Despite being one of the poorest provinces, the Eastern Cape is richly blessed in other departments. The birthplace of several of the country’s leaders, it is arguably our most symbolic province and a jewel worth its weight in gold.
Since it doesn’t always get the recognition it deserves, we decided to celebrate the beauty and charm of this special place by looking at a few reasons to fall in love with it:
The Eastern Cape is home to a diverse pool of wildlife, including the Big Five which you can view via self-drives or guided game drives in a malaria-free environment. Popular wildlife attractions include Addo Elephant National Park – which is a sanctuary to more than 170 elephants, 400 Cape buffalo and 21 black rhino – and The Tsitsikamma National Park, which is an 80km-long coastal strip where visitors can find natural landscape that’s virtually untouched.
Sharks and whales can be viewed along the coastal routes through a variety of reasonably priced tour operators. Shamwari Private Game Reserve, which is less than 100km from Port Elizabeth, is one of the province’s best-known wildlife and game destinations. It offers a range of five-star accommodation and is known for having some of the region’s best safari experiences.
The Eastern Cape has some of the best beaches in all of South Africa.
Its stretch of beaches includes a section with around 800km of untouched and pristine coastline complete with breathtaking sand dunes, ocean views and natural scenery.
For those who are a little tired of popular Durban and Cape Town beaches, the Eastern Cape offers several alternative options which make your trips to beach that much more relaxing.
Some of the most impressive beaches include Donkin Heritage Trail and Beaches, Jeffreys Bay, Nahoon Beach and Port Alfred. Jeffreys Bay is not only known for its pristine beaches, it has built a reputation for its waves and swells.
As a testament to this, the town has hosted the Billabong Pro surfing competition several times over the years.
It is also a popular sailing destination.
Whether you’re looking for warm waters, deep seas, calm or hostile waters, the Eastern Cape has it all
There are thousands of square kilometres of open spaces across the Eastern Cape. For city folk like myself, there are several places to go and enjoy some downtime away from the bustle of the concrete jungle. Its collection of world-class lodges and resorts are generally located amid untouched, picturesque landscapes.
There isn’t much noise in the Eastern Cape, and that’s something worth considering.
Above the solitude, it’s also one of the best places anywhere in the world to camp and enjoy activities such as bird and dolphin watching.