Gateway to the Garden Route, the Eastern Cape offers visitors a unique experience, from miles of golden beaches to snow covered mountains and the wild, Wild Coast.
A province of majestic diversity that offers the best of Southern Africa, it stretches from Port Edward in the Wild Coast right down to Storms River at Tsitsikamma.
In the Eastern Cape, the sun shines all year round, and if you can't make it to the area during your summer holidays, don't despair as you will still be able to enjoy both indoor and outdoor activities during the winter months.
The Eastern Cape offers holiday makers and tourists unsurpassed beauty and amusement beyond their wildest dreams. With its miles of golden beaches, untouched subtropical forests, snow covered mountains and friendly people, the Eastern Cape offers a welcome break from the humdrum of city life for those who simply want to relax and unwind in a scenic and peaceful environment
The Wild Coast is an African paradise, untouched, unspoilt and possible one of the most beautiful places in South Africa. There are numerous 4x4 routes and hiking trails and a visit to Port St. Johns or Coffee Bay will ensure total relaxation, as there is not much more to do than snorkel, dive, fish and laze around on gorgeous beached all day long. The Wild Coast is a great place of beauty, culture and nature at its best.
Hole-in-the-Wall near Coffee Bay, Mkambati Nature Reserve, Port St Johns sulphur springs, Wild Coast Casino, Nelson Mandela Museum in Qunu, Morgans Bay, Hluleka Nature Reserve, The Wild Coast Meander, The Wild Coast Amble and fishing, hiking, beaches, game viewing, mountain biking, water sports and horse riding.
The Sunshine Coast boasts some of the most unique and unspoilt beaches in the country. Exploring the area you will find shipwrecks, fascinating museums and miles and miles of golden beaches. At hte small town of Port Alfred, visitors relax on the beaches, hike around the area, spearfish, horse ride and generally take life easy. The Sunshine Coast is known for its great surfing and fishing spots, historical sites, museums and memorials as well as its friendly people and diverse culture.
Bayworld Oceanarium and Snake Park, world's biggest pineapple at Bathurts, Queens Park Zoo, Valley of Ancient Voices, hiking, horse riding, fishing, historical sites and museums, beaches and water sports.
The Kouga Country is steeped in ancient archealogical sites, there are daily trips to these sites for a journey back in time. Jeffreys Bay is home of the Billabong Classic Pro and South Africa's best waves. Cape St. Francis is a holiday haven and is the gateway to the Garden Route. The Kouga Country is ideal for those wishing to kick back and relax as well as those seeking adventure, hiking, water sports, game viewing, mountain biking, fishing, diving, whale and dolphin watching and surfing.
Shark Point Nature Reserve, St Francis Bay, whale and dolphin watching, surfing at Jeffreys Bay, Cape St Fancis Nature Reserve, Kabeljous Nature Reserve, Noorsekloof Nature Reserve, Seal Point lighthouse, Kouga Cultural Centre, Kouga Dam and historical landmarks.
This small region is one of the most scenic areas in the world, the lush dense forests, deep ravines and winding rivers make this area any adventrue junkies paradise. There is the worlds highest bungee jump at 216 meters at Bloukrans at Storms River, black water tubing, canopy tours through the Tsitsikamma forest, where you are suspended 30m above the forest floor and have the perfect view and in particular the 48km Otter Trail and the 72km Tsitsikamma Trail.
Tsitsikamma National Park, Bloukrans Bungee jumping, Tsitsikamma Hiking Trail and the Otter Trail, Langkloof Valley, Canopy Tours, black water tubing, river rafting, whale watching, beaches, hiking, game viewing and mountain biking.
The Mountain Zebra National Park offers a protective haven for mountain zebra, as well as over 200 bird species. In the middle of the Karoo Nature Reserve is the quaint town of Graaff-Reinett, with over 300 National Munuments and historical sites. The Valley of Desolation has stark beauty and a dramatic landscape carved from thousand of years of erosion, leaving towereing columns of strange rock formations and provides a view over the tranquil yet scenic vista of the Karoo Heartland.
Mountain Zebra National Park, San paintings and fossils, the Great Fish River Canyon, The Owl House and Camel Yard at Nieu-Bethesda, Karoo Nature Reserve, Valley of Desolation, Agave Distillers, Boer War tours and game viewing, hiking trails and historical sites and museums.
