These are Attractions in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa is awe-inspiringly diverse and, in places, delightfully undeveloped. Snow occasionally falls on its distinctive mountain peaks in the winter, and its sparkling coastline attracts throngs of surfers, swimmers, and sunbathers in the summer.
The scenery of the Eastern Cape is breathtaking, from the sea to the inland desert. And there is so much to do: visitors can explore everything from ancient forests and gaping valleys to craggy sea cliffs and the lush coastline stretching from the Garden Route National Park’s Tsitsikamma section to the subtropical Wild Coast.
Inland, Grahamstown’s rolling hills are known as Settler Country, after the British migrants who settled these ancestral Xhosa lands in the early nineteenth century. The national parks and private game reserves offer a breathtaking diversity of wildlife, including the rare Cape mountain zebra, white lions, and rhinos. The Garden Route scenic drive, one of South Africa’s most revered routes, allows visitors to explore a portion of the Eastern Cape’s coastline.
With our list of the top attractions in the Eastern Cape. You can discover the best places Tourist Attractions in the Eastern Cape and you can simply book a South Africa trip or stay in a South Africa safari lodge. Live your best life today.
1. Attractions in the Eastern Cape | The Valley of Sorrow
The Valley of Desolation is one of the most striking natural features on the Eastern Cape, located in Camdeboo National Park, which surrounds the town of Graaff-Reinet. The access road ascends to 1,500 metres and terminates at a parking area with well-kept footpaths leading to panoramic viewpoints along the steep cliff face.
Visitors can enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding countryside and the towering dolomite rock pillars as the changing light plays on the sweeping landscapes. The Great Karoo semi-desert landscapes are to the south, Graaff-Reinet is to the east, and the Sneeuberg Mountains are to the north.
Visit at sunrise or sunset for the best photos, when the deep, golden light imbues the landscapes with a honey glow. The park’s wildlife is diverse and abundant. Many bird species, as well as mammals such as the Cape buffalo, kudu, springbok, and bat-eared fox, can be seen by visitors.
Graaff-Reinet, a nearby town, is also worth a visit for its restored Karoo-style homes and historic buildings. A highlight is Reinet House, a former Cape Dutch parsonage that is now a museum with a large collection of 18th- and 19th-century furniture and farming equipment, as well as a First World War doll collection
2. Attractions in the Eastern Cape | The Wild Coast Hole
In the Wall South Africa’s Wild Coast, stretching north of East London, is a land of spectacular beauty. This untamed wilderness, which stretches from the Mtamvuna River in the north to the Great Kei River in the south, features craggy sea cliffs, wind-whipped beaches, subtropical forests, and hills cloaked in golden grass.
The Xhosa people, as well as other tribes whose villages dot the landscapes, have their ancestral home on the Wild Coast. The Wild Coast was part of the Transkei, one of four territories declared independent from South Africa during the apartheid era, until it merged with the Eastern Cape province in 1994.
The best way to explore this rugged and remote region is by 4WD vehicle. But adventurous visitors can also hike along walking tracks connecting local villages or explore the area on horseback. The popular Inkwenkwezi Private Game Reserve and the Hole in the Wall. A natural arch carved by thrashing surf, are both tourist attractions in the area.
Many visitors stay in towns like Coffee Bay, Port St. Johns, and Morgan Bay and then venture out into the surrounding wilderness for outdoor activities like ocean and river fishing, diving and snorkelling along the reefs and shipwrecks, and wildlife watching in the many nature reserves. Birding is also excellent, with over 320 species recorded in the area.
3. National Park of the Addo Elephants
Addo Elephant National Park, located 72 kilometres north of Port Elizabeth, is South Africa’s third largest national park. It was established in 1931 to save the last 11 South African bush elephants from extinction. And it now serves as a home for over 600 elephants as well as a variety of other fascinating creatures.
The park, which stretches from the Karoo to the coast. Also includes offshore islands that are important breeding grounds for Cape gannets and African penguins. The park’s claim to fame is that it is the only national park in the world that protects the Big 7–the Big 5 (elephant, rhinoceros, Cape buffalo, lion, and leopard) as well as the great white shark and southern right whale.
Zebras, antelope, an impressive array of birds, and nocturnal animals such as porcupines, anteaters, and bush pigs can also be seen. Visitors can enjoy horseback riding and hiking trails in addition to guided day and nighttime game drives.
The park welcomes day visitors who can explore the wilderness on their own or join a guided tour. Cottages, chalets, and campsites are available for overnight visitors.
