Beautiful Alexandria was founded in 1856 and named after Rev Alexander Smith, who ministered to the pioneer population. It is the centre of South Africa’s chicory industry and famed for its pineapples. It is also the first major holiday destination on Route R72 from Port Elizabeth to East London.
Adventure And Sport
Biking and 4×4: Mountain-biking and 4×4 trails traverse the surrounding countryside of Alexandria, the sand dunes, seashore and forests.
Golf, tennis and squash: Alexandria has a well-planned nine-hole golf course and facilities for tennis and squash.
Hiking: Several routes traverse the area, e.g. trails through the Alexandria forest and through Leopards Kloof.
Ox-wagon and horse-riding: For adventures of a different kind, book an ox-wagon or go horse-riding along the beach.
Sand-boarding: Alexandria’s dunes are ideal for sand-boarding. In fact, it is considered one of the ten best venues in the country for this activity.
Wind-surfing: Stillewater is a Mecca for avid wind-surfers.
Art And Crafts
Alexandria Art Group Gallery: The gallery has a generous selection of art works.
Quinn Sculpture Garden: The garden displays a wide selection of sculptures.
History And Architecture
Anglican Church: The original church, built by the early British Settlers and beautifully restored since then, is noted for its stained-glass windows.
Diaz Cross: A replica of the cross erected by the Portuguese navigator Bartolomeu Diaz is situated on the cliffs at Kwaaihoek.
Dutch Reformed Church: The church is a national monument and typical example of denominational architecture.
Grave of Nongqawuse: The grave of the young Xhosa prophetess, whose ill-fated vision led to the downfall of the Xhosa nation, is situated on the farm, Glen Shaw. She told her people that, if they slaughtered all their cattle and destroyed their crops, their dead ancestors would rise up, rid them of the white enemy and bring them untold riches. When the people followed her advice, thousands were cast into abject poverty and about 25 000 people, mainly of the Gcaleka section of the Xhosa nation, died of hunger.
Karel Landman Memorial: The memorial was built to honour the man who was instrumental in establishing the Voortrekker Republic of Natalia. He was born in the vicinity.
Maria Hall: In the 1830s farmers and their families took refuge in this hall during an attack by the Xhosas.
Old Gaol: This is one of the oldest prisons in the Eastern Cape and is now a national monument.
Fauna And Flora
Alexandria Forest Nature Reserve: The reserve covers 60 km of coastline from the Sundays River Mouth to Cannon Rocks and further inland, where part of the area is covered by a subtropical coastal forest, the Alexandria Forest. Sneezewood, yellowwood, ironwood, white milkwood and pear trees, as well as wild plums and figs and wild olives, are found here. The two-day Alexandria Hiking Trail meanders through forests and dunes along the seashore and crosses the Alexandria Dune Fields near Woody Cape Nature Reserve.
Whale-watching cruises: Alexandria offers whale-watching cruises during the month of September.
Woody Cape Nature Reserve: This 25 000-ha reserve, of great scenic beauty, includes the Alexandria Dune Fields, sometimes referred to as the “Dune Sea”, dense forests and a stunning seashore. Small animals and many birds, including the fish eagle and crowned eagle, can be seen in the reserve.
On the eastern shores of Algoa Bay lie the Alexandria Dune Fields, one of the world’s most noted examples of dune field habitat. These high dune fields extend for 60 km along the coast and inland for several kilometres where their vegetation becomes part of the thick indigenous forest vegetation of the area.