf nut or want to learn how to play golf, visit the beautiful Belmont Golf Club (079 637 8153).

Foodies of the world unite. Tired of cola, burgers, slap chips, pasta and pizza?

  • Explore Home Industries at Peppergrove – their chocolate brownies are “to die for, doll”.
  • Table Too provides their popular themed dinners. So take your friends and your own drinks for a fun night out. Booking is essential (Junitha 082 671 8558).
  • For the best curry, roti and vetkoek in Grahamstown Dane-Carlons Spices in Hill Street is a must visit at lunchtime (073 450 5759).
  • Ma Ndoks caters to people wanting hearty and delicious traditional food, or spend an evening at a tavern having a braai and listening to local musicians. Bookings must be made in advance (Otto 082 214 4242).
  • Beer connoisseurs will revel in two local Breweries’ offerings. Featherstone beers are available at the Rat in New Street. New kids on the block, William and Teresa Yell own Lothian Breweries and have some delicious beer for you to taste at their Aloe and Elephant Lodge (087 150 7986).

Become an explorer and soak up the history of the Makana region and the Sunshine Coast:

  • Hear about the frontier wars of the past; apartheid struggle stories from veterans; dance and music – experience a cultural tour (Otto 082 214 4242).
  • Take a drive and discover the old forts and fortifications built by soldiers 200 years ago. Brochures with the GPS coordinates to the sites are available from Makana Tourism.
  • Head down to Bathurst to soak up the arty vibe in the “centre of the universe”, and have a swig at the Pig.
  • Port Alfred is a popular seaside spot with lots of eateries, a brewery, and spectacular blue flag beaches. Take a cruise up the Kowie River.
  • Learn about shipwrecks, birds and sea life on walks along the coast at low tide. Bookings are essential (Anne 083 719 4950).

For more information on these and other experiences, please contact Makana Tourism at 63 High Street, Grahamstown, or call 046 622 3241.