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A trip to remember: Adventuring through the Eastern Cape

Published on 23 May 2024

Makhanda might be the place to be for the duration of the National Arts Festival, but it’s also nestled in one of the most breathtaking and diverse provinces in South Africa. If you’re heading to this year’s Festival, plan a short Eastern Cape holiday into your trip. 

Home to some of the most striking and geographically diverse coastal and inland countryside in South Africa, the Eastern Cape is known for both its natural beauty and its cultural richness. From the Karoo to the Wild Coast, the Eastern Cape is home to some truly unique experiences. 

Need a place to stay? If you’re looking for a seaside getaway, plan a cosy fireside retreat in the coastal towns of Port Alfred, Cape St Francis, Kenton-On-Sea, Kidds Beach or Morgan’s Bay. Further inland, there are a number of game farms and guest houses to check into, many of them with great deals for locals. The quaint and quirky town of Bathhurst, home to many a thrift store as well as the country’s oldest licensed pub, is also well worth a visit. 

Nature lovers are spoiled for choice in the Eastern Cape. A bucket-list trip for many is the magical Addo Elephant National Park. View the Addo Big 5, go bird-watching, 4x4ing and more. In addition to Addo, the region is home to the Great Fish River, the Garden Route Park, and the Baviaanskloof World Heritage Site

The Eastern Cape also has a vast array of private game reserves, including Hopewell, Lalibela, and Inkwenkwezi game reserves. And don’t forget about the dolphins in Jefferey’s Bay! Find out more here

If the Festival inspired you to keep seeing and supporting art and culture, there are several independent galleries, museums and art centres dotted throughout the province. The Chris Hani Craft Hub in Komani, the Amathole Craft Hub, and the iconic Keiskamma Art Project located on the banks of the Keiskamma River are just a few of the independent art hubs worth visiting. There’s also Nieu Bethesda’s Owl House, the Schreiner House in Cradock, the Aliwal Museum in Aliwal North and more. 

Those looking for adventure or adrenaline-fuelled outings have the province at their fingertips. The Eastern Cape has beautiful hiking trails and river adventures, and the Tsitsikamma Canopy Tours are a must for any adventure-seeker.    

If you’re simply looking to explore the Makana Municipality a little more, from museums and historical towns to big game tours, be sure to visit Makana Tourism for everything you need to know. 

So, if you’re planning to squeeze in a holiday, or explore new parts of the country, stay a few extra days in The Eastern Cape. 

For details on these activities and many more, visit Eastern Cape Parks & Tourism and Makana Tourism