Graaff Reinet - Historical City filled with Culture
For anyone interested in the early history of South Africa, a visit to Graaff-Reinet is essential. It was founded in the 1770's when the first of the early farmers of trekboers (voortrekkers) settled on the banks of the Sundays River. This early frontier post faced turmoil and dissention under British rule and in 1834 a large group of trekboers decided to move away, thus initiating the Great Trek under the leader Andries Pretorius. Being the oldest town in the Eastern Cape this town has graceful buildings and a number of historical and cultural museums. It also boasts 220 proclaimed National Monuments.
Graaff Reinet, known as the 'Gem of the Karoo' is situated at the entrance to the awesome Valley of Desolation with its eroded dolerite and sandstone cliffs and columns and endless plains of the Great Karoo. This valley lies within the Karoo Nature Reserve with hiking trails leading through this magnificent wilderness and wildlife ecosystem.