Best Places to Visit in Easter Cape
South Africa’s Eastern Cape is surprisingly diverse and parts of it are underdeveloped. In winter, snow sometimes falls on its distinctive peaks, while in summer the sparkling coastline attracts surfers, swimmers and sun lovers.
From the sea to the inland desert, the Eastern Cape has a magnificent view. There’s still plenty to do: Tourists can explore everything from ancient forests and open valleys to rugged sea cliffs and lush shores, stretching from the Tsitsikamma region of the Garden Route National Park to the wild shores of the subtropics.
Inland, the hills around Grahamstown are known as settler land after English settlers settled on these ancestral Xhosa lands in the early 1800s. Animal lovers can see a wide variety of wildlife in national parks and special game reserves, including rare Cape Mountain zebras, white lions, and rhinos. Travelers can also explore parts of the Eastern Cape coastline on the Garden Route Scenic Route, one of South Africa’s most respected routes.
Discover the best places to visit in this diverse region with our list of the Best Places to Visit in Easter Cape and make your trip enjoyable.
10 Best Places to Visit in Easter Cape
Let’s explore the top 10 Most Beautiful and Best Places to Visit in Easter Cape:
1. Jeffreys Bay Surf Break
About 77 kilometers southwest of Port Elizabeth, Jeffreys Bay, affectionately known as J Bay, is one of the best surfing spots in the world. In particular, the beach is known for its remarkable right-point break, which creates a consistent and unusually long and fast pipe structure along the western side of the bay.
The break is divided into several parts; Supertubes is the most famous and exceed 300 meters. For the best waves, surfers should aim to visit between May and September when offshore winds provide ideal conditions. But for swimmers, summer (December-February) is the prime time when the weather is hot and sunny and the water temperatures are warm.
The town is one of the fastest growing cities in the Eastern Cape and is a popular vacation spot – especially for South Africans who come here to relax on the beach, enjoy fresh seafood and swim at the stunning Blue Flag Word beaches. Whales can usually be seen at sea between June and October. In the Noorskloof Nature Reserve, a stunning 3-kilometer trail leads along the river, where hikers can spot chamois and vervet monkeys.
The Kabeljous Nature Reserve to the northeast of town contains an unspoiled estuary with excellent fishing opportunities, while the Seekoei River Nature Reserve, a small resort in Aston Bay south of the city, is a popular destination for bird lovers with over 120 Species. Birds have been documented in that area. Nearby Paradise Beach is also a beautiful stretch of coastline and a great place to hunt for shells.
2. Baviaanskloof Wilderness Area
About 90 kilometers west of Port Elizabeth, the stunning scenery of the Bavianskloof wilderness offers you a solid 4WD adventure. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is the third largest inland conservation area in South Africa and is extremely rich in biodiversity. In addition to mountain zebras and buffalo horns, nature lovers can spot the area’s baboons of the same name (Baviaanskloof means “Valley of the Baboon”), vervet monkeys, meerkats, and many other birds, including ospreys. Walking is also beneficial – especially for those who enjoy peace and solitude.
The most popular self-driving route for travelers runs from Patensie in the east to Willowmore in the west, along the 200km Bavianskloof valley, with beautiful northern and southern Mountains shaded by red rocks and green hills. Allow plenty of time as the roads are weather-affected dirt roads that can be challenging especially after heavy rains. The route can take up to six hours or longer by car, depending on conditions.
The route passes through two mountain passes with spectacular views and low water passes. All-wheel drive is highly recommended and a must on the track. Basic accommodation and camping areas are available for guests who want to stay overnight.
Official website: http://www.baviaans.co.za/
3. Port Elizabeth Beach
Port Elizabeth is a popular tourist town located at the end of the Garden Route, with more than 40 kilometers of clean and safe surf beaches along the sparkling Algoa Bay. Not surprisingly, water sports are the most popular pastime.
Swimmers can paddle at the coveted Blue Flag beaches rewarded for exceptional water quality and safety, including Kings Beach, one of the most popular thanks to the nearby Restaurant and skate park. Wells Estate Beach and Humewood Beach with its paddling pools and waterslides are two other options. Surfers can surf at Pollock Beach, while SCUBA divers and snorkelers can immerse themselves in the underwater world of a marine reserve in the beautiful Gulf of Sardinia.
Fishing is best on northern beaches like Bluewater Bay and Brighton Beach. Whether swimming or windsurfing, head to Hobby Beach near the Boardwalk Recreation Center. Depending on the time of year, visitors can enjoy the coast on the whale watching excursions, with the chance to see migrating humpback, southern right, and Bryde whales.
4. Inkwenkwezi Private Game Reserve
About 33 kilometers from East London, Inkwenkwezi Private Game Reserve offers exciting safari adventures on the wild coast of South Africa.
Thanks to its extensive ecosystem, the park is home to an incredible diversity of wildlife, including lions, buffalo horns, rhinos, zebras, giraffes and many antelope species. Birdlife is also abundant, with more than 285 different bird species recorded in the park. Another highlight here is the white lion in a separate 150-hectare reserve.
Day-trippers are welcome and can choose to explore the park in their own car or take a guided tour in an open-top 4WD. Other adventure options include ATV tours, jungle hikes and canoe tours.
Many visitors spend the night in luxury tents that blend perfectly with the surrounding wilderness, but accommodation in nearby lodges is also available.
Another popular luxury safari option is Shamwari Game Reserve, about 75 km from Port Elizabeth.
Official website: http://eastlondon-info.co.za/
Located in a sheltered watershed between Port Elizabeth and East London, 60km from the south coast, the historic town of Graham was the capital of the settler nation in the early 19th century when white settlers fought against the Xhosa. Despite its turbulent history, Grahamstown is today a vibrant cultural center thanks to the University of Rhodes and many other educational institutions. The Grahamstown Festival is famous in South Africa and takes place every year at the end of June when the city becomes a major stage for an impressive array of cultural events.
