Alicedale is a small village situated on the banks of the Bushmans River in the Cacadu District of the Eastern Cape. It is situated in what is known as “frontier country”, a part of the country that is made up of the quaint little towns of Sidbury, Alicedale, Riebeeck East and Hogsback, with Grahamstown at the centre. The area makes up one of the most ecologically diverse regions in the country.
Once a thriving railway junction, Alicedale is now a quiet and humble town that welcomes its visitors with a charming small town atmosphere. Despite its size, the town has enough on offer to warrant a visit and half the adventure is getting there if you choose to take the train trip from Grahamstown which winds through incredible landscapes as well as a historic tunnel. The town is also home to an above-average Gary Player 18-hole golf course and Alicedale is one of the stops on Rovos Rail's 9-day Golf Tour by train.
Alicedale is a very scenic and close to Pumba and Shamwari Private Game Reserves as well as the New Year’s Dam where visitors can enjoy a relaxing evening cruise. Go to enjoy the outdoors and admire olive groves, Bushman caves and rock art and beautifully designed local bead and basket crafts.
Visitors can experience luxury accommodation and the Bushman Sand Hotel or a number of Lodges and B&B’s in the area.
Things to do and see
- Historical Railway Station
- Weaving Museum
- Pumba Game Reserve
- Bushman Sands Golf Course
- New Year’s Dam
- Kwantu Elephant Sanctuary
- Kwantu Game Reserve
- Assegaai Tree Trail
Alicedale receives approximately 437 mm of rain annually with most rainfall occurring during Summer.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 14˚C and 26˚C.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 5˚C and 18˚C.
Alicedale was essentially a central junction for rail transportation between Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth, with a branch railway line leading to Grahamstown. The town was named in honour of Mrs. Alice Slessor, wife of the engineer in charge of the construction of the railways. Its Xhosa name is EQora.
The town served as a railway training facility during the previous two centuries, after which the now historical red facebrick station building houses the reception of the resort hotel and conference centre.
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