In no way does this vast region shy away from thrills. Uncover the best things to do in the Eastern Cape, from hikes and gallops along the beach to greetings with the mighty wildlife, and everything in between.
Here are just a few of our top Flight Centre recommendations on what to see and do in the Eastern Cape – plus what to eat and experience along the journey.
Kayak and Lilo tours in Tsitsikamma
Kayaking and lilo tours are, without a doubt, one of the most adventurous activities to enjoy in the Eastern Cape. You'll set out with a friendly team towards the Suspension Bridge over Storms River Mouth. Marvel at the glistening valley as you delve into bat caves, traverse a rocky path, and uncover natural pools.
These tours don't require any previous training, making them ideal for families, friends or solo travellers looking to explore the Eastern Cape.
Tackle the Otter Trail
The Otter Trail has long been a favourite of South Africans and is a true bucket list experience for hiking fanatics and nature lovers. While not easy, this 42km journey is a phenomenon to behold, as you trek through the rugged, rocky, and ancient cliff peaks that overlook the ocean and tranquil rivers.
Considered by many as South-Africa's top-rated trail, it delivers an extraordinary experience to be remembered for years to come.
Sardinia Bay beach is one of the best in the Eastern Cape and offers horse riding on the beach to up the atmosphere even more. Perfect for families, friends and especially couples, you'll find horse riding stables huddled near the Sardinia Bay Reserve.
As a bonus, a trip here puts you in close proximity to Port Elizabeth, where there’s a diversity of amenities, attractions, and other adventures to be had.
Port Elizabeth beaches
Port Elizabeth brings a lot to the table, but their phenomenal beaches shine above the rest. The warm Indian Ocean waters is a favourite amongst surfers and sun babies alike. Take your pick along a 40km stretch of coastline, and make a day of it as you, your friends or family enjoy an indulgent day of sunbathing, water sports and volleyball games.
For movie-set strolls along the beach, be sure to add Seaview Beach, Sardinia Bay, and Virgin Bay to the travel itinerary. For the social scene, take a peek at Hobie and Kings beach.
Addo elephant park
Top-rated and well distinguished, a trip to Addo is another one of the best things to do in the Eastern Cape. The park claims a grand 1 640 km², home to one of the densest elephant populations on earth. There’s also elephant, rhino, lion, buffalo, leopard, southern right whale and great white shark to spot.
Addo is the only game park in the world to claim Africa's 'Big 7.' Over and above all this, Addo offers hiking to ziplining and much more.
What to eat/drink in the Eastern Cape
With 80% of the locals being Xhosa-speaking, the Eastern Cape offers many opportunities to sample traditional Xhosa cuisine. Try 'Umphokoqo, African salad or tuck into the famous maize dish, Umngqusho. Fancy a traditional beer? Why not delve into their signature Umqombothi for a date with culture.
Here are just some of the Eastern Cape restaurants worth a try:
• Le Chameleon
• De Kelder Restaurant Port Elizabeth
• Butterfly's Bistro
• Grazia Fine Food & Wine
• Africanos Country Estate
Best places to stay in the Eastern Cape
From luxury to self-catering, the Eastern Cape has accommodation to suit all budgets and traveller interests.
A handful of accommodation in the Eastern Cape:
• Drostdy Hotel
• Lalibela Game Reserve
• Inzolo Exclusive Game Lodge
• Bukela Game Lodge - Amakhala Game Reserve
• Barefoot Addo Elephant Lodge