Established in 1907, the historic Royal Port Alfred Golf Club is situated on the Sunshine Coast in Port Alfred, half way between East London and Port Elizabeth. This charming and old-fashioned course has some quirky holes and pretty much preserves the atmosphere of the early 1900s in South Africa.
One of the true links courses in South Africa, it is set on the rolling hills of Port Alfred, with plenty of indigenous bush, wildlife and wonderful sea views. The 18-hole course is 5 800 m and has a unique layout, which, in true links tradition, tests your ability to read the elements as much as the course. A golfing experience not to be missed!
Things to do near
*Distances are shown as the crow flies and not necessarily the actual travelling
Bathurst (11 km from Port Alfred)
The little hamlet of Bathurst lays claims to the biggest pineapple on the planet!
Standing 16.7 metres tall, this gigantic structure is not a cell phone tower in disguise; but rather a tribute to the agricultural success of the prickly fruit. Early farmers struggled to grow any crops here until the first pineapple top was planted in 1865.
The interior boasts a tourist shop, static displays, and a great view. It’s a fun place to take the whole family and learn about the pineapple industry or find a little memento.
Head to the Porcupine Pub afterwards and try their popular pineapple cocktails!
Summerhill Farm, Kowie Road, Bathurst.
Kasouga (18.8 km from Port Alfred)
Kasouga Beach is one of the Eastern Cape’s best-kept secrets combining pastoral country living with a stunning beach. Although it's incredibly tranquil, there's no shortage of things to do. Here you can view amazing birds and wildlife including shy bushbuck and the ultra rare Oribi antelope; or go canoeing, swimming, hiking and surfing. The surrounding farms and entire coastline are an artist or photographer’s dream.
Kenton-on-Sea (26.2 km from Port Alfred)
The holiday village of Kenton-On-Sea boasts one of the loveliest Eastern Cape beaches. Set between the Kariega and Bushmans, two awesome tidal rivers, the area offers an incredible setting for family holidays.
Behind the beach is a nature reserve, perfect for quiet strolls. Parking is right above the beach. Lifeguards are on duty during the peak summer season (1 December to 31 January).
Kenton-on-Sea (26.4 km from Port Alfred)
This day walk consists of a network of trails and is pretty easy to do. The trail is located in the 30 ha reserve above the beach between the Bushman’s and Kariega Rivers, just south of Kenton-on-Sea. There are three designated parking lots and a boat-launching site.
Bushmans River Mouth (28.1 km from Port Alfred)
The beach at Bushmans River Mouth delivers incredible sunsets and stunning views of the coast and Bushmans River. It lies next to one of South Africa’s most picturesque holiday villages, Kenton-on-Sea, with the Kariega River on the other side. Both tidal rivers are safe for swimming and water sports. The marine and birdlife is abundant and whales return each year during the winter season.
Kenton-on-Sea (31.7 km from Port Alfred)
Enjoy an ultimate safari experience on the Sunshine Coast in the malaria-free Kariega Game Reserve.
Situated near the ever-popular Garden Route, this family-owned and operated private reserve spans 9 000 hectares of pristine Eastern Cape wilderness encompassing the stunning Kariega and Bushman's Rivers.
Awesome Big-5 viewing along with an extensive diversity of fauna, flora and birdlife in five different eco-systems offers an authentic and unforgettable African encounter.
Along with lion, elephant, leopard, buffalo and white rhino, other wildlife you are likely to spot include hippo, hyena, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, waterbuck, Nyala, kudu, warthog and a variety of other antelope.
Over 280 species of birds have been recorded including Martial, Crowned and Fish Eagles which nest on the reserve.
Boknes (37.8 km from Port Alfred)
The main attraction of Boknes Beach is the excellent kitesurfing and fishing conditions and blissfully warm water for swimming. One of the Eastern Cape’s beautiful beaches, the area is named for the river, derived from the Khoekhoen word for “father’s river”. There’s a lovely walk along the undeveloped beach to the next coastal village, Bushman’s River.
Mpekweni (41.2 km from Port Alfred)
Mpekweni River Mouth is a fabulous location for water sports junkies and families. The beach is a popular launch site for deep-sea fishing boats and jet skis and there are huge sand dunes begging further exploration. And the river itself provides many hours of fun paddling, fishing, water skiing and swimming.
Cannon Rocks (42.9 km from Port Alfred)
The unspoilt beach at Cannon Rocks offers superb fishing, surfing windsurfing and kiting conditions. Tucked between the little village of Boknes, farmlands and the Greater Addo Elephant National Park, it provides a peaceful escape for families and nature lovers.
Hamburg (44.4 km from Port Alfred)
The beach at Mtati River Mouth is situated in a coastal reserve and is one of the Sunshine Coast’s best-loved beaches. Lush indigenous coastal forest hugs the riverbanks and the soft sandy beach. It’s easy to while away many hours’ rock and surf fishing, swimming, chilling on the beach or canoeing in the river.
Mgwalana (46.6 km from Port Alfred)
Mgwalana River Mouth is a brilliant beach to retreat from peak season frenzy. The river itself is a great place for bird watching and peaceful boating. Getting to the vast sandy beach is easy; it’s a quick stroll along the riverbanks or a lazy paddle downriver.
