The Eastern Cape – A Birds Eye View

I have an admitted soft spot for the Eastern Cape. Maybe it’s because it is generally used as a go-between for the Western Province and KZN as destination points, and I love backing an underdog. Maybe it is the fact that one of my best mates parents own a farm in the heart of what feels like a semi-arid bliss-filled nowhere. Or maybe I’ve gotten to explore this particular province, it’s quirky towns and incredible coastline a little more than the rest.

The Eastern Cape is home to the Wild Coast where the beaches and waves draw surfers and water sports enthusiasts alike. It is the likes of Jeffrey’s Bay (J-Bay) and legendary big names and other seekers of the fabled perfect waves year in and year out. In contrast, the Sunshine Coast which is both a temporary and permanent home of many whale and dolphin species is a place where you will not find yourself amiss to be the only soul for miles, with only the break, and the far cry of a young cattle-herder the only sound to break the silence.


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The Eastern Cape is home to the Addo Elephant National Park and Shamwari – with its two big cat sanctuaries. It is the rugged Valley of Desolation and the juxtaposed lush green fairylike forests of Hogsback in the Amatola Mountains. It is the quirky British Colonial town of Bathurst and the quintessential eighteenth-century Cape Dutch Karoo town of Graaff-Reinet.

The Eastern Cape is traditional rural Xhosa villages dotting the landscape, where modernity seems to have barely laid a hand. It is the heartwarming smiles and no crowds that give the Eastern Cape a certain kind of magic, no other province holds. If you’re looking for something off the beaten track, the Eastern Cape is one of the most rewarding regions in South Africa.

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