Makhanda (Grahamstown) in situated in the Eastern Cape province, just 130km from Port Elizabeth and 180km from East London. The city is home to Rhodes University, the Diocese of the Anglican Church of South Africa, and the College of Transfiguration. The city has 52 churches from numerous denominations, earning Grahamstown the name the "City of Saints".
Makhanda (Grahamstown) was founded in 1812 as a military outpost by Lieutenant-Colonel John Graham as part of an effort to secure the eastern frontier of British influence against the Xhosa. In an attempt to stabilize the Cape Colony, the government enticed British families to the farmlands. Many of these settlers, however, preferred the urban life and Grahamstown became a thriving trading centre, home to the largest concentration of artisans outside Cape Town.
Today, Makhanda (Grahamstown) claims range from historical (the first diamond find by Henry Galpin was tested here) to arbitrary (it has the "tallest toilet in the world").
Two large festivals take place annually in Makhanda (Grahamstown), namely the "National Arts Festival" in June/July and SciFest Africa in the first term of the year. The Arts Festival is the largest Arts Festival in South Africa and sees some of the leading talents in the South African and International arts scene.