The birthplace of former South African President Nelson Mandela, the Eastern Cape is home to legendary surf spots, malaria-free safaris, luxury lodges and landscapes rich in tribal history. Known by some as South Africa’s ‘wild province’ due to 820km stretches untouched beaches and lush forests, the province extends from the Southern Drakensberg mountain range to the lush forests of the Tsitsikamma and is flanked by the warm Indian Ocean.
A province of significant natural diversity, the Eastern Cape boasts all of the Big Five, an incredible bird population, and a diverse marine life that includes some 27 species of whale and dolphin. The village of Jeffrey’s Bay is a world-renowned surfing mecca and home to some of the world’s biggest waves while the famous Addo Elephant Park provides sanctuary to Africa’s gentle giants.
Landing place of the British 1820 settlers, the area is rich in history and is home to some of the great battles fought between early settlers and Xhosa people. A few of the Founding Fathers of South Africa’s freedom struggle hail from the Eastern Cape too, so there is a real sense of cultural significance when exploring the Nelson Mandela Museum, traditional Xhosa homesteads or early battlefields.
Adrenaline junkies can get their fix on the world’s highest commercial bridge bungee jump or hit the famous Otter Trail while The Valley of Desolation offers some incredible insight into the geology of the region. The Karoo desert offers it’s own brand of intrigue with endless expanses and some of the best stargazing opportunities in South Africa.
The historical town of Grahamstown combines old English charm with the energetic pulse of the students who now call it home, whilst the major cities of Port Elizabeth and East London offer easy accessibility into the region.
One of the Southern Destinations team comes from the Eastern Cape, and all of us love to visit the area. Contact us for first hand information and special offers.