The small village of Sidbury can be found halfway between Port Elizabeth and Grahamstown in the midst of what is considered “frontier country”. It is one of several quaint little towns such as Alicedale, Riebeeck East and Hogsback, and with Grahamstown as their centre, that makes up one of the most ecologically diverse regions in the country.
The area is made up of thousands of hectares of nature and game conservation dedicated to returning this part of South Africa to its former glory as free game roaming country. Once ravaged by war, this beautiful land now famous for its myriad of game farms and nature reserves which offers malaria-free game viewing at your fingertips, including the Big Five!
Sidbury town itself has a few attractions and still boasts two beautiful churches as well as a few war graves that bear tribute to the once war-torn grasslands. The actress Joan Hickson is also buried in the Anglican churchyard, she is interred under her married name of Joan Bogle Butler. In the 1890s, the community of Sidbury started a cricket club which continues to host exciting games despite the towns small population.
Sidbury is a conveniently located just outside Grahamstown and Port Elizabeth and visitors staying over will be able to travel to the many attractions offered by both cities. Accommodation is provided by several B&B’s and Guest Houses.
Things to do and see
- Kwantu Elephant Sanctuary
- Kwantu Game Reserve
- Lalibela Game Reserve
- Shamwari game reserve
- Assegaai Tree Trail
- Alexandria Hiking Trail
Sidbury 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.
The village was founded by Lt. Richard Daniell, leader of the Daniell party of the British 1820 Settlers to the Eastern Cape, which came to South Africa on the ship the Duke of Marlborough. It was set out along the lines of an English Country village and so was also named after his home town of Sidbury, Devonshire.
Lieutenant Daniell provided the funds for the building of a Church in the village and St Peter’s Anglican Church, again named after his church back home, was completed in 1841 making it one of the first ten Anglican churches in the country.
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