The second largest of South Africa’s 9 provinces, the diverse Eastern Cape is situated between the Western Cape and KwaZulu Natal, bordered by the Orange River and Drakensberg Mountains. The area offers pristine beaches and game reserves teeming with wildlife.
Eastern Cape Highlights
The Eastern Cape province in South Africa offers pristine beaches along the warm Indian Ocean, game reserves teeming with wildlife, luxurious safari lodges, as well as traditional South African hospitality. A superb region offering incredible diversity; the location for a holiday adventure of a lifetime.
Visitors can explore the Eastern Cape and experience the green-fringed coastline, remote, peaceful villages, and white sand dunes for days. The area offers unique mountain ranges, ancient forests, indigenous fynbos, as well as some of the best nature reserves and game parks in South Africa.
The Garden Route, situated along the Eastern Cape, incorporates some of the most scenic venues in the country. A route along the lush coast, beginning in Mossel Bay in the Western Cape to Storms River in the Eastern Cape. The name, Garden Route, comes from the ecologically diverse vegetation encountered along the way, and the numerous lagoons and lakes dotted along the coast.
Alternating between sweeping sand, river mouths, rocks and coves, the Eastern Cape coastline is a paradise for water sports enthusiasts and beach bums alike.
The Eastern Cape offers scenic diversity, ranging from the evergreen Tsitsikamma Forest to the rugged Baviaanskloof Wilderness Area, the southern slopes of the Drakensberg and the arid Great Karoo.
The Wild Coast (East London to just before Durban) is one of South Africa's most exciting and unexploited areas, with a special appeal for fishermen all year round. It is rich in South African heritage and boasts tropical temperatures year-round.
The Eastern Cape is littered with fantastic, luxury, safari destinations. Private Game Reserves include Shamwari, Kwandwe, Lalibela, and Amakhala; all of which are centred around a conservation ethic and offer biodiverse environments.
Amakhala Game Reserve is a unique private game reserve that employs a commendable conservation initiative in its operation. It allows animals to be re-introduced to the area where they once roamed freely and so making a contribution to the conservation of South Africa's natural heritage. Accommodation is offered in a range from rustic to ultra-luxurious.
At Shamwari Game Reserve , a dedicated and systematic re-introduction program was launched, and in October 2000, the first lions were brought back to the Eastern Cape and released on the reserve. Constantly working on conservation of big cats and other species, Shamwari is the ultimate safari destination on the Garden Route.
Addo Elephant Park is the home of the elephants in the Eastern Cape. It offers a choice of elephant activities to supplement a visit to this National Park; such as, walking with elephants and elephant-back rides. It is located near the city of Port Elizabeth and ranks 3rd as South Africa's biggest game reserve.
How to get there
Sun Safaris can arrange scheduled flights for guests into Port Elizabeth, George and Cape Town airports; depending on where guests are headed. Upon arrival, Sun Safaris can either arrange a rental car for self-driving guests, or a private driver and guide for a more luxurious alternative.
Guests can self-drive from anywhere in South Africa to the Eastern Cape; drive time depending on where one is driving from.
There are luxurious safari locations along the luscious coast of the Eatern Cape, many of which are primarily targeted towards conservation of the biodiversity and endangered species.
Many guests wanting to experience the Garden Route do so on their own time, in hired vehicles. Sun Safaris will provide maps and suggestive information for those embarking on self-drives.
Eastern Cape Game Viewing and Activities
The game viewing at the pristine game reserves along the Garden Route is spectacular. The area is home to the Big 5, as well as an abundance of general game, including endangered species. The game reserves are exclusive and offer guests a unique safari experience. The area is malaria-free which makes it ideal for families with young children.
The Eastern Cape offers prime African bushland and includes some of the world's leading game reserves that have been targeted towards conservation of South Africa's unique heritage. Guests can expect to see lion, elephant, buffalo, giraffe, wildebeest, zebra, black and white rhinoceros, hippopotamus, kudu, springbok, bushbuck, grey duiker, black wildebeest, gemsbok and zebra.
Visitors will experience the culture and heritage of the region, spectacular wildlife, a large variety of adventure and outdoor activities as well as 9 tourism routes. Most popular along the Eastern Cape's Indian Ocean coast is the world-famous Garden Route, which includes both an exploration of game parks and cultural hotspots.
Addo Elephant Park
When the park was proclaimed in 1931, only 11 elephants remained in the area, today this magnificent sanctuary is home to over 450 elephants, Cape buffalo, black rhino, a variety of antelope species as well as the unique flightless dung beetle. The park consists of 164 000 ha and plans are on the way to expand the Park into a 360 000 ha mega-park. Addo Elephant Park incorporates the largest coastal dune field in the southern hemisphere as well as protects the world's largest Cape gannet breeding population on Bird Island.
Shamwari Game Reserve
Shamwari Game Reserve is one of the world's leading wildlife conservation and safari destinations situated in the malaria-free Eastern Cape along the beautiful Garden Route. It offers guests the ultimate wildlife and safari experience. Shamwari is about protecting a pristine wildlife area steeped in history where a multitude of game once roamed the area freely. Guests can choose between 6 magnificent safari lodges on this private game reserve
Samara Private Game Reserve
Samara Private Game Reserve is located in the Eastern Cape, near Graaff Reinet approximately 2.5 hours drive from Port Elizabeth. The reserve offers a magnificent location on the beautiful Plains of the Camdeboo. The unique historical tales of Samara date back as far as the late 1700s. The reserve consists of 70 000 acres; an area of remarkable natural diversity, home to a variety of wildlife including herds of springbok, black wildebeest, zebra, oryx, eland and blesbok that can be seen on the Plains of Camdeboo.
Lalibela Game Reserve
Lalibela Game Reserve is situated in the malaria-free Eastern Cape offering a safe holiday and safari destination for families with young children. The reserve offers fantastic Big 5 game viewing and spans 5 ecosystems offering incredible diversity of flora and fauna in traditional African safari style.
5 Star exclusively-booked lodge located in Hopewell Private Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape. Luxurious, secluded suites, each designed with a contemporary safari feel, encouraging guests to relax into their environments and enjoy prime views of the green landscape from private balconies.