With more national monuments than any other South African town, the streets of Graaff-Reinet are a pleasure to stroll. Incorporate an informal walking tour with a visit to at least one of the four buildings that comprise the Graaff-Reinet Museum (tel. 049/892-3801; Mon-Fri 8am-5pm, Sat 9am-3pm, Sun 9am-4pm; admission R25). Of these, Reinet House, a stately Cape Dutch home facing Parsonage Street, is by far the most interesting. Built in 1812 as the Dutch Reformed Church parsonage, its large, airy rooms display period furniture, a collection of antique dolls, and various household objects. Within walking distance, the Old Library Museum, on the corner of Church and Somerset streets, houses a collection of fossilized Karoo reptiles that inhabited the area more than 200 million years ago. Also worth a look is the slightly scrappy but still evocative exhibition on the life of Robert Sobukwe, the founder of the Pan Africanist Congress, which broke away from the ANC in 1958. Sobukwe spent years on Robben Island and was buried in Graaff-Reinet, his hometown. Other buildings worth noting are the stately Dutch Reformed Church, 1 block up from the Old Library Museum, which dates back to 1886, and the delightful Graaff-Reinet pharmacy, a typical Victorian chemist that still operates at 24 Caledon St. Do also stop by the Pierneef Museum, Middle Street (tel. 049/892-6107; Mon-Fri 9am-12:30pm and 2-5pm, Sat and Sun 9am-noon), where the artist's impressive Johannesburg Station Panels are now on display. Viewed with suspicion for years because of perceived ties to Afrikaner nationalism, Pierneef's characteristic, stylized landscapes are garnering renewed appreciation lately -- and you may recognize some key South African landmarks (such as the Valley of Desolation or Knysna Heads) from your travels. Lastly, see another side of Graaff-Reinet on a walking tour of uMasizakhe Township: Xolile Speelman (tel. 082/844-2890; will share its history and introduce you to locals; if possible, he will also arrange a visit to a wedding, an initiation school, a church service, or a clinic. From R100 for 1 1/2 hours.

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