4. Attractions in the Eastern Cape | Storms River Suspended Bridge
The Storms River Suspension Bridge is one of the most popular attractions in Tsitsikamma National Park. A spectacular coastal reserve that is now part of Garden Route National Park. Which stretches 200 kilometres from the Eastern Cape to the Western Cape.
The 77-meter-long bridge spans the foaming, froth-topped waters of the Storms River mouth. Which swirls and splashes less than seven metres beneath the bridge as it merges with the Indian Ocean. Standing on the bridge, visitors have the impression that they are floating above the raging sea.
To get to the bridge, visitors must hike 900 metres through beautiful bird-rich forests with waterfalls. And plenty of lookout points to rest and admire the sea views. Two smaller suspension bridges return hikers to the pathway for the return trip. Hikers can refuel at the nearby lodge restaurant after the rewarding walk, which takes about 30 minutes each way.
5. Attractions in the Eastern Cape | National Park of the Mountain Zebra
Mountain Zebra National Park provides nature enthusiasts with the opportunity to see a diverse range of wildlife against. The backdrop of breathtaking mountain scenery. The park, which was established in 1937 to protect the Cape mountain zebra. Is located about 24 kilometres southwest of Cradock on the northern slopes of the Bankberg range, with peaks rising up to 2,000 metres.
The park is home to springbok, kudus, caracals, jackals, cheetahs, lions, Cape buffalo, black rhinos, and many species of birds. In addition to a healthy population of Cape mountain zebras, which are smaller than their common counterparts. Visitors who are lucky enough may also see the shy aardwolf.
The arid and rocky landscapes are dotted with wild olives, sumac, and thorny acacias, and the sweeping grasslands. That border the driving route provide views of grazing wildlife. Visitors can also see San (Bushman) paintings that date back about 300 years. Paddling in the park’s swimming pools, hiking the nature trails, and exploring the 4WD tracks are some of the other activities available.
Guests may also tour the park in their own two-wheel drive vehicles. Accommodation options include a guest house, family chalets, and campsites, all of which have access to a shop and an a la carte restaurant.
6. Attractions in the Eastern Cape | Jeffreys Bay surfer
Jeffreys Bay, located about 77 kilometres southwest of Port Elizabeth, is one of the world’s best surfing spots. The beach is particularly well-known for its excellent right-hand point break. A consistent and exceptionally long and fast tubing formation along the bay’s west side.
The break is divided into sections, the most famous of which can break for more than 300 metres. Surfers should visit between May and September for the best swells, when offshore winds provide ideal conditions. However, the summer months (December through February) are ideal for swimmers because the weather is warm and sunny, and the water warms up.
The town is one of the fastest growing in the Eastern Cape and a popular vacation destination, particularly for South Africans. Who come to relax on the beaches, feast on fresh seafood, and swim at the excellent Blue Flag Beach. Whales are frequently spotted offshore between June and October. An attractive three-kilometer-long footpath winds its way along a river in the Noorskloof Nature Reserve. Where hikers may see antelope and vervet monkeys.
The Kabeljous Nature Reserve, northeast of town, encompasses a pristine estuary with fantastic fishing opportunities. While the Seekoei River Nature Reserve, south of town, at the small resort of Aston Bay, is a popular destination for birders, with over 120 species recorded in the area. Nearby Paradise Beach is also a lovely stretch of sand and a great place to look for seashells.
7. Wilderness Area of Baviaanskloof
The spectacular landscapes of the Baviaanskloof Wilderness Area. Located about 90 kilometres west of Port Elizabeth, offer a rough and rugged 4WD adventure. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is South Africa’s third largest inland conservancy, with an incredible diversity of wildlife. In addition to mountain zebras and Cape buffalo. Visitors may see baboons (Baviaanskloof means “Valley of Baboons”), vervet monkeys, mongoose, and a variety of birds, including fish-eagles. Hiking is also enjoyable, especially for those who value peace and solitude.
The most popular driving route for visitors runs from Patensie in the east to Willowmore. In the west, following the 200-kilometer-long Baviaanskloof valley. Which features beautiful red rock and green-cloaked mountains to the north and south. Allow plenty of time because the roads are weather-beaten dirt tracks that are especially difficult after heavy rains. The drive can take up to six hours and even longer depending on the conditions.
The route includes two mountain passes with spectacular views and low-water crossings. Four wheel drives are highly recommended and required in some areas. For those who wish to stay overnight, basic lodging and campsites are available.