Eastern Cape offers some of the most spectacularly diverse landscape in all of Africa. It includes stunning ancient forests, a seemingly endless, untouched coastline and the untamed beauty of multiple nature reserves. The province also has the only ski and snowboarding resort in South Africa, operating all-year-round, earning it the nickname of ‘National Treasure’
The enormous variety of things to see and do is sure to satisfy the needs of even the most demanding traveller. Visitors come to Eastern Cape precisely because of the abundant wildlife and biodiversity. The area is popular with outdoor enthusiasts, adventurous travellers and those who like to immerse in deep cultural experiences.
Blessed with such gorgeous countryside, trekking and hiking are very popular choices and trails range from easy to extreme. The Otter trail is quite possibly one of the most famous in the world. The route follows the Eastern Cape coastline with magnificent views over the Indian Ocean and it takes 5 days to complete. The Chokka trail takes visitors through picturesque fishing villages, endless sand dunes and includes a visit to a penguin rehabilitation centre.
The Wild Coast is a long expanse of beautiful coastline filled with rocky headlands, massive cliffs and an indigenous forest full of rare flora. It is also the official home of the native Xhosa people. One of the most fascinating sights in the area can be found at Coffee Bay, a small beach town on the wild coast. Apart from being a surfing hotspot, this is where you can start your hike to the ‘Hole in the Wall’. As the name suggests, this is a natural arch that has been carved by waves crushing through the freestanding island.
If you are keen on safaris and close encounters with the Big 5, there are plenty of parks to choose from. Inkwenkwezi Private Game Reserve is a Malaria-free zone and offers amazing opportunities to spot fascinating wildlife including cape buffalos, lions and rhinos. Visitors can explore the park in their own car or choose one of the experienced operators for a guided tour. Mountain Zebra National Park offers visitors the chance to track the elusive mountain cheetahs on foot, an unforgettable, adrenalin-pumping experience.
What ever your choice of activity when in Eastern Cape, there are many different accommodation options available; from chalets, to mountain cottages or simple old-fashioned camping facilities.