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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.

Destination Highlights

  • Take the Garden Route scenic drive from Cape Town to the Eastern Cape and explore the very best of South Africa’s incredible coastlines.
  • Enjoy mile upon mile of glorious golden sand beaches, lapped by the Indian Ocean and interrupted only by sheltered bays and enticing lagoons.
  • Visit some of the best malaria-free game reserves in Africa. With luxury safari lodges and expert guides, have the experience of a lifetime on an Eastern Cape Safari.
  • Come face to face with South Africa’s big 7. Search for lions, leopards, buffalos, elephants, rhinos, whales and the great white shark.

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.

a bridge over a body of water

Self Drive Safari Cape Town & Garden Route

  • 12 Days
  • Guide Price £4,399 PP
This 12-day self drive holiday gives you the opportunity to explore the vibrant city of Cape Town and its surrounding...
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Couples Holidays
Whale Watching

Cape Town And Winelands Tour

  • 7 Days
  • Guide Price £2,499 PP
South Africa is known for its enviable natural beauty; magnificent mountains, incredible beaches, lush forests and sweeping vineyards. Our Discover...
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Couples Holidays
an empty park bench sitting on top of a lush green field

Cape Town And Eastern Cape Safari

  • 8 Days
  • Guide Price £3,499 PP
One of the most popular South Africa itineraries twins a visit to the cosmopolitan city of Cape Town with the...
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Adventure holidays
Lion in Kruger National Park

South Africa Luxury Safari Tour

  • 15 Days
  • Guide Price £4,599 PP
It’s easy to see why South Africa is one of our most popular destinations on the African continent. This fascinating...
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Multi centre holidays

Explore Eastern Cape

Time Zone

GMT +2 hours

Flight Time

Approximately 11 hours and 30 minutes direct to Cape Town from London Heathrow, operated by British Airways. Indirect flights are available with South African Airways, Emirates, Qatar and KLM via their hubs.

Currency

ZAR - South African rand

Visa Information

British citizens do not need to obtain a visa for South Africa for stays of up to 90 days. However, strict entrance policies apply for passengers travelling with children under the age of 18.

Language

English is widely spoken

Health Info

Some special vaccines are required for travel to certain areas of South Africa. We recommend that you speak to your GP about the latest medical advice as soon as you have booked your trip.

a lion looking at the camera

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.

a group of people standing next to a body of water

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.

Surfers Port Elizabeth

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.

Caroline, Destination Executive

“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!”

Caroline
Destination Executive
a person wearing glasses and smiling at the camera

“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.”

Julie
Destination Specialist

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.

Local Cuisine

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.

Potjiekos

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.

Boerewors

A thick sausage made from a combination of beef and pork. This sausage is from the Afrikaans community and is a national favourite.

Biltong

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.

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