The Pretty Cities of Instagram: 10 great snaps of Grahamstown


As much as Instagram’s a great platform for cat pictures and brunches, it’s also rather great for couch travellers. Speaking of which, welcome to our new feature entitled Pretty Cities of Instagram, where each week, we’ll take a look at some of the best snaps of cities as seen from the lenses of Instagram users across the world.

Are we running out of South African cities yet? Not quite. In fact, there’s a lot more to come from SA before the Pretty Cities of Instagram series expands into Africa and beyond.

On that note, this week’s city in focus is Grahamstown — just 120km from Port Elizabeth, in the heart of the Eastern Cape’s Makana municipality. The city’s headlining National Arts Festival 2016 begins this week, so this makes for rather splendid timing. With around 70 000 people living within its borders, the City of Saints also boasts more churches than many bother to count, some of SA’s most expensive schools, and some pretty gorgeous natural beauty.

One school in question is Rhodes University (okay, so it’s not technically a school). Housing around 7000 students, the 112-year-old university is well known for its defiant activism campaigns, diverse student population and architectural heritage. This is the administration building’s famous Sir Herbert Baker Clock Tower. Image: Brad Kent.

Above the University a 70m-tall hill, affectionately known to students as Monument, provides Instagrammers with a great viewpoint over the rest of the city. At night, it’s particularly beautiful. Image: Jason McMillan.

5 years spent LIVING in between these dots. Take me back.

A photo posted by Jason McMillan (@jasonhm121) on

Okay, so Grahamstown has quite a few clock towers. Pictured below is the Observatory Museum which houses the city’s (and country’s) only camera obscura. Image: Emzini.

21 June – #observatorymuseum #clocktower #grahamstown #easterncape #southafrica

A photo posted by emzini (@emzini) on

Beyond the architecture, Grahamstown is a typical university town. The Rhodes University library, established back in 1907, is now housed in a new three-storey complex at the institution’s centre. Image: Carla Franco.

Grahamstown also has a swathe of animal life, from a number of birdsspecies to enormous centipedes and the occasional snake. Pictured below, a sunbird enjoys a few vials of aloe nectar. Image: Luke Kemp.

Yeah, we can’t quite ignore the city’s incredible architecture. Image: Faith Makgotso.

Grahamstown enjoys rain fairly consistently all-year, with summer bringing severe thunderstorms. While they don’t occur often, summer veld fires are also a threat to nearby housing and occasionally the university campus itself. Image: Roddy Fox.

Also, it’s pretty easy to know when it’s spring in the City of Saints. Cherry blossoms dot the streets and provide gorgeous pink plumage at the dawn of the warmer months. Image: Sonal.

Although Grahamstown is a fairly small city, the pets are rather larger than the average dog or cat. Image: Carolyn Perks.

Hello little donkey 💛 Normal day in the EC 😂 #grahamstown #citylife #southafrica #rural_love

A photo posted by Carolyn Perks (@carolynperks) on

Finally, the most iconic landmark in Grahamstown is undoubtedly the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. George. Built in 1952, the cathedral has the tallest church spire in South Africa at just over 50 metres which can be seen from almost all avenues in the city. Image: Erone.

Do you want your snaps of your city or town to be featured in this series? Be sure to tag us on Instagram using our @BurnMedia handle.

Feature image: Saaleha Bamjee via Flickr

Andy Walker, former editor


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