Riebeeck East

October, 2023Posted by Neil


Welcome to the Riebeeck East website , our little town is situated in the Makana district of the eastern Cape. You'll find us on the R400 between the R350 and the N10. Surrounded by game farms and beautiful eastern cape landscape.Our little town has a clinic, fully functioning library and the wonderful Mooimeisies Guesthousse,

Our nearest town is Grahamstown which is 39km's to the east.

The history of Riebeeck East, is largely that of the church. The 1820 British Settlers sent to colonize the area and to act as abuffer between the new colonies in the west and the xhosa tribes in the east which led to an "anglicizing" of the area. However the independant Afrikaner farmers remained loyal to the Dutch Reformed Church and had to travel to Graaf-Rienet and Uitenhage to attend church services.

In 1826 the Afrikaans speaking community of farmers in the Albany District petitioned the church but this was declined on the basis that the English church in Grahamstown should be used by the Dutchy congregation in the same way that the Dutch church in Cape Town is used by the English. One of those signatories to this petition was Piet Retief, one of the leaders on the Great Trek. In 1830 another petition for the appointment ofc elders and deacons was successful and the magistrate of Albany appointed a church council consisting of two elders and four deacons.he induction took place on 9th January 1831. The first visiting preacher was Dr George Morgan who presided at the first church gathering on 7th May 1831 on the farm Driefontein. In 1841 the church was able to appoint its own permanent minister Dr John Pears who was inducted in St Georges Church Grahamstown and lived in Grahamstown. Pears persueded the church council to buy a prtion of the farm Mooimeisiesfontein. retief had sold a portionj of Mooimeisies 1574 to Dirk Willem Van Rooyen. The church purchased 1275 hectares from M. J. van Rooyen and to pay for this they subdived the property so they could sell of the indivdual lots which led to the formation of Riebeeck East.

Chill in the Hills

January 2016Posted by Neil


Cary and Neil Clark have run the Mooi Meisies Guest House in Riebeeck East for about a year and it is fast gaining momentum. A restored Victorian home with a funky coffee shop, is impossible to miss with its red wall studded with succulent plants! Cary who escaped the corporate world and Neil, a builder, left Cape Town about 5 years ago to move to Knysna for three years and then to Riebeeck East where they settled with their children about a year ago to start the guest house. They discovered the house quite by chance on the internet and decided it was worth a visit to see what happened in Riebeeck East and they were left charmed by its olde world feel.

The Guest House has been a joint project for the couple and their children with full involvement from all. Neil with his building skills has done all the renovation work while Cary has done the marketing and day to day running and maintenance. The décor is an eclectic mix of items personally collected or made and this makes it quite unique. “We both love the interaction with our guests and we have a variety of different people passing through ranging from those running out of petrol and then never wanting to leave, to artists, musicians, adventure bikers, touring cyclists, hikers, photographers and those just wanting to chill on the stoep with a glass of wine or good coffee while the world slows down just a little.” said Cary. The atmosphere at Mooi Meisies Guest House is “home away from home” and it is a great country stop for families with children, they have a small menagerie of pets which include bunnies and chickens which the kids love to play with.

The folk rock mini festival during the National Arts Festival, dubbed “Riebeeck East Sessions”, was a hot little success with the guesthouse filled to capacity with 25 music lovers. Their candle lit shows dinners and shows were very well received which has given rise to more functions such as a regular once-a-month music evening being planned. “A Tribute to Leonard Cohen” by Tim Hopwood and a “Rodriguez Tribute” by Eastern Cape folkie Anton Carlitz is coming up in September. Other attractions are a Weekend Photography Course offered by Mark Pradervand and Tim Hopwood and a Mosaic Course offered by Yolande Delport which is very relaxed and allows the creative juices to flow.

They are very excited about marketing the area as a mountain biking, trail running and hiking destination with routes and logistics being planned for groups and individuals. “We have a geat off-road training venue for triathlon athletes in spring and summer who can run and bike in the surrounds.” Our group of five mountain bikers left GHT early, took the 37km dirt road option with game viwing route, not the 17km tar. We dropped gear at Mooimeisies, had a light snack of fresh muffins with stunning coffee and did a loop through kloofs and over a small mountain road back to the BnB where Cary had a super meal waiting for us! Our night was spent between magnificent sheets and the new beds were extremely comfortable. Then came another great breakfast and we were off for our final loop in the opposite direction. What a great way to spend a weekend out, and for a most reasonable cost.For more information call Cary on cell: 0746188747