The hidden treasures of the Eastern Cape. Picture: Supplied
The hidden treasures of the Eastern Cape. Picture: Supplied

Travel month: The hidden treasures of the Eastern Cape

By Viwe Ndongeni-Ntlebi Time of article published Sep 30, 2019

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As South Africans we are spoiled and  often forget that the Eastern Cape is  a beautiful province that’s worth a  visit. 

I was born in the Eastern Cape and since   visiting other provinces I have learned  that the Eastern Cape is one of the  most underrated places to visit

The  Eastern  Cape Parks and Tourism Agency  invited me on a  three-day trip which  started at Morgan’s Bay  Hotel, a 45-minute drive from East  London.  The hotel is situated along  the Wild Coast between 1.6km of unspoiled  beaches and breathtaking cliffs.  The hotel has all the modern   conveniences that you’d expect but  with a very homely touch.    

Skimming over the three-day  itinerary I discovered that there were  so many things to do from exploring  ancient forests to horse riding and  cultural experiences in the village. 


Our first stop was a township  experience in Mdantsane followed by  dinner at Mthombo’s Palace.  Mdantsane township is 15km  away from East London The name Mdantsane was derived  from a stream that ran from the  Nahoon River down to the Buffalo   River. 

On arrival at Mthombo’s Palace, I  couldn’t wait to sample the menu.  I ordered the lamb stew and steamed bread. The service was swift and  enjoyed the  bread and the stew was tasty.

Horse riding is a fun activity that even novices will enjoy. 
Horse riding adventures

The Wild Coast,   from the Mtamvuna River in the  north to the Great Kei River in the  south, is magnificent .  

During apartheid, the Wild Coast  was part of the Transkei, one of four  territories declared independent from  South Africa, until it merged with  the Eastern Cape in 1994.  

We rode horses on the beach to better appreciate its beauty. I haven’t been on a horse  in years so I was happy that the  steed was trained and the ride was a  breeze.  This is an activity novices  shouldn’t fear.  There are horse  handlers by your side every step of  the way

Driving a quad bike at the Areena Riverside Resort is great fun. Picture: Viwe Ndongeni-Ntlebi
Areena Riverside Resort

After the horse riding, we were  off to Areena Riverside Resort for  quad biking.  Areena is situated on the banks  of the Kwelera River, 23km east from  East London’s city centre This is an outdoor lover’s dream  but there’s also a wide variety of  activities for the whole family.  You can choose to abseil, go on a  zip-line tour, play paint ball, ride the  quad bikes or participate in any of the  river and beach activities.  Our group chose quad biking and  the adrenaline rush was worth it.

There are camping spots so you   can opt to spend your entire holiday  here.  Riding through nature was so  rejuvenating This is also where I met Abby the  giraffe, who is a local superstar . Feeding t he friendly giraffe was a  highlight of the trip   

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