Travelling to Makhanda

BY AIR: The two closest airports to Makhanda / Grahamstown are in Port Elizabeth (about 1.5 hours’ drive away) and East London (about 2hours’ drive). There are regular flights from Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban and other South African destinations. If you are coming from overseas, you will fly into either Johannesburg, Cape Town or Durban before catching a connecting flight to PE. From PE or East London, you can hire a car (AVIS is our preferred rental agency – they have great rates and big smiles!) or catch a bus (Van Rensburg’s Shuttles, Peter’s Shuttles, Blunden’s) to the Festival City.

BY ROAD: Makhanda lies just off the N2 highway between Port Elizabeth and East London. The small city is easily accessible by motorways from Cape Town (887km), Durban (671km), and East London (160km) and Port Elizabeth (127km). You could also drive in from Johannesburg (950km).

There are coach companies that include Makhanda on their routes around South Africa: Greyhound, Intercape, Translux, and City to City. Please contact them directly to make enquiries or bookings.

Getting around Makhanda

Once you’re in town, you can catch the free Monument Shuttle Bus that travels between the Monument, Rhodes and the Village Green throughout the day and well into the night. There is loads of parking at the Monument and at the Village Green – so you can park and ride and hop-off / hop-on! (While the service is free, tips are always appreciated.)

Other modes of transport include some crazy cheap call-a-cab services, tuk-tuk rides, taxis, the occasional (SPCA-sanctioned) donkey cart ride, bike hire and, of course, your own two feet! It’s hilly in Makhanda so be prepared – and we don’t, of course, recommend walking alone at night – but wandering about the buzzing streets of this historical city can be a Festival experience in itself.

Finding your way

There’s no need to get lost! Locals are friendly and will help direct you where you need to go. You can download the 2019 NAF app (iOS and Android) – it has an updated venue map to help you find your way around. There’s also a fold-out map in the back of the printed programme.