6 cool things to do in the Eastern Cape this Tourism Month
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Travelling to the Eastern Cape this tourism month? Below we have an extensive tourist attraction guide, highlighting things to do and places to see.
South Africa’s ‘wild’ province, the Eastern Cape, features expanses of untouched beaches, bushes, and forests. So, whether you are looking to enjoy a relaxing holiday on the beach, encounter the ‘big five’, or looking for a cultural excursion, there will never be a dull moment there.
Here are some things to do in the Eastern Cape this tourism month:
Lunch at Black Impala Tshisanyama (Port Elizabeth)
Black Impala is a tshisanyama restaurant that serves traditional African food and braai or grilled meat. They have other South African hearty prepared traditional food such as Umleqwa (farm chicken) direct translation “running chicken”, which goes well with dumplings for that natural wholesomeness, and ulusu (tripe). Black Impala also has a full bar and is the perfect venue to enjoy a conversation in a relaxed atmosphere. It has well-carpentered furniture and colourful cushions for comfort.
Call: 082 800 8911
Giraffe walking safaris at Bellevue Forest Reserve (Paterson)
If you are an adventurous person, you can enjoy Giraffe walking safaris at Bellevue Forest Reserve. Filled with breath-taking moments, you experience an intimate drive through the heart of the Addo Valley bushveld accompanied by a highly experienced and trained trails guide. This is where beautiful memories are made, as you feel the African sun giving life to this amazing safari experience. Other experiences here include buffalo encounters, children's programmes, the next generation of nature lovers is immensely important to them, and they are constantly expanding ways to engage them with the wild.
You will also be amazed by the wildlife experience. On the tour, you will experience breath-taking wildlife sightings as only their area can provide. Drives are done twice daily in morning and afternoon departures. They make use of converted open-air safari vehicles and luxury closed 4×4 SUV’s. What is also interesting here is the stargazing safaris. You get to experience the bush at a heavenly level. You get to embark on a guided nature walk with a difference under the African night sky and discover some of their nightlife while learning more about their unique constellations in the Southern Hemisphere with an experienced game ranger.
Call: 042 235 1450
Whale, dolphin, and penguin island cruise at Raggy Charters (Port Elizabeth)
And if you are into marine life, Raggy Charters is a must-visit. Situated at the Nelson Mandela Bay Yacht Club at the harbour, they will take you on a cruise to see the whales, dolphins, and African penguins on St. Croix Island. Indo-pacific bottle-nose dolphins are the most frequently observed dolphins in the bay and can be spotted all year round. These playful dolphins are mostly found in shallow waters, either near the beaches or around St Croix Island and tend to come right up to the boat and ride along in the bow waves. You will also have the opportunity to spot white-breasted cormorants, Cape cormorants, Bryde's whales, minke whales, Cape fur seals, various species of sharks, Cape gannets, and various species of pelagic birds, including terns, petrels, skuas, shearwaters and albatrosses.
Call: 073 152 2277
Valley of Desolation (Graaff-Reinet)
The Valley of Desolation is a unique Karoo landscape and ecosystem that surrounds the town of Graaff-Reinet, creating a type of oasis amid the aridness of the Karoo.
This is the product of volcanic and erosive forces of nature over 100 million years. This breathtaking site is a short 14 kilometres drive from the town. Besides a visit to the Valley of Desolation, Graaff-Reinet is without a doubt worth a visit just for the charmingly restored Karoo-style homes and the historical buildings.
Call: 049 892 4248
Cradock 4 Garden of Remembrance (Cradock)
The Cradock Four is a garden of remembrance, a memorial in Cradock’s Lingelihle township. It consists of four tall concrete pillars erected to honour four anti-apartheid activists assassinated by the secret police in 1985. The four men were Matthew Goniwe and Fort Calata, both school teachers and activists, Sparrow Mkonto, a railway worker and unionist, and Sicelo Mhlauli, a childhood friend of Matthew Goniwe, who was with them to catch up with his friend. This and other tourism infrastructure improvements at the site enable the community to host educational and cultural activities that facilitate information sharing and celebrate the legacy of the four activists.
Game drive and on foot cheetah tracking at Mountain Zebra National Park (situated in the semiarid Great Karoo region, west of Cradock)
The highlight of the Mountain Zebra National Park’s mammalian fauna is the Cape mountain zebra, after which the park is named. These zebras differ from the plains or Burchell's zebra by having narrower stripes, absence of shadow stripes, and orange facial colouration. Other noticeable species are the red hartebeest, eland, and springbok.
Mountain Zebra National Park is situated on the R61 road. The gate is 12 kilometres from Cradock on the road towards Graaff-Reinet and is 262km from Port Elizabeth. The park is also home to various antelope species. You can also have an opportunity to track the elusive Mountain Zebra National Park cheetahs on foot in the company of armed guides.
Call: 048 801 5700
*Lutho Pasiya was in the Eastern Cape for three days during a trip hosted by Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency.