Eastern Cape, South Africa
|Eastern Cape, South Africa|
Whether you're in the mood for an informal seaside escape, an encounter with the Big Five on safari, or a choice of scintillating city diversions, you're sure to find what you're looking for in the Eastern Cape.
Scenic diversity is one of the most striking characteristics of the
region, ranging from the lush, evergreen Tsitsikamma Forest to the
rugged Baviaanskloof Wilderness Area, the southern slopes of the Drakensberg
and the arid Great Karoo. Alternating between sweeping sand, river
mouths, rocks and covers, the coastline is a paradise for water sports
enthusiasts. Among them, surfers ride the perfect waves, anglers reel
in king-size catches, and board sailors revel in the challenge of the
wind. Sunshine all year round, fine leisure resorts and splendid
facilities ensure that the great outdoors is always in style.
When pleasures of a more sophisticated kind appeal, you'll find plenty to entertain you in Port Elizabeth and East London. Both are ideal for family holidays,
large enough to offer all the amenities of a city, yet small enough to
be genuinely welcoming and friendly. They also provide convenient
access to unspoiled areas of exceptional natural beauty.
Port Elizabeth (capital of the Eastern Cape)
|Port Elizabeth, the capital of the Eastern Cape|
Superbly set on the shores of Algoa Bay, The Friendly City is the fifth biggest city in South Africa and the largest on the coast between Cape Town and Durban. A popular leisure resort, the City of Port Elizabeth
beckons with an attractive atmosphere of year-round holiday fun against
a backdrop of urban activity. Its warm, welcoming nature is matched by
a climate which boasts more sunshine than any other coastal town in the
country. Algoa Bay encourages all forms of water sport; in, on and
under the sea, where there is a colourful diving region. The beaches
are always alive with sun worshippers, and conditions are excellent for
surfing, sailing, diving and angling. Close by, the Swartkops River
offers endless opportunities for enjoyment. In addition to sport,
land-based leisure options encompass a wide range.
Port Elizabeth has beautiful parks, botanical gardens and
nature reserves with an abundance of bird life. Many inland and coastal
walking trails can be explored in the area. In Port Elizabeth, the 1820
Settlers were introduced to their new land, and there they built some
of the graceful period homes that still enhance the city's landscape.
Since then, the tiny settlement has grown into a busy commercial,
industrial and educational city with attractive shops, parks, theatres,
museums and restaurants. After exploring the city of Port Elizabeth, a
day trip can be made to the beautiful Tsitsikamma National Park.
Addo Elephant Park supports about 200 elephants in addition to Cape buffalo, black rhino, kudu and over 180 South African bird species. It's fascinating to watch the elephants
emerging from a dense tangle of creepers and trees, guiding their young
towards to water holes. From historical and architectural points of
view, Grahamstown and Graaff Reinet should not be missed.
East London, Eastern Cape
|East London, Eastern Cape|
and one of the most attractive stretches of the Eastern Cape seaboard.
The City of East London
offers sweeping white beaches which extend for miles; unpolluted,
uncrowded, unspoiled. Swimming, sailing, water-skiing, boardsailing and
boating are enjoyed all year round, while the river mouths, lagoons and
gullies provide a paradise for fishermen.
East London is the ideal base from which to explore the north-eastern mountains and the Eastern Cape's Wild Coast.
The city has bowling greens, tennis and squash courts and golf clubs
with grand views of the Indian Ocean. The city's ancestry is evident.
Against a typically African backdrop, strong links with England and
traces of the German lineage are found. Several well-preserved examples
of 19th-century architecture enhance the charm of the city. Traffic
snarls and overcrowded city streets are the exception rather than the
rule. Courtesy friendliness and good old-fashioned hospitality will
enhance your holiday pleasure.
When the sun goes down, there are theatres, cinemas and a
selection of restaurants to pamper the discerning palate. If it's the
one-armed bandits you crave, roulette, black jack and the chance of
making a mint, Bisho's casino is practically on the doorstep.
Eastern Cape Western Region
|The Eastern Cape, South Africa|
to the Tsitsikamma National Park; a place of awe-inspiring beauty and
grandeur. On the outskirts of the forest, beauty of a gentler kind is
found in the Langkloof, renowned for its orchards and a rich indigenous
In the hinterland, the Karoo Heartland epitomises the essence of South Africa.
Vast open spaces; sparse veld bushes and distant brooding mountains.
Sheep and game farming are carried out on a grand scale in the region,
where millions of years ago, dinosaurs roamed the plains, leaving in
their wake fossils which attract the attention of paleontologists from
all over the world. The tranquil landscape of Frontier Country,
studded with historical towns and villages, invites a close scrutiny of
its intriguing background of conflict, courage, despair and success.
This is where the Xhosa, Dutch and British had their first encounters,
leading at first to frequent clashes and later to a cultural learning
curve and mutual acceptance. Cape Dutch homes, ornate Victorian
buildings and the lime-washed homesteads of the rural Xhosa provide
tangible symbols of three vastly different cultures coming together in
Eastern Cape Eastern Region
|Eastern Cape, South Africa|
region of unspoilt grandeur; thick indigenous forests, hilly grasslands
and sheer cliffs falling to white, unspoilt beaches. The Wild Coast is
one of South Africa's most exciting and unexploited areas, with a
special appeal for fishermen all year round.
Crowned cranes are frequently seen along the coast. The
Xhosa people of the district believe that if one of these birds is
killed, death will afflict the hunter's family. An easy drive leads to
the great sweep of the Amatola Mountains,
embellished by stately yellowwood and white stinkwood trees. Scattered
about in the foothills and beyond, Xhosa homesteads, circular and
thatched, are often grouped around a cattle kraal, usually situated on
the ridge of a hill, leaving the fertile valleys free for cultivation.
The Northern Ukhahlamba
region, dominated by the southern Drakensberg, is characterised by
mountains, sandstone cliffs, green valleys, crystal-clear streams and
crisp, clean air. The wildwater fly-fishing is the finest in the
country; an unbeatable combination of enormous trout and scenic
surroundings. Charming country hotels, hot springs, Bushman paintings,
hiking trails and enchanting little towns await your arrival and
exciting discoveries are almost guaranteed.