Cradock, on the N10, was founded as a frontier stronghold in 1813 on the banks of the Great Fish River.
Today it is best known as the home of Die Tuishuise, a treasure trove of historic buildings. Nearby is the Mountain Zebra National Park. There are several grand buildings in the main street, like the church and the town hall. Just up the road from them is the lovely Victoria Manor Hotel, with its lace trim.
The town has many tree-lined streets - the most distinctive of which is Dundas Street at the bottom end of town. The Ilex Oaks that grow here have been declared a National Monument.
Look out for
Schreiner House - is another of the Karoo houses that world-renowned South African author Olive Schreiner lived in. This one is a museum that contains her personal library. Exhibitions depicting her life can be viewed, and a small bookshop is attached. Tuishuise - even if you’re not planning to stay overnight, make a point of exploring Market Street. There are nearly 30 restored 19th-century settler cottages that reflect cultures that range from Victorian splendour to the boldness of the Afrikaner.
Bree and Dundas Streets - are the oldest streets in Cradock. Exploring them is all the more interesting if you get a list of buildings from the Tuishuise, or the municipality.
Great Fish River Museum - depicts the history of the Eastern Cape Pioneers from 1840-1900. You’ll also find the Cradock Four Gallery here, which tells the story of activists killed during the apartheid era. It’s open Mondays to Fridays from 08h00-16h00.
Mountain Zebra National Park - 26km from Cradock, this was proclaimed in 1937 to protect the endangered Cape mountain zebra. It offers diverse terrain and game viewing. Day visitors are welcome. Accommodation is in cottages and at a campsite.
Great Fish River - is easily accessible from Cradock and provides good tubing and other water sports such as river rafting. It is home to the country’s second-largest annual canoe marathon that takes place over the last weekend in September.