Grahamstown (50.1 km from Port Alfred)
Named after the famous 19th century artist, naturalist and explorer, Thomas Baines Nature Reserve is a great spot for a day trip if you’re visiting the Grahamstown area. It’s an easy 12-kilometre drive from Grahamstown in the direction of Port Elizabeth.
Thomas Baines explored the region extensively and contributed a valuable record of the amazing plant life and wildlife that occurred here. The reserve represents three of the major vegetation types of the Eastern Cape – Grassy Fynbos, Valley Bushveld and Afromontane Forests.
There’s so much to do here – game drives, canoeing, hiking, camping, picnics, bird watching; and sailing and bass fishing at Settlers Dam. Look out for Cape buffalo, eland, red hartebeest, bushbuck, kudu, oribi, aardvark, warthog, vervet monkeys, genets and numerous small mammals.
Birders will find plenty to spot with 175 species of birds recorded in the reserve. Picnic sites, braai facilities and ablutions are available at Settlers Dam.
Galleries and Museums
Grahamstown (50.9 km from Port Alfred)
Visit a rare Victorian amusement once considered 'The Magic Mirror of Life'.
This unusual multi-storeyed 19th century Victorian shop and home is now a museum housing interesting displays, a Meridian room, an observatory and the only camera obscura in the southern hemisphere.
Known for its identification of the Eureka in 1867, this house had a place in the identification of the first diamond that was found in South Africa, and a display on the ground floor tells this story.
This connection with the Eureka prompted De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd. to purchase and restore the Observatory in the 80s to commemorate the start of the diamond industry in South Africa.
The Observatory Museum is part of the Albany Museum complex – www.ru.ac.za/albanymuseum.
Weekdays 09:00 – 16:30
Saturdays 09:30 – 13:00.
Begha (53 km from Port Alfred)
Begha Mouth Beach is situated within a nature reserve and is backed by rolling sand dunes. This slice of paradise offers fantastic angling, beachcombing and swimming. Just about anything beachy from mild to wild goes here. Runners, cyclists, kite surfers, paddlers, water skiers and jet skiers all make the most of this Eastern Cape gem during peak season.
Alexandria (55 km from Port Alfred)
This totally awesome trail begins in the stunning Alexandria forest at the park offices. The two Langebos Huts are the base huts for the trail and it is recommended that hikers stay at these huts the night before leaving for the first day. The huts are newly constructed huts, sleeping 6 people each. They are equipped with hot water showers, toilets, a stove, fridge and braai area.The first section of the hike travels through magical forest where ancient yellowwoods and spectacular coral trees can be seen. The "Waterboom" or "Lekkerboom" - a gigantic yellowwood named for the reservoir of water held at the base of its trunk - provides an interesting stop. After crossing the open fields of Perdevlei, the trail moves onto the beach where the stark sandy beach ecosystem and dramatic dune cliffs provide breathtaking scenery. Six kilometers of untouched coastline stretches out in front of the hiker. The dramatic cliffs of Woody Cape provide the hiker with two options, either walking along the boulder-strewn base of the cliffs (impassable at high tide) or climbing a log ladder to reach the top leading onto the dune fields Southern right whales can be seen just off shore in certain months and dolphins are often spotted playing in the waves. The wreck of the Nidaros - an old steamer - can be investigated, as well as the fascinating natural debris washed up by the sea.After a walk through aromatic coastal fynbos, hikers will find the Woody Cape hut nestled in thick coastal forest on top of the cliffs with a view of Bird Island in the distance. This hut has 12 beds with mattresses and rainwater tanks.On the second day the trail traverses sand dunes of the largest coastal dune field in the Southern Hemisphere. Early morning offers hikers an opportunity to investigate the signs of animals, such as jackals, duikers and the endemic hairy-footed gerbil, left on the dunes from the previous night. Tall posts guide hikers through the shifting dune fields. Fascinating ancient middens sites, evidence of the strandloper people that wandered these shores, can also be seen. The last five kilometers of the trail winds again through indigenous forest, where Knsyna loeries paint the canopy. then into the Langvlakte valley where a chicory stack can be seen which was built in 1820's.Listen for the haunting calls of the rare tree dassie by night and awake to a chorus of birds in flitting through the forest canopy. Look out for trumpeter hornbills, ground hornbills, Knysna turaco, tree dassies and bushbuck.Need to know? Situated: Woody Cape section of the Addo Elephant National Park, departing from the offices near Alexandria.Length: Approx 36 km two day circular route of which the first day is 19.5km and the second day is 16.5 km. Estimated duration: 2 daysSuitable for: Those who want a challenging walk along the coastline. Hikers carry their own provisions and the hike is not guided.Logistics:Keys for the overnight huts are collected at the park offices near Alexandria. (Tel: +27 (0)46 653 061)Fees can be paid at Matyholweni rest camp or at the Addo main camp reception. At the Woody Cape hut, no fires are allowed and the hikers must carry their own cookers. Water at the Woody Cape hut is only for drinking and cooking as the hut relies entirely on rainwater.At least one or more of the hiking group should be able to read a map and compass, and to wear a brightly coloured jacket that can be seen from the air if a search and rescue is launched. The Langebos huts are available to hikers on the two-day Alexandria Hiking Trail, as well as those simply wanting an overnight stay in the forest. The 7km Dassie Day Trail begins at the huts and the breathtaking Woody Cape coastline of the Park is a short drive and walk away.