The Friendly N6 is the main route from East London to the Free State and it passes through some very interesting places. Aliwal North boasts some of the best hot springs in the countrym, at the foothills of Ben McDhui mountains, where avid snow skiers visit each year, is the historical town of Rhodes and the "Footsteps into the Past" can be found at Lady Grey. The Gariep Dam is 100km long and 24km wide and offers fishing, water sports, sailing and boating, gliding, hiking and hatcheries.
Hot Springs at Aliwal North, Barkley East Annual Trout Festival in March, snow skiing at Ben McDhui near Rhodes, Gariep Dam, hunting, game viewing, historical sites, museums, San rock art paintings and Boer War sites.
The truly unique little town of Hogsback was the inspiration for J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, with its dense forests, cascading waterfalls and battlefields. The Amatole Mountains are surrouded by indigenous forests that are hundreds of years old and offer scenic hiking and mountain biking. The Amatola Mountain Escape is truly a beautiful part of the Eastern Cape and should not be missed if you can help it, a worthwhile stopover or weekend getaway will leave you refreshed and inspired.
Khayalabantu Cultural Village, Calgary Transport Museum, , Amatola Mountains, Voice of the Earth Eco-Shrine, hiking, fly fishing, kayaking, horse riding and mountaineering.
The Frontier Country offers awesome mountains, valleys, lush forests and the Big 5. The Standard Bank National Arts Festival held in Grahamstown in July and also boasts over 70 National Heritage sites and is steeped in the diverse culture of the Eastern Cape. Explore the Kat River Valley and the Amatola Mountains. The Frontier Country is a very historical area and there are National Heritage Sites, National Monuments and battlefields around every corner.
Grahamstown National Arts Festival in July, over 70 National Historical sites in Grahamstown, Kat River Valley, Hogsback Art Festival, Mpofu, Tsolwana and Shamwari Game Reserves, hiking, waterfalls and fly fishing .
The Sundays River Valley is the home of the Addo Elephant National Park, one of the biggest elephant sanctuaries in South Africa, boasting over 350 elephant in the Park, as well as exciting Big 5 game viewing. The annual Kirkwood Wildlife Festival in July entices exhibitors from near nad far for the big game auction. The Kirkwood and Fitzpatrick lookout points offer a spectacular view over the Sundays River Valley, with its citrus orchards and mountains in the backdrop.
Addo Elephant National Park, Fitzpatrick and Kirkwood Look Outs, Groendal Wilderness Area, Drosdty Museum, fishing, canoeing, abseiling, bird-watching, hiking and water sports.
Information on Eastern Cape distance charts, temperatures, tourism offices and attractions.
Eastern Cape Tourism Board
Tel: 043 701 9600
Tel: 047 531 5290
Tel: 041 585 7761
Tel: 042 293 2588
Tel: 042 281 1115
Tel: 049 892 4248
Tel: 051 633 3567
Amatola Mountain Escape
Tel: 045 962 1340
Tel: 046 622 3241
Sundays River Valley
Tel: 042 233 0044
A Passport valid for six months after date of entry; contact your nearest travel agent or embassy for up-to-date information. Entry permits are issued on arrival to visitors from many British Commonwealth countries and are valid for 90 days.
The Rand is South Africa’s currency and is denoted by the R. 100 cents make up R1 (One Rand). Foreign currency can be exchanged at most banks and Bureaux de Changes. Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Diners Club are accepted.
Taxes and Refunds
All goods and services are priced to include value added tax of 14%. Visitors may reclaim VAT at their point of departure provided recepts are produced. Total value of purchases must be over R250.00 to reclaim VAT.
Summers need light cotton clothing and a light jersey for cool evenings. Winter needs warmer clothing with a sweater or jacket for cool mornings and evenings. Hats, sunglasses, insect repellant and rainwear for the rainy season are essential.
There are 11 official languages in South Africa. English is spoken throughout South Africa and most businesses and banks communicate in English.
There is a wide network of hospitals, both public and private, throughout the country offering excellent services.
International visitors should have health insurance to assist in paying for private hospital fees. If you are entering a Malaria area, medical precautions should be taken. Consult a pharmacist for more advice and insect repellant is essential. Tap water is safe and clean to drink.
Banks are open Monday to Friday from 09:00 to 15:30 and Saturdays from 09:00 to 11:00. Banks are closed on Sundays and Public Holidays.
Tourism and Safety Information Line - 083 123 2345, Police - 10111, Fire Brigade - 1022, Ambulance - 10222