Eastern Cape Holidays tells you the best places to visit in this beautiful region of south africa with maps, pictures and resort reviews. Find out which Eastern Cape resorts to stay at for your holiday and day tours to visit the best scenic attractions in South Africa.
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Eastern Cape Holidays
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The Eastern Cape Province is sometimes skipped by tourists intent on seeing the Garden Route and Kruger, which is a real shame as it’s packed with sights. The Eastern Province is an excellent destination for surfing – Jeffrey’s Bay has some of the best in the world, although the Transkei also has some lesser-known surf beaches where you can have the waves more or less to yourself. The Eastern Cape is Settler Country, and many English-speaking South African families can trace their heritage to the 1820 Settles, who founded small towns and villages dotted around Grahamstown. Addo Elephant Park is one of the few non-malarial and affordable game reserves on the continent where you can see the Big Five. The Karoo is a vast desert region, but holds some rewarding game viewing and sights of natural beauty.
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What to Do in Eastern Cape
There are holiday resorts up and down the coast. Jeffrey’s Bay is the biggest and popular with backpackers – at the opposite end of the scale is Kenton, a pretty little village frequented by South African holidaymakers, with some lovely and quiet beaches. The Karoo is unmissable – a vast semi-desert region, almost flat but for scattered kopjes, or flat topped hills. Both Graaf Reinet and Cradock have some historical sights, although the former is more popular with tourists because of its photogenic church, and some very good restaurants. Graaf is also the main hub for visiting the Desolation Valley, an awe-inspiring gorge between two peaks, high above the Karoo plains – tour operators run sundowner trips here. The Karoo is also a popular venue for farm stays.
Where to Stay in Eastern Cape
Port Elizabeth is the provincial capital – it has a good beach, and kids will love the dolphinarium. However, don’t let PE detail you too long, as there’s plenty more to see elsewhere. During the winter, Grahamstown holds one of the biggest arts festivals in Africa, which is similar to the Edinburgh Festival in vibe – the pubs, usually filled with students, are a draw at any time of year. The Eastern Province has also many sights related to the struggle against apartheid, including Fort Hare University. Nelson Mandela and Steve Biko were born here, and there are places of interest related to both scattered around the province.
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