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Why did we hand pick Aa'Qtansisi Guesthouse?

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  • Thoughtfully themed room furnishings
  • Family, pet and wheelchair friendly
  • Peaceful street near the heart of town

Aa'Qtansisi Guesthouse

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Price tier (pps): R200  R1500+

Child policy: All ages

In Graaff-Reinet


-32.2521, 24.5326


The name Aa’Qtansisi pays tribute to the Khoisan bushmen, who, 350 000 years ago, were the first human inhabitants of this part of the Great Karoo. A short walk from this charming establishment will take guests on a journey through the fascinating Graaff-Reinet, the fourth oldest town in South Africa. The town is recognised as the home of over 220 heritage sites (more than any other place in South Africa), some magnificent examples of Cape Dutch architecture, and four museums which hold collections of photographic memorabilia, firearms, artwork and prehistoric fossils tracing the story of the Karoo.

Each of the 8 rooms within the guesthouse has been designed with its own eye-catching theme. The Morrocan room features lanterns, arched doors, mosaics and a Queen canopied bed, while the Zanzibar room boasts a King four poster bed enveloped in mosquito net, along with carved mirrors and a spacious Victorian bath. 

You could choose to stay in the tranquil duck-egg blue setting of the French-flavoured Twin room, the lavish, bejewelled interior of the Gypsy Double room, or in a Double room decorated with traditional Karoo keepsakes. 

The luxurious family unit, which draws inspiration from a unique combination of antique elegance and slave quarters, has one Double bed and three Single beds. In all the rooms, modern comforts feature a flat-screen television, air conditioning and heating, with electric blankets included.

Breakfast can be enjoyed in the dining room or on the porch leading out onto a garden with swimming pool. The private tranquil back patio area includes braai facilities, and there is a fridge for the use of guests. Restaurants and shops are a stone's throw away. The guesthouse staff are happy to arrange excursions to any of the nearby attractions and can provide a wealth of useful information about the captivating town.

Rates & Summary

8 Themed Rooms

5 Double rooms
2 Twin rooms
1 Family Suite
En-suite with shower or bath


  • For pricing detail, click on CHECK AVAILABILITY & BOOK ONLINE above


Full English Breakfast included
Dinner by arrangement: R150 pp
Picnic baskets & packed lunches available by arrangement


Children are very welcome and enjoy the jungle gym and pool.
Baby cot available R 50 p/n.

Why Stay Here?

Directly translated from the original language of the Khoisan bushmen, Aa’Qtansisi means 'We welcome You', and guests can prepare to be spoilt and delighted with the personal attention, unique décor and scrumptious food. This old Karoo home, established in 1856, has been transformed into a small bed and breakfast with a variety of cosy rooms styled in themes such as Moroccan, French Huguenot and traditional Karoo. The Guesthouse is family, pet and wheelchair friendly and is conveniently situated on a peaceful street in the heart of historical Graaff-Reinet.


  • Thoughtfully themed room furnishings
  • Family, pet and wheelchair friendly
  • Peaceful street near the heart of town


3 rooms have their own private entrance from the parking area.

Things to consider Bringing

Sunblock, hat, walking shoes, swimming costume, swimming towels, binoculars for bird watching and game viewing in nearby reserves.

Road Conditions

The roads in Graaff-Reinet are tarred.

Activities & Attractions

  • Swimming pool
  • Restaurants & shops
  • Walks in historical Graaff-Reinet
  • Camdeboo National Park nearby


Accommodation & Hospitality

  • Communal lounge
  • Verandah / patio
  • Air conditioning
  • Heater included
  • Bed linen supplied
  • Bathroom towels supplied
  • Daily housekeeping
  • Laundry service available
  • Self-service tea and coffee available
  • No smoking indoors

Catering & Kitchen

  • Breakfast (dinner by arrangement)
  • Braai area available


  • Water supply good for drinking
  • Electric geysers
  • Eskom electricity

Leisure Amenities

  • Swimming pool
  • Satellite television
  • Garden

Business & Connectivity

  • Wi-Fi
  • Good cell phone reception

Access & Convenience

  • Wheelchair friendly
  • Child friendly
  • Pets welcome
  • Off street parking
  • Nearest shops within 5km
  • Nearest fuel within 5km


  • Credit cards accepted
  • EFT accepted
  • Cash accepted




Karoo Heartland

Eastern Cape


The Karoo Heartland area lies in the Eastern Cape province, inland from the busy coastal city of Port Elizabeth. It embraces the eastern landscapes of the Great Karoo and, like the rest of this vast and semi-arid region, it is sparsely populated and little developed.

