The Eastern Cape
Big 5 malaria-free safaris, surf and beaches
Stretching from the Tsitsikamma National Park right through to the Wild Coast, and inland as far as the Great Karoo and the southern Drakensberg mountain range, the Eastern Cape offers a diverse and unrivalled mix of scenery, culture and attractions for the visitor.
The Eastern Cape is one of the newest provinces in South Africa, and was formed following the re-arranging of boundaries after the 1994 elections. Whether you are looking to sunbathe on sandy beaches, surf a Supertube or Bruce's Beauties, sandboard down a dune, drive through rolling green hills dotted with small thatched rondavels, or have a close encounter with a curious elephant, this province will not fall short of things to do.
The private Big 5 game reserves of the Eastern Cape offer excellent game viewing opportunities in a malaria-free environment. Guests can enjoy early morning and late afternoon/evening game drives with an experienced ranger, and you can get unbelieveably close to the wildlife. If time is short, several of the lodges also offer day trips which include a safari-style lunch and a 3-4 hour game drive in an open Land Rover. The malaria-free Addo Elephant National Park has some of the best elephant viewing opportunities in Africa. The Park is one of the more scenic National Parks, with rolling green hills covered in thick, lush vegetation, most of it evergreen, so it is attractive at whatever time you visit.
For somewhere to stay after or before your safari, the seaside resort of Port Elizabeth has a friendly holiday atmosphere, and the sandy beaches are among the finest in South Africa. With its wonderfully moderate climate all year round, it has been voted as having the 4th best weather in the world.
St Francis Bay is an attractive and exclusive village situated on an extensive marina and canal system. Nearby Jeffrey's Bay has undoubtedly the best surf, and is a mecca for surf fanatics who flock here to ride the superb waves.
The Wild Coast is an area of unspoilt beauty - indigenous coastal forests with abundant birdlife, rolling hills dotted with tiny circular thatched homesteads, and rocky coastlines.