Graham Town is also often referred to as the “City of Saints” because of its many churches, which are said to have over 40 churches. Queen of these is the magnificent Cathedral of St Michael and St George with the tallest tower in southern Africa.
To learn about the town’s history, visitors should stop at the Observatory Museum, which has Victorian interiors and vintage furniture and antique telescopes. The camera obscura here remains the only camera in South Africa that displays images of the town and its surroundings outdoors.
Another tourist attraction here is the Settlers’ Monument, a modern cultural center that opened in 1974 and hosts a popular arts festival. The bronze monument at the entrance depicts a settler family dressed in typical early 19th century clothing.
6. The Wild Coast
South Africa’s Wild Coast is a country of natural beauty north of East London. Rugged sea cliffs, windy beaches, subtropical forests, and golden grass-covered hills characterize this unspoiled wilderness surrounding the northern shore of the Eastern Cape, from the Mtamvuna River in the north to the Great Kei River in the south.
Wild Beach is the ancestral home of the villages of the Xhosa people and other tribes that shine in the landscape. During Apartheid, the Wild Coast was part of the Transkei, one of four regions that declared independence from South Africa until it merged with the Eastern Cape in 1994.
The best way to explore this rugged and remote area is by 4×4, but adventurous travelers can hike the hiking trails that connect local villages or explore the area on horseback. Attractions in the area include the popular Inkwenkwezi Private Game Reserve and the Hole in the Wall, a natural arch carved by rough seas.
Many travelers visit Coffee Bay, Port St. John’s and Morgan’s Bay and head out into the surrounding wilderness for outdoor fun such as ocean and river fishing, diving and snorkeling in coral reefs and shipwrecks. reserve with many wild animals. Bird watching is also great, with over 320 species recorded in the area.
7. Addo Elephant National Park
About 72 kilometers north of Port Elizabeth, Addo Elephant National Park is South Africa’s third largest national park. Founded in 1931 to save the last 11 South African bush elephants from extinction, today it provides habitat for more than 600 elephants as well as many other fascinating creatures.
The park stretches from the Karoo to the coast and also includes offshore islands that are home to significant breeding populations of Cape boobies and African penguins. Due to the diversity of its ecosystems, the park’s claim to fame is that it is the only national park in the world to protect the Big Seven – the Big Five (elephant, rhino, Cape buffalo, lion and leopard) and the great white. right whale sharks and southern sharks.
Wildlife lovers can also spot zebras, antelopes, an impressive array of birds and nocturnal animals such as hedgehogs, anteaters and bush boars. In addition to guided day and night games, visitors can enjoy other adventures such as horseback riding and hiking trails.
The park welcomes day visitors who can choose to explore the wilderness with their own vehicle or opt for a guided tour. Stay in cabins, cabins or campsites for overnight visitors.
Official website: http://www.sanparks.org/parks/addo/default.php
8. Storm River Suspension Bridge
Along the famous Garden Route, a scenic drive of more than 200 kilometers from the Eastern Cape to the Western Cape, the Storm River Suspension Bridge is one of the most popular attractions in Tsitsikamma National Park. Part of the Garden Route National Park.
The 77-metre bridge spans the sparkling, sparkling waters of the Storm River estuary, which spins and splashes less than 7 meters below the bridge as it meets the Indian Ocean. Tourists standing on the bridge seem to be in the rough sea.
To access the bridge, visitors must hike through the beautiful 900-meter bird-rich forest with waterfalls and many viewpoints to stop and relax while admiring the ocean. Two small suspension bridges bring hikers back to the trail for the return journey. Hungry hikers can refuel at a nearby hotel restaurant after a worthwhile walk of about 30 minutes in each direction.
9. Mountain Zebra National Park
Mountain Zebra National Park offers nature lovers the opportunity to see a variety of fascinating wildlife along with stunning mountain scenery. Established in 1937 to ensure the survival of Cape Mountain zebras, the park is located on the northern slope of the Bunkerberg Mountains, about 24 kilometers southwest of Craddock, and its peaks reach 2,000 meters.
In addition to a healthy population of Cape Mountain zebras that are smaller than the average zebra, the park is home to springbok, kudu, caracal, coyote, cheetah, lion, Cape buffalo, black rhino and many other birds. Lucky visitors may also spot shy coyotes.
Wild olives, sumac, and spiky acacias adorn the arid and rocky terrain, and wide meadows at the edge of the driving route allow you to spot grazing wildlife. Visitors can also admire San (Bushman) paintings from around 300 years ago. Other activities include boating in the park’s pool, hiking on nature trails, and exploring the 4WD trail.
Guests can also explore the park with their own two-wheel drive vehicle. Accommodation options range from hostels to family cottages and campsites, with access to shops and à la carte restaurants.
Official website: http://www.sanparks.org/parks/mountain_zebra/
10. Owl House
In the small village of Nieu-Bethesda, about 50 kilometers from Graff-Reinert, the center of the Karoo is the Owl House. This quirky little museum draws thousands of visitors to the hamlet each year to see the work of the eccentric sculptor and monk Helen Martins.
Martins lived on the land from 1945 to 1976, during which time he created hundreds of owls, camels, mermaids, pilgrims and others out of old bottles, cement, glass, mirrors and wire, playing a part to combat the boredom of life in a country where nothing grows. . You can buy tickets to watch the Martins work at the Owl House and Camel Yard today.
Official website: https://www.theowlhouse.co.za/
Hope you like our choice of the best places to visit in Easter Cape. If you think there are some more beautiful places to visit in Easter Cape, we should cover them. Write us below in the comment box.