The Eastern Cape Province in South Africa includes many ruggedly beautiful places – from the Wild Coast to the arid Great Karoo. The Eastern Cape encompasses the pre-1994 homelands of the Transkei and Ciskei, as well as part of the old Cape Province. The capital of the Eastern Cape is Bisho, but Port Elizabeth and East London are the two largest cities.
Settlers from England and Germany were brought to Port Elizabeth and East London, while the province is a traditional home to the Xhosa people, with many persons prominent in the struggle for liberation being born here (including Nelson Mandela and Steve Biko). Therefore the Eastern Cape is quite a melting pot of cultures.
East London is the perfect base from where to explore the Eastern Cape’s Wild Coast region. While in East London, stay at the King David Hotel or the Regent Hotel, both good value-for-money options that are ideal for families, couples or business executives. The natural history museum in East London contains the only remaining dodo egg in the world, as well as a coelacanth (the famous prehistoric fish caught off the coast of East London in the Eastern Cape).
The Wild Coast (named such for the tumultuous ocean) is one of the most beautiful places you can visit in South Africa. Explore the tiny Coffee Bay, Port St Johns and learn more about the legends of the Xhosa people of the Wild Coast in South Africa.
In addition to kudu, buffalo and many bird species, the Addo Elephant Park in the Eastern Cape houses more than 200 elephants. To see an elephant calf playfully following in the footsteps of its loving mother will be something you remember for a long time.
The arid Great Karoo is the very essence of open space. Here, in the Karoo region of the Eastern Cape with its frontier character, is where the earliest meetings between the English, Dutch and Xhosas took place. The scene of many battles, it is also the place where mutual acceptance took place.
In the eastern region of the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, you will find the Amatola Mountains. Here you will find many Xhosa villages and homesteads. The homesteads are circular in shape, and have thatched roofs, and are arranged in a circular form. If you are lucky, you will see a crowned crane. According to the Xhosa people of the Eastern Cape, the family of a hunter who kills one of these birds, will experience misfortune for a long time to come.