See Also: Mpumalanga | Western
Cape | Gauteng | North West Province | Northern Province
Where else can you surf the world’s biggest waves, ski down the only snow slopes in Africa, go on a `big seven’ safari, visit the birthplace of Nelson Mandela and bungee the highest bridge in the southern hemisphere? The Eastern Cape, of course!
The second largest of South Africa’s nine provinces, the diverse Eastern Cape landscape ranges from the dry desolate Great Karoo to the steamy forests of the Wild Coast and the Keiskamma Valley. The shoreline of this province extends from the Umtamvuna River in KwaZulu-Natal, to the Storms River mouth on the scenic Garden Route.
Despite it’s colonial past, the Eastern Cape remains the homeland of the Xhosa speaking nation.
The Eastern Cape climate varies considerably but has a year-round holiday climate. The Eastern coastal regions enjoy hot summers and moderate winters and the urban capital Port Elizabeth experiences a daily average of 7 hours sunshine. The Northern regions are much cooler. Certain
areas receive rain throughout the year, albeit erratic.
The Eastern Cape offers 800km of untouched and pristine coastline along with some of the world’s best beaches. Port Elizabeth, alone, has 40km of magnificent beaches and, with its perfect combination of warm water, calm sea and fair breezes, it is one of the best sailing venues in the world, and a magnet for all beach and water sports enthusiasts.
The Nelson Mandela Museum was officially opened on the 11 February 2000, to coincide with the tenth anniversary of Mandela’s release from prison. The birthplace/museum is situated at Qunu, along the N2 highway, south of Umtata.
Whether you are visiting the exclusive Shamwari Game Reserve, the Addo Elephant Park, the Mountain Zebra National Park or the Tsitsikamma National Park, the Eastern Cape offers unequalled game viewing.
Boasts the most concentrated elephant reserve in Africa – the reserve is home to a herd of over 300 elephants.
Also known as ‘the place of much water’, is one of the Eastern Cape’s famous National Parks – offering up a spectacular combination of temperate forest, rocky ravines and breathtaking ocean views.
The product of volcanic and erosive forces of nature over 100 million years, the Valley of Desolation is one of the most spectacular sights in the country. A steep and narrow road leads into the mountains that surround the valley.
The small student town of Grahamstown is home to the annual National Arts Festival - known as one of Africa's largest and most colourful cultural events. This town also has excellent colonial architecture and fascinating community tourism projects.
The world's highest bungee-jumping site is to be found at Bloukrans River Bridge on the Storms River. A daring adrenaline-rushing dive from this bridge ensures a dazzling 160 meters of freefall – not for the fainthearted!
Situated two and a half hours from Port Elizabeth, The Baviaanskloof (Valley of Baboons) is a wilderness area situated on the eastern border of the Cape Floral Kingdom.
Experience the perfect wave in J-Bay, the surfing capital of South Africa and a major international surfing venue that attracts visitors from all over the world.
Tiffindell is the only ski resort in Africa. Situated in the Southern Drakensberg on the slopes of the highest mountain peak in the Eastern Cape (3001m). The resort was started in 1994 with basic small accommodation, a rough road and few facilities and has since become a popular destination for those in search of an exciting snow adventure during the winter months.
Further north, along the Eastern Cape's east coast, is the largely untamed and extravagantly beautiful Wild Coast - the ultimate holiday destination. The Wild Coast offers a pleasant climate, mild seas and family resorts.
Southern right whales and their calves are regularly spotted along the Eastern Cape coastline usually between May and November.
The Eastern Cape offers unlimited adventure possibilities in a virtually unspoilt part of the world. A number of routes can be taken off-the-beaten track.