Perhaps one of the most magnificent characteristics about South Africa is its diversity – a quality that is truly reflected by the Eastern Cape. This province, situated between the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, was the birthplace of Nelson Mandela and therefore houses the Nelson Mandela Museum in the centre of Mthatha. It is further home to Fort Hare University which was a key institution in higher education for many African leaders, including Mandela.
Located between Alice – where Fort Hare University is found – and the coast lies Grahamstown. This town is well known for its focus on education, arts and culture. Every year, Grahamstown hosts The National Arts Festival which is the largest arts festival in Africa and – based on visitor numbers – one of the largest performing arts festivals globally.
Just over an hour’s drive away from Grahamstown is the Addo Elephant National Park. It is the third largest national park in South Africa and is home to a diverse range of fauna and flora. Moving down towards the coast, you’ll find Port Elizabeth – the Eastern Cape’s commercial and transport hub. Not too far away, lies Jeffery’s Bay – a destination that draws surfers from around the world.
Roughly to the north of Jeffrey’s Bay, some 300 kilometres away, is Graaff-Reinet. This is one of the most visited towns in the Karoo and is South Africa’s fourth oldest magisterial district. It hosts over 220 heritage sites and is famous for its array of Cape Dutch, Victorian and Karoo architecture. It is here, in this quaint town, that Drostdy Hotel – one of South Africa’s top 10 hotels – is found. Uniquely, Graaff-Reinet is almost entirely surrounded by the Camdeboo National Park, offering further variety in terms of natural beauty.
It’s thus plain to see that the Eastern Cape boasts a variety of intriguing facets, from historic locations and cultural hubs to sporting destinations and a vast array of natural beauty. To help you discover more of the Eastern Cape, we have put together a few recommendations, in addition to the above, that you might like to add to your list of must-dos when staying with us and exploring this spectacular province:
For History Lovers and Culture Enthusiasts:
For Thrill Seekers and Nature Explorers:
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