The main points of entry to South Africa are Johannesburg (JNB - OR Tambo International airport) and Cape Town (CPT - Cape Town International). Regular connecting flights to Port Elizabeth (PLZ) (advised) or East London are available – see details of carriers below.
For information on whether you need a visa to enter South Africa, and how to obtain one if you do, please see the following web site: www.dha.gov.za/visa_detail.asp
Grahamstown’s closest commercial airport is in Port Elizabeth, 140 km away by road. There is also an airport in East London, 170 km away, although flights to PE are more frequent. The following carriers offer domestic flights between Port Elizabeth and Johannesburg, Cape Town or Durban:
You can connect to international flights to and from most major centres atJohannesburg or Cape Town.
Delegates can book a shuttle service at scheduled times between Port Elizabeth Airport and Grahamstown on the registration form. This shuttle service is available for both the journey to Grahamstown and the return journey to the airport, or either of these trips individually: R300 single and R500 return. No shuttle service is available to or from East London.
There are many car rental companies based at the Port Elizabeth and East Londonairports, but only the following companies have offices in Grahamstown:
- Budget (specify “Port Elizabeth Rhodes University RV” as the pick up / drop off point)
The route from Port Elizabeth Airport to Grahamstown is clearly signposted and follows the N2 highway. As you leave the airport car hire area, turn right and right again, and drive until you arrive at a traffic circle (roundabout) at the exit from the airport. At the circle, take the first exit left into Aerodrome Way (M11, towards Walmer) and cross the railway line. Then take the third turn to the right into Heugh Road (M9). Follow Heugh Road as it becomes Walmer Boulevard and goes down towards the sea. Turn left at the traffic lights at the bottom of Walmer Boulevard, but keep in the right-hand lane to avoid the left lanes (city centre) and ensure you go onto Settlers’ Way (M4). Follow Settlers’ Way (M4) for approximately 7km, and then follow the signs pointing to N2 Grahamstown.
The only filling station between Port Elizabeth and Grahamstown is at Colchester (also called Sunday’s River), approximately 50km from Port Elizabeth and 90km from Grahamstown. There is a cash machine and small supermarket there as well.
After approximately 60km, be sure to keep in the left lane to stay on the N2 and avoid the N10 to Cradock. If you miss the turnoff, go under the bridge and take the next right-hand turn towards the Nanaga Farm Stall, a popular stop for refreshments and rest-room facilities between Port Elizabeth and Grahamstown. From there you can get back onto the N2 to Grahamstown.
There are few other villages or facilities en route, but the next 70km go through increasingly picturesque Eastern Cape scenery as well as several game reserves. Ten kilometres before reaching Grahamstown you will drive up the scenic Howison’s Poort pass. After the top of the pass you will see the 1820 Settlers’ Monument (a large facebrick building) overlooking Grahamstown on the left, closely followed by the turn for Grahamstown (Grey Street). Once on Grey Street, turn left at the first set of traffic lights into Somerset Street. Rhodes University campus is on the left, with High Street stretching into the Grahamstown central business district on the right. A map of Grahamstown, showing the way in, city centre and campus, is shown below.