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Eastern Cape Province

The Eastern Cape Province offers diverse holiday experiences, with the over-riding qualities of unspoiled nature and being away from the madding crowds. There is a great diversity in the characteristics of the regions, and the type of vacation you will experience – from beautiful unspoiled beaches to stunning mountain scenery, from semi desert open spaces and starry skies to malaria free game reserves. From the highest mountains in the country giving rise to clear sparkling trout filled streams to the remote wild shores and pounding surf of the Wild Coast.

The Amatola Region is home to the most beautiful, dense ancient indigenous forests. The area is synonymous with mountain peaks, stunning panoramic scenery, ravine thickets, cool running streams and waterfalls.

Hogsback, Amatola Region

This countryside is perfect for hiking and outdoor pursuits like bird watching, fishing and horse riding. Popular mountain resorts are Hogsback and Katberg while King William’s Town and Mthatha are the bigger towns. Just outside Mthatha at a little village called Qunu, is the Nelson Mandela Museum which celebrates the life and history of this iconic South African leader.

The Baviaanskloof Region includes the true wilderness area of the Baviaanskloof, a World Heritage Site and one of the largest wilderness areas in the country, with its wildlife, birds and stunning scenery.

Hankey, Gamtoos Valley, Eastern Cape

The Gamtoos Valley, en-route to the Baviaanskloof, is a fertile farming district, based on citrus.

The Frontier Country region of the Eastern Cape has its name rooted in the conflict that took place in this area in the 1800′s. Grahamstown was the launch pad for the 100 years of military skirmishes between the Xhosa nation and the new frontier farmer settlers.

Grahamstown Buildings

With this aspect of its history in the past, Grahamstown is now a centre for education with Rhodes University and many private schools based there. Today, the world of wildlife tourism has taken full advantage of the beautiful, diverse and malaria free countryside and Frontier Country offers excellent game-viewing with a variety of private reserves which include the Big Five.

The Greater Addo Region has the magnificent Addo Elephant Park as its heartbeat. The surrounding towns of Addo, Paterson, Kirkwood, Colchester, Cannonville and the Zuurberg Mountains encircle the park. The 180,000ha Addo Elephant Park is conveniently close to Port Elizabeth and offers the most affordable wildlife viewing in the Eastern Cape.

Greater Addo Region

This wildlife sanctuary, in a malaria free area, protects five biomes and all of the Big Seven – lion, rhino, elephant, buffalo, leopard, southern right whales and the great white shark as well as many other species like hyena, zebra and a wide variety of antelope and smaller animals. Visit ShowMe for a great self-drive route from Johannesburg to the Addo Elephant Park.

The Karoo Heartland has changed from a sheep farming outback to the new hip, as the powerful magnet of beautiful starry skies, wide open spaces, austere but intense scenery and quaint farming towns steeped in history, are experienced as a wonderful escape from the city.

Karoo Hearland

Windmills are iconic, as is the arid vegetation, but now Karoo towns have been transformed by artists, hoteliers, and restaurateurs seeking a lifestyle other than that offered by the country’s cities. They leave their mark with mouth-watering food, great accommodation and wonderful galleries. The Karoo Heartland has eco-tourism attractions in abundance, plenty of fossils, San Rock Art and thousands of species of succulents that make the region a paradise for botanists.

Langkloof RegionThe Langkloof Region is famous for apple orchards and fruit farms, so spring in this region is spectacular with all the scented blossoms.

Sheep farming is also a mainstay. The main artery though the region is the R62, which is the stunning alternative route from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth.

 

Northern Ukhahlamba Region, the southern end of the Drakensberg Mountain Range, is situated in the Eastern Cape at its border with Lesotho. The area, also known as the Eastern Cape Highlands, is an unspoiled, mountainous area, with a very low population.

Barrier of Spears, Eastern Cape HighlandsSnow falls every year, with the melt off feeding clear, sparkling headwaters that rush down from the mountains, forming pristine rivers. These are ideal for fly fishing, centred on Rhodes, Lady Grey, Barkly East and Maclear.

The very scenic outdoors is also a hub of eco-adventure activities and some major MTB races and marathons take place from Lady Grey. The Eastern Cape Highlands abound with many of the best mountain passes in South Africa and if you enjoy a 4×4 challenge, stunning scenery and photography, then a holiday driving from pass to pass through the villages of the area, is a great option.

Sunshine Coast SurferThe Sunshine Coast is known for its unspoiled coastal scenery with many small coastal villages dotted along the coastline. Most of all, it is the feeling of escaping the crowds and getting away from it all that attracts visitors to this part of the Eastern Cape.

The area offers value for money holidays and has always been a favourite area for families because of the miles and miles of beaches. This area is also very popular with fishermen, both for land-based and water based fishing. The many rivers and dams as well as deep-sea venues won’t disappoint.

 

The Wild Coast: The 200km of coast from East London to Port Edward is called the Wild Coast.

Wild Coast Scenes

This remote stretch of coastline is home to some of the most beautiful coastal scenery in the world. It is sparsely populated except for rural Xhosa villages – their traditional huts perched on hills and open grasslands, which run down to deserted white beaches, indigenous forests and a rocky coastline, ideal for fishing, hiking, surfing and diving. Visitors must share the beaches with local cattle, creating a feeling of being lost in time. The Wild Coast is also a paradise for bird watchers with some 320 species of birds listed.




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