Discover The Eastern Cape Of South Africa

The Eastern Cape is a relative newcomer in the tourism stakes but has quickly emerged as a popular province for tourists to visit, with an ever-increasing range of activities, areas to visit and accommodation establishments.

Due to its location at the tail end of the Garden Route and with the National Parks as one of the main attractions of the Eastern Cape, it is not surprising that many people choose to ‘tag on’ a safari or game viewing experience before or after their Garden Route itinerary. The Addo Elephant National Park has a high concentration of elephants and stretches from the sea to the Zuurberg Mountains. Its elephant herd numbers approximately 300 and recently the ‘Big 5’ were introduced. There is a variety of accommodation, ranging from privately owned Bed & Breakfasts and Country Retreats in the area, to luxury private game reserves.

Travel Itineraries Featuring The Eastern Cape

Special Places To Stay In The Eastern Cape

Pumba Private Game Reserve

In the malaria-free Eastern Cape, Pumba Private Game Reserve provides an authentic and luxurious safari experience, ideal as an add-on to the Garden Route. The reserve is home to Africa’s Big 5, as well as white lion, hippo, hyena, cheetah, giraffe and an abundant 270 bird species. Enjoy game drives in open Landrovers with experienced rangers, or on a guided walking safari

Shamwari Private Game Reserve

Malaria-free Shamwari Game Reserve is an outstanding and pioneering Big 5 reserve in the Eastern Cape, highlighting the importance of conservation coupled with responsible tourism. The reserve boasts five eco-systems and covers 25,000 hectares, providing a sanctuary for a wide variety of birds and wildlife.

Kariega Game Reserve

A natural add-on to a stay in Cape Town or a trip along the Garden Route, the 10,000 hectare malaria-free 'Big 5' Kariega Game Reserve is set in the pristine wilderness of the Kariega and Bushmans River Valleys, in the heart of 1820 Settler Country.

Amakhala Game Reserve

The abundant wilderness of Amakhala Game Reserve preserves a complex and diverse ecosystem, providing habitat for over 60 mammal species. The Bushman’s River winds its way through the reserve providing its life source of water to the myriad of wildlife and birdlife. The dramatic and ever changing topography of Amakhala Game Reserve is host to an abundant tapestry of sights and sounds - you never know what you might see around the next turn of the land-rover track.

Sibuya Tented Camps

Forest Camp – 8 tents, River Camp – 4 tents

Sibuya is a scenic tented malaria-free game reserve, accessed solely by boat.

Spanning the Kariega Estuary Sibuya is home to the Big Five, with cheetah breeding and lion introduction projects.

Forest Camp has 8 comfortably furnished tents on wooden walkways tucked into the vegetation and River Camp has 4 spacious tents, ideal for families. Professional guides offer game drives, bush walks and boat trips with excellent birding.

TGCSA 4-Star Lodge

The Elephant House & The Stable Cottages

The Elephant House – 8 rooms Stable Cottages - 6 Cottages

The Elephant House is an exclusive thatched lodge with spacious bedrooms, stylishly decorated and opening onto courtyards or verandahs. Light poolside lunches are served and after ‘sundowners’ a sumptuous three course candlelit dinner is prepared.

The Stable Cottages are spacious Cape- style cottages with verandas and reeded ceilings, of which two are family units. Set in four hectares of grounds with a large swimming pool and access to a trendy Wine Bar and Restaurant. Game drives into nearby Addo, other game reserves and Elephant Back Safaris and valley tours can be arranged.

River Bend Lodge

10 rooms and 1 Penthouse Suite

Set on a private concession within the malaria-free Addo Elephant National Park, River Bend is family friendly and only 45 minutes drive from Port Elizabeth.

Home to the Big 5, with opportunities of viewing elephants and a checklist of over 430 birds. The eight spacious rooms have verandas which open onto the bush, and the Honeymoon Suite includes a private plunge pool.

An award-winning wine list accompanies delicious meals prepared in a contemporary style. Game drives are led by experienced guides. Long Hope Villa is an exclusive use three-bedroomed Safari Villa, with your own private chef and game guide.

TGCSA 5-Star Lodge.

Around The Eastern Cape

The Mountain Zebra National Park was set up specifically to protect the zebra and you can take one of the hiking trails to experience the park itself. Tsitsikamma National Park on the Western edge of the province is a lush forest and rugged coastline, with The Otter Trail perfect for keen hikers, or the Dolphin Trail for those keen on walking. Storms River provides some exciting adventures, with the world’s highest 180m-bungee jump at Blaauwkrans Bridge - not for the faint hearted!

Whilst the landscape and safari options are a big attraction for the Eastern Cape, it also offers great fishing, scuba diving, surfing, sailing and hiking. The warm coastline and legendary waves are well known among the surfing community, Jeffrey’s Bay claims to have the ‘perfect wave’ !

The Eastern Cape is also rich in history, with it being the birthplace of Nelson Mandela. A museum situated at Qunu was opened in 2000 to coincide with the 10th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s release from prison. The historic city of Grahamstown, home to Rhodes University, is an ideal base from which to explore the surrounds and to take a tour to relive the frontier wars and the pioneer history.

Helen Martins one of South Africa’s most notable artists, worked in the small village of Nieu Bethesda, where you are able to see her work at the Owl House Museum.

Graaff-Reinet is the fourth oldest town in South Africa and is often called a ‘living museum’ due to the number of National Monuments, the largest number of any town or city in South Africa. It lies in the centre of the 15 000 hectare Camdeboo National Park (formerly the Karoo Nature Reserve) in which the nearby and spectacular Valley of Desolation is situated. A conservation policy is in place to ensure that the many examples of architecture, ranging from simple Karoo-style houses to stately Cape Dutch buildings, are retained.

Port Elizabeth is the largest city within the province and the gateway to the province. It has a range of beaches and is home to Humewood golf course, the only true links course in South Africa (according to the locals anyway).

Surfing, game watching, settler history or Mandela’s roots...the Eastern Cape will have you returning time and time again

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