5 budget-friendly spots to visit in the Eastern Cape

The hole in the wall at Coffee Bay on the Wild Coast in the Eastern Cape. Picture: Unsplash

The hole in the wall at Coffee Bay on the Wild Coast in the Eastern Cape. Picture: Unsplash

Published Jan 18, 2024


There are plenty of affordable places to visit in Mzansi, including the Eastern Cape.

For the wanderlust explorer, the province is a gem with temperate weather like most of the country.

From the beach, safari to cultural and historical experiences, the Eastern Cape has it all. If you’re looking for ideas on where to go on your journey to get to know Mzansi, here are five hot spots to visit in the province.


Formerly Port Elizabeth, Gqeberha is at the end of the Garden Route and home to some of the best beaches in South Africa.

The city offers visitors stunning views and loads of activities from water sports and museums to malaria-free game reserves and marine life in abundance.

If you’re considering a sho’t left in the city, then consider an affordable stay at The Paxton Hotel from R 1067 a night for two people.

East London

East London is a city that still manages to retain some of its old-fashioned values blended with a dollop of laid-back charm.

The city is the gateway to the Wild Coast, the Sunshine Coast and the only river port in South Africa.

Travellers are sure to enjoy the coastal city’s white stretches of sandy beach that appeal to surfers, swimmers and sun worshippers alike.

The beaches here are some of the finest in the world.

If you’re planning a visit to get to know this part of Mzansi, plan a stay at Nahoon Beach Villas Self Catering Apartments from R 1025 a night for two people.


Graaff-Reinet is the oldest town in the Eastern Cape, the fourth oldest in South Africa and lies enclosed by a bend in the Sundays River, overshadowed by the rocky Sneeuberg Mountain within the Camdeboo National Park.

A historical gem, the town has more than 200 buildings claimed as National Monuments and an entire street restored, including its slave cottages.

Graaff-Reinet has retained much of the character of a typical 19th-century town and is well worth a visit because its also known as the “Gem of the Karoo”.

If you’re considering exploring this town, then consider a stay at Camdeboo Cottages starting from R1361 a night for 2 people.

Jeffreys Bay

Jeffreys Bay is a renowned, delightful holiday and retirement centre and has developed to include Aston Bay, Kabeljous-on-Sea township and Paradise Beach.

The bay stretches from Cape Recife in the east to Cape St Francis further west, while the town lies 80km west of Port Elizabeth midway between the Gamtoos and Kromme Rivers and the two estuaries of the Kabeljous and Seekoei Rivers.

It’s an all-year-round water sports destination because of its temperate climate and mild winters.

If you’re looking to visit, consider a stay at Jeffreys Bay Beach Accommodation from R 1950 a night for two people.


A small village in the Eastern Cape that has been described as a “sleepy village” in the Karoo.

Nestled below the Compassberg, Nieu-Bethesda is an oasis in the arid Karoo. This village, left behind in time, attracts those seeking peace and tranquillity and is also home to a growing number of artists, crafters and other creatives seeking a more conducive way of life.

The village’s growing reputation as a place to unwind makes it a popular choice for those wishing to reconnect with nature and themselves.

Wildlife, birds and plants are abundant; physical pursuits are on hand; and there’s the enormous Karoo landscape.

If you’re looking to explore this town, then consider a stay at The Bethesda Guesthouse starting from R 1400 a night for two people.