Eastern Cape and the Wild Coast
The Eastern Cape is a popular family holiday destination, with its scenic beauty, friendly towns and safe beaches. The landscape is varied; from the arid and often desolate Karoo to fertile valleys and lush forests. Golden sand beaches are edged by an emerald green coastline and guarded by sandstone cliffs. The Eastern Cape is also increasingly a safari destination. SA National Park's Addo Elephant Park now offers "Big 5" safaris and there are a number of excellent private lodges and reserves offering malaria-free safari experiences. Hiking in the more mountainous regions is breathtaking, and the area also has some fine examples of prehistoric rock art.
Addo Elephant Park
Just one hour's drive from Port Elizabeth, the park comprises 240,000 hectares on land, with a further 120,000 hectares of protected marine zone. Game drive, or horse-ride with over 200 elephants.
This "City of the Saints" has long had a reputation for graceful architecture, and fine educational establishments. This frontier town, established in 1812 has a fascinating history, and a lively ambience. The annual Grahamstown Arts Festival in June/July draws both local and international tourists, when the streets come alive with artists, performers and market stalls.
Beaches and Coastal Towns
The magnificent golden coastline offers excellent swimming, as well as many watersports including surfing, canoeing and windsurfing. Sea fishing is superb. The picturesque Port St Francis and Kenton on Sea are popular coastal towns, and Jeffrey's Bay is an internationally renowned surfing spot.
Valley of Desolation
Located in the Karoo Nature Reserve, close to the pretty historic town of Graaff-Reinet is the remarkable Valley of Desolation. The valley was formed millions of years ago by weathering erosion. Extreme variations in the climatic conditions caused the rocks to crumble and formed bizarre and unusual rock formations. Enjoy superb game drives or hikes in this spectacular reserve.
The Owl House
In the small rural village of Nieu-Bethesda, 50km from Graaff-Reinet, tucked among the foothills of the Sneeuberg Mountains is the extraordinary Owl House. - home, studio and life work of artist Helen Martins (1898-1976). This somewhat eccentric and reclusive woman resolved to surround herself with light and colour, and the result is magnificently realised in the Owl House, with its eclectic array of fantastical sculptures.
Experience the "wild beauty" of true Africa ... unspoilt stretches of coastline, wide-open spaces, traditional lifestyles ... The Wild Coast is perhaps one of South Africa's last untouched Edens. The warm waters and vast sweeps of golden sands make this area a popular family holiday destination; and the superb fishing, challenging 4x4 routes and excellent hiking trails also attract the more adventurous travellers. Waterfalls tumble into the sea, cattle wander on the roads and some 320 species of birds make this paradise their home.