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Extend Your Festival Stay and Play in the Adventure Province

Published on 27 May 2021

Are you thinking about coming to the National Arts Festival’s Makanda Live experience? It’s going to be 11 days of Amazing from 8-18 July 2021! With Covid still a reality, it will be smaller, but it will also be more personal and more united in the love of the arts than ever before.

If adventure is in your heart, you can extend your Festival trip by staying on – or coming in earlier – and exploring the beautiful Eastern Cape.

Even in winter you can still enjoy some beautiful, warm days – although nights do get chilly. So plan a cosy fireside spot for your holiday in the coastal towns of Port Alfred, Cape St Francis, Kidds Beach or Morgan’s Bay. 

If you have a taste for the quirky and historical, head to Bathurst where you can stop in at the Pig & Whistle, thought to be the oldest licensed pub in South Africa. You’ll also get a clear reminder that you’re in pineapple country when you pass ‘The Big Pineapple’, a 16.7 metre, 3-storey high fiberglass pineapple situated on one of the regions farms. 

The Eastern Cape is a nature-lovers paradise. Just driving through the landscape with its endless aloes and abundant bird life keeps the road trip interesting. Along the way there are plenty of great stops and stayovers including the Addo Elephant National Park. This large park is brimming with wildlife and you are sure to spot at least one resident elephant as you explore. 

If you’re up for an adrenalin rush, head for one of the bungee jumping sites, with the Bloukrans topping the bucket list for most thrill chasers. For something equally invigorating, book a Fish River Horse Safari or enjoy guided hikes and horse trails throughout the region. 

If you’re more interested in history and culture, there are plenty of museums and sites of interest to amble through from the East London Museum in Gqeberha, where you can see an example of the coelacanth, to the curious Owl House in the town of Nieu Bethesda. 

If you’re travelling as a family, there is plenty to keep the little ones busy. If you are near Port Edward stop off at the Wild Waves Water Park where the kids will have a ball on the slides and rides. If you are in J-Bay, you can head for the Dolphin Beach Entertainment Centre for more waterpark fun. Older kids may be up for some ziplining, and you can ride the wind with them at Tstsikamma Falls or at the Tstsikamma Canopy Tour.

For details on these activities and many more, head to

If you would like to explore closer to the Makhanda area then pop over to Makana Tourism and discover all the gems in store