Bathurst is known as the “pineapple capital” of South Africa – it has a giant 16,7-metre pineapple (that often glows in the dark) to prove the point. But Bathurst, one of SA’s charming little wayside villages, is far more than a juicy pineapple. It has a good second hand bookshop, a fairy garden and a couple of very venerable pubs like the Pig ‘n Whistle, which bears the slogan:
“There’s no thirst like Bathurst…”
It might be a very small settlement today (the locals do prefer it that way), but in 1820 Bathurst was supposed to be the capital of the District of Albany, where Britons came to farm. Administration of the region, however, was later centred in nearby Grahamstown. Many of the buildings that remain today were used as minor forts during the Frontier Wars – even the “Pig” had an underground escape tunnel.
Bathurst is also a favourite with students from Rhodes University in Grahamstown, who visit the annual Bathurst Show in their droves. Not to be missed visits are the Waters Meeting Nature Reserve, the Toposcope, the Wesleyan and Anglican churches and Bradshaw’s Mill.
- Pig ‘n Whistle Hotel:
(046) 625 0673;
- Kei Apple Cottage:
(046) 625 0884;
- Lyndhurst Guest Cottage:
(046) 625 0807;
- Protea Hotel Bathurst:
(046) 625 0833;
- Agisymba Safaris (Pete Wilson) -tourist & nature guiding:
(046) 625 0101;
- Bathurst Arms: (046) 625 0738;
- Ndlambe Tourism: (046) 624 1235;