Eastern Cape Travel Guide

This is a quick travel guide for the Eastern Cape in South Africa and offers a starting point for planning your Eastern Cape trip. Check out our Eastern Cape Regional Overview for more information on all the Eastern Cape has to offer or follow the links at the bottom of the page for information on different areas and ideas on what to do.

Why go?
The Eastern Cape in South Africa is a fantastic place to visit. With incredible beaches, world-class and malaria-free safaris, vast wildernesses with rugged mountains, laid back towns and cities like Port Elizabeth and Jeffrey’s Bay and plenty of activities, the Eastern Cape is well worth a trip. 

 
Whether you are looking to see some of the best wildlife South Africa has to offer – the Eastern Cape is home to Addo Elephant National Park – the only National Park in the whole of Africa where you can spot the Big 7, or are simply looking to relax, unwind and enjoy good food and surroundings, the Eastern Cape is a destination that offers a wealth of activities and landscapes in one state. 
 
Get back to nature in the vast wilderness of the Baviaanskloof and the Gamtoos River Valley, get your surf on in legendary Jeffrey’s Bay, hit the beach in friendly city Port Elizabeth, explore the desserts of the Karoo, saddle up for a beach horse ride along the rugged Wild Coast or get some high-octane adventure in the Tsitsikamma. Whatever your passion, you will not get bored in the Eastern Cape. 

Who for?
Everyone! South Africa’s Eastern Cape is very large and has activities to offer all types of traveller whether you are on a family holiday or a romantic break for two you will find plenty of things to do in the Eastern Cape as well as great Eastern Cape accommodation to suit all budgets.

When?
The best time to visit the Eastern Cape in our opinion is Summer (Jan-Mar) and Autumn (Mar-May). The weather is warm and you can enjoy the great outdoors for which the Eastern Cape is famous. But don’t be put off visiting at other times of the year. With a mild climate, South Africa’s Eastern Cape is a great year round destination, in fact for wildlife viewing, winter is often the best time! Check out our Eastern Cape Weather guide for more information on average weather conditions.

How long?
Days, weeks, months! The Eastern Cape has so much to offer you could spend a lifetime exploring it and not see everything – although this is not very helpful advice! How long you should spend will depend largely on what you want to do when you visit the Eastern Cape. If you intend to only go on a safari then 3 days should be enough. If you want to explore more of what the Eastern Cape has to offer, such as South Africa’s friendly city – Port Elizabeth and Addo Elephant National Park we would suggest adding 3 more days. If you’d like to take in the incredible Baviaanskloof World Heritage Site and surrounding areas for some hiking or the Tsitsikamma Forest with its adventure activities, another week is recommended and to explore the Wild Coast at least 5 days are needed.   

 

Must see/do?

  • Go on an African Safari – the Eastern Cape is home to some of the best and most luxurious safaris and game reserves in the world – an African safari is one thing not to be missed!
  • Take a Port Elizabeth township tour and explore South Africa’s colourful past and bright future.
  • Visit Addo Elephant National Park – see the elephants and Addo in the Eastern Cape is the only National park in the whole of Africa where you can see the Big 7 (Lion, Rhino, Buffalo, Leopard, Elephant, Whale, Great White Shark)!
  • Experience life ‘bush style’ in the Baviaanskloof.
  • Hit the beach and surf, swim or paddle – the choice is yours, but there are many fantastic Eastern Cape beaches to choose from.
  • Stay in the laid back Gamtoos Valley and make sure you enjoy the fresh citrus fruit from this region – there is even an annual Naartjie festival to celebrate one of the many fruits grown in the Gamtoos Valley.
  • Head to the Tsitsikamma Forest and enjoy the many activities on offer in this stunning area on the Eastern Cape / Garden Route border.

 

 
 

Top Eastern Cape Destinations

Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape

Addo, Eastern Cape