There is a good reason why the Eastern Cape is called the Adventure Province. Though Jeffery’s Bay is a household name among surfers internationally, the region is also a perfect choice for thrills of all kinds, due to its diverse topography. The Eastern Cape’s 800 km of gorgeous beaches invite every conceivable water sport, plus rock...
The Windermere Hotel
The Windermere, by Mantis is located in the “Windy City” of Port Elizabeth and calls the beachfront suburb of Humewood home. If it’s a secluded, relaxed and peaceful...
Diaz 15 House on the Bay
8 Apartments and 1 Penthouse, Self-Catering Options
Ivory sands, sparkling surf and a gloriously temperate climate make Jeffreys Bay a sun-seeker’s playground. Set in lush gardens, the Mediterranean style air-conditioned...
Bush Lodge on Amakhala
Located about 70km from Port Elizabeth, this 5-star bush lodge is discreetly positioned at the top end of a valley in the Amakhala Game Reserve. The main lodge offers welcoming...
Dune Ridge Country House
St Francis Bay
6 Luxury Double Bedrooms and 1 Family Cottage with 2 Bedrooms
Dune Ridge is an award-winning Country House nestled between thick coastal fynbos teeming with a multitude of bird species. Set on the outskirts of the quaint upmarket village...
Hopefield Country House
Near Addo Elephant National Park
Set on a working citrus farm, in the Sundays River Valley in the Eastern Cape, amidst beautiful gardens, Hopefield Country House offers old world charm, warm hospitality and...
Safari Lodge on Amakhala
11 Thatched Safari Huts
Safari Lodge on Amakhala in the Greater Addo Reserve of the Eastern Cape is an ideal malaria-free, Big Five safari destination after visiting Cape Town and the Garden Route....
Ocean View Hotel
Nestled between towering cliffs and a sparkling sea, Ocean View is the destination at the end of a wonderful journey through exquisite countryside.Characterised by swathes of...
Die Tuishuise & Victoria Manor
30 Cottages and 16 Hotel Rooms
Die Tuishuise & Victoria Manor in Cradock in the Eastern Cape is an elegant collection of beautifully restored Victorian era craftsmen’s houses in the frontier town at the...
Thunzi Bush Lodge
4 Chalets, Self-Catering Options
Thunzi Bush Lodge is situated in a tranquil 44-hectare malaria-free sanctuary of coastal forest and African bush and offers country style living 30 km from Port Elizabeth....
Sibuya Game Reserve & Tented Camps
River Camp - 4 Tents and Forest Camp - 8 Tents
Sibuya Game Reserve & Tented Camps is a beautifully scenic game reserve on South Africa’s malaria-free Sunshine Coast. Spanning the Kariega Estuary on its course to meet the...
Sandals Guest House (St. Francis Bay)
St Francis Bay
9 Bedrooms and 1 Family Unit
Located in St Francis Bay in the Eastern Cape, Sandals is set amongst lush indigenous milkwood trees. Sandals Guest House is a thatched lodge decorated Afro-Caribbean style,...
Gorah Elephant Camp
Addo Elephant National Park
11 Tented Suites
The thrill of quietly watching a herd of elephants stroll by, while sipping tea on the veranda of a stately colonial manor house is unforgettable and this exclusive lodge...
Isango Gate Boutique Hotel
Isango Gate is a serene escape situated in the quiet suburb of Summerstrand, Port Elizabeth. Originally built in the early 1900's as a residence for a jeweller, it has since...
Addo Elephant National Park
8 Rooms and 1 Villa with 3 Bedrooms
Set on a 14 000-hectare private concession within the malaria-free Addo Elephant National Park, River Bend is family friendly and a mere 45-minute drive from Port Elizabeth....
The Resort at Cape St. Francis
St Francis Bay
3 Villas, Self-Catering Options
The Resort at Cape St Francis is a unique and exclusive paradise on the South African southern coast which draws holidaymakers from all over the world to enjoy the glorious...
Hacklewood Hill Country House
Hacklewood Hill Country House is located in Walmer in Port Elizabeth and is only ten minutes from the airport. Serenity, luxury and privacy await at this elegant Victorian...
Woodall Country House & Spa
7 Luxury Rooms, 3 Suites and 1 Family Suite
Includes Bed & Breakfast
Set amongst peaceful citrus orchards, this luxury Boutique Country House and Spa in Addo is the ideal base from which to explore the adjacent malaria-free Addo Elephant Park...
