The Eastern Cape is a malaria-free region of lush rolling lowlands, soaring mountain tops and 800km of coastline, ranging from sweeping sandy bays to wave-beaten cliff faces. The province’s main gateway and principal city is Port Elizabeth, (renamed Gqeberha) which dates back to 1820 when it became the first permanent British settlement in the country. Whilst its colonial past can still be seen, today it is a modern city with office blocks and the centre of the car making industry in South Africa.
The Eastern Cape is where President Nelson Mandela was born and completed his university studies. At the western end of the Eastern Cape is the Tsitsikamma National Park at the very start of the Garden Route, which provides some wonderful wooded landscapes running right down to the coast with great walking and hiking opportunities. The Karoo Heartland borders onto the Klein and Great Karoo of the Western Cape and at its western edge is the impressive town of Graaff-Reinet with its wonderful Cape Dutch architecture and access to Desolation Valley.
If you love the beach and like to get off the beaten track, a visit to the Wild Coast is a must. It stretches from the Mtamvuna River in the north to the Great Kei River in the south. It is an untamed wilderness of wild, picturesque beaches, cliffs, sheltered bays, and rolling hills and valleys; it is also one of the few places you'll see cattle chewing the cud on the beach. Ask us about the Pondo Trail: a four-day unforgettable hiking adventure along the Wild Coast.
Due north of Port Elizabeth is a large area of renegade farmland that has been returned to natural vegetation and is the home of the Eastern Cape malaria free safari private game reserves and the Addo Elephant National Park. In these areas you can enjoy safaris, access to the Big 7, (The Big Five plus the southern right whales and great white sharks) and in particular to the endangered Cape wild dog populations that are to be found in most of these reserves. Shamwari Game Reserve has become a favourite for celebrities: among many other visitors it has welcome Brad Pitt, Nicolas Cage and apparently Tiger Woods got engaged here. We highly recommend adding on one of these reserves to your Garden Route holiday: none of them are very far from Port Elizabeth.
Other game viewing can be had at the Mkhambathi Nature Reserve where you can see a waterfall that drops straight into the sea and eland and wildebeest wandering along the coast, rare blue duiker and a Cape vulture colony. The Great Fish River Reserve is home to black rhino, hippo, Cape buffalo, elephant, lion and a number of antelope species.
For the adrenaline addict there is tubing down the Storm’s River Gorge, skydiving in Grahamstown or flying lessons in Port Alfred. Surfers Alert! Jeffreys Bay, in the heart of the Sunshine Coast, is world famous for its ‘supertubes’, In July each year, the world’s top surfers come here for the Billabong Pro event.
Call: 020 8776 8709 or email firstname.lastname@example.org today.
- Addo Elephant National Park
- Graaff –Reinet
- Lalibela Reserve
- Camp Figtree in Addo
- Amakhala Bush Lodge
- Kwandwe Private Game reserve, Ecca Lodge
- Great Fish River Lodge
- Samara Private Game Reserve outside Graaff-Reinet
- The Whyte House, Graaff-Reinet