If you adore relaxed and serene escapes, Eastern Cape holidays encapsulate the very best of South Africa’s natural beauty, history and culture, away from the busier regions of South Africa. With its diverse coastlines, picturesque seaside towns, lush-green forests, rugged mountainscapes and idyllic beaches, the Eastern Cape is a place where you can relax, indulge and enjoy a multitude of exciting outdoor adventures.
Explore the Eastern Cape
Embark on an Eastern Cape safari where you can experience breathtaking encounters with wildlife. Eastern Cape game reserves are some of the best in South Africa, with ranger-led game drives at Kariega or Amakhala, you can experience South Africa’s big 5. Pumba Private Game Reserve is home to a flourishing pride of free-roaming white lions and Shamwari Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre focuses on rehabilitating unwell, injured or abandoned animals, so they can be released back into their natural habitat.
The Greater Addo Elephant Park is the largest national reserve in South Africa, with the densest population of elephants in the world. Observe herds of elephants as they feed and interact, whilst an experienced tour guide teaches you about the flora, birdlife, ecology, history and geology of this national park. After an exhilarating day of sightseeing, retreat to a luxury safari lodge, complete with private pool, and eat dinner al fresco under the stars.
For a change of scene, drive the world-famous Garden Route from Eastern Cape to Cape Town. Pass through pretty seaside towns such as Plettenberg Bay and Knysna before exploring the city. Give our Destination Specialists a call today to discuss your perfect Eastern Cape itinerary.
Great sample itineraries
We’ve created an inspiring selection of itineraries, both tours and multi-centres, that include the Eastern Cape. Speak to our Destination Specialists to tailor make your Eastern Cape holiday.
Cape Town And Winelands Tour
Cape Town And Eastern Cape Safari
Explore Eastern Cape
Eastern Cape Safaris
The Eastern Cape has some of the best reserves in Africa. With malaria-free status, luxurious lodges and expert guides, you'll have the experience of a lifetime during your Eastern Cape safari.
Beaches on the Eastern Cape
Mile upon mile of glorious golden sand, lapped by the Indian Ocean and interrupted only by sheltered bays and enticing lagoons.
Cities on the Eastern Cape
Explore the Eastern Cape's buzzing towns and cities. The capital is Bhisho, but the two largest cities are Port Elizabeth and East London.
“Explore the Bushbuck Walking Trail, situated within The Island Nature Reserve of Nelson Mandela Bay. This trail consists of a number of interlinking loops that are all circular, each one offering different sights to see, depending on how energetic you’re feeling!”
“For something completely unique, visit ‘The Owl House’ in the village of Nieu Bethesda. This museum used to be the home of an unusual artist called Helen Martin. The place is decorated with ground glass and contains more than 300 statues including owls, camels, pyramids, peacocks, and people.”
Events & Festivals
The Eastern Cape offers a selection of events held throughout the year that can be enjoyed by everyone. Here’s a couple of our top suggestions.
Grahamstown National Arts Festival
Africa's largest and most colourful cultural event, held for 11 days between June and July. Over 50,000 people flock to Grahamstown every year for this popular event. Soak up a wide variety of arts, crafts and live entertainment.
Rhodes Trail Run
The Rhodes Trail Run, South Africa's premier trail race, is a 52km event staged in the Southern Drakensberg in June.
Bedford Garden Festival
A country fair held in June, with a combination of French/ English and South African flair. See a wide variety of stalls selling local and imported goods such as cheese, pastries, olives and handicrafts. Mingle with the locals as you feast on a traditional Potjie or braai with a cold beer or a glass of wine.
Coined as the rainbow nation, Eastern Cape cuisine really lives up to this reference, offering a variety of different foods and flavours, with influences from all over the world. South African favourites and traditional dishes can also be enjoyed during your stay in the Eastern Cape. Here are a few of our recommendations.
Hailing from the Afrikaans community, Potjiekos literally means pot food. Traditionally, this is a stew made with meat and vegetables along with rice or potatoes, all slow-cooked in a three-legged iron pot using a blend of Dutch-Malay spices.
A thick sausage made from a combination of beef and pork. This sausage is from the Afrikaans community and is a national favourite.
Probably one of South Africa’s most popular and best-known foods, this delicious cured meat is air-dried and often flavoured with various different spices. A great snack, high in protein, that can be enjoyed any time of day.
You might also like these
We think you might also like to take a look at these destinations. If you'd like some advice, our Destination Specialists will be able to find something that is right for you.
There’s no question too small. Start planning your dream trip by talking to our Destination Specialists.
Sign up to our newsletter
Receive the latest travel inspiration and destination news.
How we tailor make your holiday
The Hayes & Jarvis Way
We've been tailor making holidays for 65 years. With over 60 destinations to choose from, talk to us and we'll listen to your travel ideas to create unforgettable holiday experiences.