Eastern Cape Travel Guide

Description

The Eastern Cape is South Africa's second largest and most diverse province. It's a great sun, sand and sea destination with a coastline that runs from temperate rocky shores in the south to sub-tropical beaches in the north. There is a beach for every reason - from highly developed urban playgrounds to wild and untamed stretches of wave-washed sand. It has some of the best surf in the country - make that some of the best surf in the world. The small towns of Jeffreys Bay and St Francis Bay are renowned and very popular surf destinations and the Wild Coast has some legendary (and mostly secret) breaks.

The Eastern Cape is not classic lowveld, which is the vegetation type found around the Kruger National Park and is most usually associated with big game. However, this province has some awesome safari destinations. The Greater Addo Elephant National Park, near the town of Addo, conserves a staggering diversity of plant and animal life. There are a number of private game lodges, both in the national park and in surrounding private reserves. Best of all - it's totally malaria-free. South Africa's first and - to date - only serious commercial ski resort is in the high-lying northern part of the Eastern Cape. OK, it's not exactly Chamonix or Aspen - but it is skiing in Africa. Snowboarding's big, too.

The Eastern Cape's cultural heritage is particularly varied and interesting, and there are so many interpretive tours, museums and monuments, you'll never be bored. Towns that will particularly appeal to more culturally minded visitors include Graaff-Reinet and Grahamstown.

Nieu Bethesda, which is close to Graaff-Reinet, is a funky little village that owes its popularity to the existence of the Owl House, which is South Africa's most well known example of outsider art. Port Elizabeth is renowned for its excellent township and cultural tours. The Nelson Mandela Museum in Umtata is a loving tribute to South Africa's first president. There are great tours along the Wild Coast, on which you get to spend time with the local people and see how they live. The Grahamstown Festival or, more accurately, the National Festival of the Arts, which showcases a huge variety of South Africa's visual and performance arts, is held in Grahamstown at the beginning of July.

There are some excellent golf courses, but they're not all as conveniently close together as they are, for example, on the Garden Route. Some of the better courses are to be found in or near Port Elizabeth, Port Alfred, East London and Port Edward. A brand new golf course has been built at the rather interesting town of Alicedale, which is experiencing a huge economic revival after spending years as a virtual ghost town.

In and Around

Nearby Locations
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Accommodation near Eastern Cape

*Distances are shown as the crow flies and not necessarily the actual travelling distance.

from R350
1 night, 2 adults

Bethesda Tower

Sleeps 8 Nieu Bethesda Bed and Breakfast in Nieu Bethesda

Unique accommodation experienced in an enchanting tower at a vibrant arts centre in the Karoo villag...

from R500
1 night, 2 adults

Beau & I

Sleeps 12 Graaff-Reinet Bed and Breakfast in Graaff-Reinet

Situated in the heart of Graaff-Reinet, we are within walking distance of shops, restaurants, museum...

from R600
1 night, 2 adults

Keurfontein Country House

Sleeps 14 Willowmore Self-catering in Willowmore

Keurfontein Country House is situated on the N9 between Willowmore and Uniondale, and is easily acce...

Aan die Oewer B&B
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10%
from R500
1 night, 2 adults

Aan die Oewer B&B

Sleeps 21 Graaff-Reinet Self-catering in Graaff-Reinet

At Aan die Oewer we have created a haven for the travel-weary soul. Situated in the quietest part o...

from R650
1 night, 2 adults

Portofino Guest House

Sleeps 34 Port Alfred Hotel in Port Alfred

Stunning views of Sea and Marina. Rate from R600 per Room. Self-catering or bed only. Indoor and out...

from R500
1 night, 2 adults

Ann's Villa

Sleeps 11 Zuurberg Self-catering in Zuurberg

Ann's Villa is one of the country's oldest coaching inns, built in 1864 in the Eastern Cape. It is ...

from R670
1 night, 2 adults

Sea Why

Sleeps 4 Natures Valley Self-catering in Natures Valley

Sea Why is a self-catering apartment with private facilities and a separate entrance, situated in Na...

from R900
1 night, 2 adults

Spinnaker B&B

Sleeps 20 Summerstrand Guest House, Summerstrand Self-catering in Summerstrand

Spinnaker B&B is centrally located in the quiet and upmarket suburb of Summerstrand, in Port Elizabe...

from R500
1 night, 2 adults

Paulyn Place

Sleeps 5 Kenton-on-Sea Self-catering in Kenton-on-Sea

Paulyn Place is a comfortable self-catering house located in Kenton-on-Sea. The house is ideal for ...

from R1,000
1 night, 2 adults

Villa Casa Guest House

Sleeps 12 Walmer Guest House, Walmer Self-catering in Walmer

Beautiful private home with magnificent views over Baakens Valley with a swimming pool and entertain...

Addo Elephant
Port Elizabeth Beach
Beach Horse Riding