Chintsa East (Cintsta)
7 Open-Plan Suites
Escape to an exclusive and very intimate private hideaway set in a pristine dune forest on Chintsa Bay. A tranquil haven where understated luxury pampers and nurtures body,...
Crawford's Beach Lodge
Chintsa East (Cintsta)
25 Bedrooms and 3 Family Units
High lush dunes, sweeping beaches and the scenic beauty of the Wild Coast in a unique setting on the warm Indian Ocean, only 40 km from East London. Sun-drenched days are spent...
Zuurberg Mountain Village
24 Village Bedrooms and 5 Manor Suites
Located high up on the Zuurberg Pass in Addo, Zuurberg Mountain Village is in a beautiful setting with sweeping views of the Addo Elephant Park. This charming country hotel is...
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Eastern Cape travel guide
There is a good reason why the Eastern Cape is called the Adventure Province. Though Jeffery’s Bay is a household name among surfers internationally, the region is also a perfect choice for thrills of all kinds, due to its diverse topography. The Eastern Cape’s 800 km of gorgeous beaches invite every conceivable water sport, plus rock climbing, abseiling, bungee jumping and horse riding . At Storms River Mouth hikers can begin the legendary Otter Trail to the Tsitsikamma National Park. Also on the coast you’ll find the two principal cities, Port Elizabeth and East London, both small enough to feel hospitable but offering plenty of entertainment. The gorgeous Wild Coast is a short drive from East London, with cliffs and beaches more secluded than you would expect, and, with its casino, a great spot for glamorous nightlife as well.
However, travelling inland is when you realise just how full of contrasts the Eastern Cape is. Coastal scenery gives way to the wilderness of Baviaanskloof Nature Reserve, a World Heritage Site. Drive further to find the bush and wildlife of Addo Elephant Park and Shamwari Game Reserve. For more surprises, keep going to the green Amatola Mountains, which in turn lead into the arid Karoo landscape. The great diversity of the Eastern Cape extends to its culture as well. Here is the birthplace of Nelson Mandela as well as the home of intriguing owl artist Helen Martin, while the dense forests of Hogsback are considered to be the inspiration for the setting of JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Our absolute best on the Eastern Cape coast:
- Jeffery’s Bay – surfing capital of South Africa, its Billabong Surf Festival in July brings a huge international contingent, and there are courses for beginners too. Along the Sunshine Coast you also find great opportunities for kite-surfing, snorkelling, scuba diving and sailing.
- Cape St Francis and St Francis Bay – Phenomenal beaches, outstanding surfing and watersport facilities, plus some good shopping in town. A barge cruise on the canals of St Francis Bay is a brilliant way to relax while taking in villages, scenery and wildlife. Added to this you can come across penguins, seals and baboons, and hike through a fynbos reserve.
- Wild Coast - There’s plenty to see and do around Port St John’s and Coffee Bay. See if you can find the Hole in the Wall, a small archway in the rock created by relentless wave action. The Transkei section of the Wild Coast is peaceful and rural, almost untouched. Look out for cows on the beaches!
- Port Elizabeth – The Friendly City makes a fantastic base for a family holiday. Some of the fun things to do here are Blue Flag beaches such as King’s Beach (Blue Flag means having attained an international level of cleanliness, facilities and eco-awareness), excellent museums, oceanarium and snake park, and the Boardwalk Casino and Entertainment Complex.
Awesome choices further inland:
- Addo Elephant Park – In this malaria-free zone you can realise your dream of seeing the Big Five, as well as the great white shark and southern right whale.
- Owl House – in the village of Nieu Bethesda, in the Karoo Heartland, you will come across the unforgettable house where Helen Martins created hundreds of owl sculptures.
- Valley of Desolation - From Owl House you are very close to these incredible rock formations, product of volcanic eruptions, just outside the pretty, historic town of Graaff Reinet.
- Hogsback – overlooked by the Amatola Mountains, Hogsback is a quiet and lovely village. For years its stillness and clean mountain air has attracted artists, writers and potters to a slower life. Come here to walk at sunrise in the deep forest, go trout fishing, mountain biking and look for the Hobbit.
- Grahamstown – This student-filled town is known the world over for its fantastic annual Grahamstown Arts Festival and for its respected Rhodes University. The Festival is a collection of fringe and mainstream theatre, music and art exhibitions – don’t miss it if you are anywhere nearby in July.