Eastern Cape Travel Guide


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

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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 R550
1 night, 2 adults

Cozi Corner Self-catering Accommodation

Sleeps 8 Queenstown Self-catering in Queenstown

Cozi Corner Self-catering accommodation can be found in the heart of Queenstown and offers luxury, y...

from R640
1 night, 2 adults

Marina Martinique Bed & Breakfast

Sleeps 11 Marina Martinique Bed and Breakfast in Marina Martinique

Marina Martinique B & B is situated on an island in the Marina Martinique. A waterfront haven with C...

from R320
1 night, 2 adults

Framesby Guesthouse

Sleeps 43 Framesby Guest House, Framesby Self-catering in Framesby

Enjoy your stay in one of the safest and quiet suburbs in Port Elizabeth. Make use of self-catering ...

from R355
1 night, 2 adults

Karoopark Guest House

Sleeps 63 Graaff-Reinet Guest House in Graaff-Reinet

Karoopark Guest House is centrally situated near Graaff-Reinet's main attractions. En-suite rooms w...

from R800
1 night, 2 adults

African Perfection 1

Sleeps 20 Jeffreys Bay Guest House in Jeffreys Bay

African Perfection 1 is situated right on the beachfront at Supertubes, providing stunning views ove...

from R300
1 night, 2 adults

Avoca River Cabins

Sleeps 77 Sunland Self-catering in Sunland

In the beautiful citrus and rose growing area of the Sundays River Valley, 25 minutes from the Addo ...

from R900
1 night, 2 adults

Lakeview Guest House

Sleeps 16 Oviston Guest House, Oviston Self-catering in Oviston

Lakeview Guest House is a restful guest house with breathtaking views over the Garip Dam, and offers...

from R550
1 night, 2 adults

Mountain Breeze Log Cabins

Sleeps 13 Tsitsikamma Self-catering in Tsitsikamma

Mountain Breeze self-catering log cabins in a tranquil environment on a working Protea farm, can be ...

from R450
1 night, 2 adults

Les Fleurs Self-catering Cottages

Sleeps 4 Queenstown Self-catering in Queenstown

These are self-catering cottages located in the small town of Queenstown. They are ideally situated ...

Addo Elephant
Port Elizabeth Beach
Beach Horse Riding