Rising in the north-west of the region are the Sneeuberg mountains. As their name suggests, the higher reaches are often draped in a blanket of snow during winter. Further east they link up with the Bankberg range. From here the landscape drops in altitude in a series of gentle slopes and rolling foothills.

For the motorist, the steep gradients are traversed via the winding roads of the Lootsberg, Naudesberg, Ouberg and Wapadsberg passes. In the south the landscape flattens out in a sweeping flat expanse, referred to as the plains of Camdeboo. In the eastern extremes the traditional Karoo scrub gives way to waving grasslands, tall slender aloes and tree-choked gorges.

Amongst the koppies and expansive plains are small rural towns like Graaff Reinet, Cradock and Nieu Bethesda. All of these are popular with visitors and well-known for their fine architecture and enduring charm. Graaff Reinet is best known for its magnificent stone church, the historic Drostdy with its colourful Stretch’s Court. It also has tranquil tree-lined streets sporting grand old houses and quaint cottages.

On its outskirts, the 19 000ha Camdeboo National Park almost encircles the town and protects the habitats and wildlife of the area. Within its boundaries stand the pillars of balancing rock that make the Valley of Desolation so intriguing. Nearby, the Sundays River flows into the Nqweba Dam.

A short drive north, at the base of the towering Kompasberg Peak, is Nieu Bethesda. Its main attractions are the Owl House with its artwork, and the mythical figures in the Camel Yard. The town is loved by seekers of tranquillity who come to escape in its rural charm and laid-back ambience.

In the east the busy, upbeat town of Cradock on the banks of the Fish River boasts a wealth of interesting architecture. The best preserved of examples form part of the well-known Tuishuise.

Each year canoeists converge on the area for the annual Fish River canoe marathon.

Cradock’s natural icon comes in the form of the Mountain Zebra National Park. This expanse was proclaimed in order to protect the endangered mountain zebra, which now number around 300 in the park. The variety of game includes cheetah, Cape buffalo and black rhinoceros. The landscape varies from rugged mountains to plateau grasslands.

Throughout the region there is a cultural richness, and strong traditions still survive in the towns and on the farms. With an extensive network of gravel back roads that lead to hidden farms and stunning views, the Karoo Heartlands is ideally suited to the explorer. It’s also home to large game lodges, 4x4 trails, hiking and mountain bike routes, fishing, and birdwatching.

Look out for

Camdeboo National Park – on the outskirts of Graaff Reinet, this 19 000ha park protects some of the low-lying plains as well as the mountainous terrain in the area. It contains the Valley of Desolation. Within its boundaries are 12 species of large game and 225 bird species. There are several hikes, varying from a 1.5 km stroll to a day walk and an overnight trail. 4x4 enthusiasts have a choice of either the Koedoeskloof or Driekoppe trails. There is a tented camp and some campsites are being developed in the park. 

The Valley of Desolation - is formed by the extraordinary geology of the mountains that create impressive dolerite rock pillars, which are easily seen from various viewpoints along the walking trails. En route to the main viewpoint a toposcope stands on a small koppie, from where there is a magnificent view of Graaff Reinet.

Mountain Zebra National Park – situated 12km from Cradock, the park nestles amongst the craggy heights of the Bankberg mountains in the far eastern area of the region. Proclaimed in 1937, the park embraces undulating plains and plunging valleys where the Cape mountain zebra was saved from extinction. Accommodation is in the restored Victorian homestead at Doornhoek (that sleeps 6), or in cottages and campsites at the main rest camp. There is an à la carte restaurant, a shop selling basic commodities, a fuel station and a swimming pool. Day visitors are welcome.

The Owl House – this iconic house was created by eccentric artist Helen Martins. It became famous by being featured in world-renowned playwright Athol Fugard’s film, ‘The Road to Mecca’. Obsessed with the interplay of light, colour and reflection, martins covered walls, ceilings, windows and other surfaces with bright paint and glass. The effect is amplified by the many candles, lamps and mirrors she collected. The Owl House is rated a premier ‘outsider art’ destination and attracts 15 000 visitors annually, from all over the world. It’s open to the public daily (except Christmas day). Opening times: 09h00-17h00 in April to September / 08h00-18h00 in October to May.

Blouwater Railway - for a rail journey with a difference give Charles Kingwill a call to book a seat on his rail van, which trundles up the 11km-long Lootsberg Railway Pass and back. He can take a maximum of 9 passengers per trip. Trips run from Monday to Saturday between 09h00 and 15h00. It takes 2 hours, and you can take your own picnic and refreshments.

Tuishuise –mention Cradock and the first places that come to mind are the historic Tuishuise. Even if you’re not planning to stay overnight (although you should), make a point of exploring Market Street where they are situated. 

When to go

To Do

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