MALARIA FREE SAFARIS IN THE EASTERN CAPE
The Eastern Cape is often thought of as South Africa’s “wild” province, made up by untouched beaches, bush and forest of Port Elizabeth, Tsitsikamma, Addo Elephant Park and the Transkei. It is the birthplace of Nelson Mandela and the heartland of the Xhosa people, offering views from Africa’s highest bridge and untouched beaches, considered the most beautiful on earth.
BIG 5 GAME VIEWING IN THE EASTERN CAPE
The Eastern Cape has an 800km shoreline with Big 5 viewing in malaria-free reserves and remote, sheltered beaches hidden from view. The coast from East London towards the Kwa-Zulu Natal border - a region previously known as the Transkei - is lush grasslands, punctuated by deep gorges and wet rainforests, while the interior is largely arid Karoo.
Addo Elephant National Park is probably the Eastern Cape’s most famous national park, sanctuary to almost 200 elephants, 400 buffalo and 21 very rare black rhino. We would highly recommend Gorah Elephant Camp in a private concession in the middle of Addo for a breath-taking introduction to the natural world of the Eastern Cape. Shamwari Private Game Reserve is another excellent choice for visitors to the Eastern Cape, with award-winning luxury accommodation in malaria-free, Big 5 country. It’s a great spot to experience eco-friendly tourism without skimping on style and refinery. Families with children will especially enjoy special programmes designed with children in mind.
While in the Eastern Cape, you might also enjoy a trip to Kwandwe Private Game Reserve - an excellent Big 5 safari destination with a handful of lodges offering a range of accommodation options and activities. The unspoilt Wild Coast is a stretch of particularly beautiful scenery and ghostly shipwrecks, dotted with seaside villages and sheltered bays. The Wild Coast is a hiker’s paradise with rolling hills and jagged cliffs, but there are also a few 4x4 trails for those looking for an easier ride. As its name suggests, this strip of coastline is untamed and waiting to be explored. Make sure you pay a visit to Coffee Bay and the ‘Hole in the Wall’, a landmark created millions of years ago by the unrelenting action of the ocean.
THE BEST TIME TO VISIT THE EASTERN CAPE
The climate in the Eastern Cape is varied - the west is dry with sparse rain year-round, frosty winters and warm summers. The Tsitsikamma to Grahamstown region receives a little more rainfall than the Karoo regions and further east towards East London, rainfall becomes more plentiful and humidity increases in the summer months. The coastal climate is less influenced by the dry season and so can make a good summertime destination for travellers looking for a family-friendly beach holiday.
For an authentic experience of the Eastern Cape we would recommend Kwandwe Ecca Lodge for its understated luxury and excellent wildlife. If you aren’t limited with time, you might also be inspired by a stay at Eagles Crag or Long Lee Manor located in the private Shamwari Game Reserve. We recommend the Eastern Cape for families travelling with little ones, as the region is largely malaria free but still offers excellent Big 5 game viewing.