Eastern Cape holidays
South Africa's Eastern Cape is an area of outstanding beauty, with a pristine coastline fringed by untouched bushveld and sub-tropical forests. And, to the north of Port Elizabeth, the Eastern Cape's game reserves offer malaria-free Big Five game viewing.
Port Elizabeth is the Eastern Cape's urban hub – a city blessed with a rapidly redeveloping city centre, several heritage buildings and a coastline home to sandy beaches and some excellent surf spots. There's also the chance to spot wildlife in the bay, including whales and dolphins, which visit this stretch of the Sunshine Coast year round.
Eastern Cape Game Reserves
For Big-Five viewing in South Africa, the Eastern Cape's game reserves might come second to Kruger National Park, but, with no malaria and easy access by car from the Garden Route, they're a popular choice, especially with families. Whether it's a day trip up to Addo Elephant National Park – the third-largest national park in South Africa – or a luxury stay in one of the region's private reserves, Kariega, Kwandwe, Shamwari, and Amakhala, you can expect outstanding wildlife encounters, from watching huge elephant herds to watching spotted hyenas, which were reintroduced to the region in 2003.
Eastern Cape Karoo
Empty and relatively unexplored, the Eastern Cape hinterland – known as the Karoo – offers a glimpse of life in South Africa's rural heartland. Here, vast farms play host to sheep, goats, ostriches and the occasional wandering springbok. There are zebras, too, in the Mountain Zebra National Park where a herd of several hundred share the plains with blesbok, wildebeest and buffalo. Then, higher up, the descendants of tribes live among the rocky canyons and dry mountains of Cambedoo National Park and its Valley of Desolation.
Top itineraries in Eastern Cape
This is the ultimate introduction to South Africa. A spectacular drive along the Garden Route's rolling greenery and coastal beauty will see you link Cape Town’s beachside charms with the country’s finest vineyards and whale watching spectacles before ending with an all-inclusive Big Five safari.
Turn out from Cape Town’s welcoming charms, golden-sand beaches and iconic skyline to taste your way through South Africa’s finest vineyards in the endlessly rolling Winelands before discovering the world’s best land-based whale watching in Hermanus.
This is a comprehensive introduction to South Africa’s myriad delights. Included flight hops, luxury stays and scenic drives along the Garden and Panorama routes will showcase everything from Cape Town and the Winelands to a Big-Five Kruger safari and the mountain beauty of Zululand and Drakensberg.
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Top places to stay in Eastern Cape
Stay in a luxury thatched hut, complete with private plunge pool, as you enjoy gourmet dining experiences and ranger-led daily game drives that bring you in among the reserve’s Big Five wildlife. There's also the chance to cruise the Bushman's River while the Addo National Park is right next door.
The Kwandwe landscape is dominated by thousands of animal species, including the ‘Big Five’, alongside an array of plants, floras and fauna upon valley Bushveld.
The perfect safari ending to a journey along the Garden Route: Ecca Lodge offers breath-taking views of cliffs, overlooking a dense valley.
Where to go in Eastern Cape
The Eastern Cape city of Port Elizabeth is South Africa's fifth largest, an undiscovered gem with a undeveloped coastline and plenty of attractions. Known as the Windy City, Port Elizabeth is a friendly and vibrant destination with great shopping, flea markets, restaurants and entertainment.
Eastern Cape articles
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Meet our Eastern Cape experts
Speak to a tailor-made specialist on 020 7590 0797Meet the team