The birthplace of Nelson Mandela, the Eastern Cape is scattered with traditional African villages and offers exemplary game reserves. Its long Sunshine Coast boasts a rugged beauty too.
At the end of the Garden Route, the Eastern Cape’s capital, Port Elizabeth, enjoys first-class beaches, distinctive Victorian terraces and plenty of trendy places to dine and drink. Here too, visitors can understand a little of the region’s history at the Red Location Museum and its culture at the Metropolitan Art Museum.
The region is becoming one of the fastest growing nature conservation areas in South Africa and the main highlight of the Eastern Cape is its malaria-free game reserves. Addo Elephant National Park is a sure shot for those wishing to witness the large mammals alongside the rest of the Big Five, while endangered black rhino, cheetahs and zebras can all be spotted at Mountain Zebra National Park.
For travellers seeking adventure, it abounds in the Eastern Cape. A visit to the Drakensberg Mountains excites with ancient rock paintings and the chance to cycle through the dramatic landscape. Tsitsikamma Forest National Park offers exceptional views of ocean, craggy cliffs and dark green undergrowth, while along the coast, among the miles of unspoilt beaches, is the world-renowned waters of Jeffrey’s Bay - second to none for South African surf.
Visitors wishing to learn of the country’s history will want to visit Qunu and Nelson Mandela House, the museum dedicated to the great man, and travel to KwaZulu-Natal to meet the traditional tribe and get an understanding of this fine destination.