Eastern Cape

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The Eastern Cape is the ultimate backpacker destination for the adventurous traveller seeking unmatched natural and cultural diversity. Here you'll find unspoiled beaches with legendary waves, majestic mountain hideaways where hobbits lurk, stark Karoo landscapes that hide ancient rock art and the country's friendliest cities. Welcome to Mandela's homeland, it's time to travel!

General information

CAPITAL: Bisho
OTHER CITIES: East London, Port Elizabeth, Mthatha
AIRPORTS: East London, Port Elizabeth
AREA: 13.9% of the country
POPULATION: 15.5% of the country at 6.6 million
LANGUAGES: Xhosa, Afrikaans, English

Not to be missed

  • Addo Elephant Park
  • Jeffreys Bay for excellent surfing
  • Nelson Mandela Museum in Mthatha
  • National Arts Festival in Grahamstown in June
  • The Owl House in Nieu Bethesda
  • The Wild Coast for rural coastline
  • Addo

    Home of the Addo Elephant National Park with over 450 elephants, lions, leopard and other wildlife.
  • East London

    A laid-back port city that is much fairer than its English counterpart.
  • Grahamstown

    A university town that that hosts the country's largest arts festival every July.
  • Hogsback

    Nestled on the slopes of the Amatola Mountains with indigenous forests and a fairytale landscape.
  • Jeffreys Bay

    The centre of the winter surfing season, but good all-year round for beach lovers.
  • Mthatha

    A gateway for most of the Wild Coast's beautiful beach destinations and a good place to stock up on supplies.
  • Port Elizabeth

    With 40km of white sandy beach and calm waters, PE is ideal for year-long watersports.
  • Wild Coast

    Rocky and untamed with countless attractions and a rich cultural heritage.

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    Areena Riverside Resort & Private Game Reserve

    Accommodation   > Eastern Cape

    Nothing is more important than reconnecting with nature. Nothing is as rich. Nothing is more blissful than the peacefulness at Areena Riverside Resort.  We welcome all who believes in family values and those who are searching for a memorable adventure. We offer you unsurpassed views of the river, wildlife, birds and surrounding wild coast vegetation. […]

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    Away With The Fairies

    Accommodation  > Hogsback

    Away with the Fairies boasts incredible views of the Amatola Mountains and the forest below. Hikes to waterfalls, mountains and indigenous forest. Incredible nature combines with a vibey bar and superb food. Shuttle from Chintsa and East London.

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    Bay Language Institute

    English language studies  > Port Elizabeth

    Bay Language Institute offers excellent English language training in one of Port Elizabeth’s more beautiful areas, Summerstrand. Combine your English course with a variety of fun activities for an unforgettable stay at this family-owned and managed school, just a two minute walk from warm Indian Ocean beaches. The school offers personal service, individual attention and […]

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    Claim Victory Volunteers

    Volunteering & internships  > Animals & wildlife   > Eastern Cape

    An International volunteering agency located in Cape Town, South Africa. Offering a wide range of volunteering opportunities, language courses, internships, at great affordable prices. 15 Years of volunteer placement experience 24/7 Support in South Africa & Namibia Over 120  Volunteering opportunities (Social and Animal) Orientation weeks in Cape Town Tours & Accommodation Language courses Most […]

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    Coffee Shack Backpackers

    Accommodation  > Coffee Bay

    Located on an idyllic beach. Coffee Shack has a fun relaxed vibe and are partners with the Tshezi Community who are 30% shareholders. If you need to do something, join one of our 2 hour surf lessons, for only R50 (With professional instructors & equipment included), else join one of our amazing day trips. Alternatively […]

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    East London Language Institute

    English language studies  > East London

    This establishment is an Incubator Member of SAYTC, the tourism organisation bringing your Travel Now Now. SAYTC would like to represent the diversity that tourism in South Africa has to offer, particularly start up or smaller accommodation establishments. Incubator Membership offers these establishments an introduction to the tourism industry and SAYTC as an organisation.

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    Elundini Backpackers

    Accommodation  > Hogsback

    Only 20 minutes away from Hogsback, high in the Amatola Mountains lies the picturesque Xhosa village of Elundini. Created from the desire to show tourists the ‘other side’ of South Africa, this backpackers has it all – great views, yummy food, cozy vibes and most of all, an exchange of cultural experiences. So join our […]

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    Face Adrenalin

    Tours & adventures  > Storms River

    The Bloukrans Bungy Jump is officially recognized by Guinness World Records as being the World Highest Commercial Bungy Jump from a bridge at a whooping 216 m high! 216m high bungy jump off the Bloukrans Bridge Bridge walking tour 200m “Flying Fox”” out onto the arch of Africa’s largest bridge We pride ourselves on having […]

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    Imonti Tours

    Tours & adventures  > Day tours  > East London

    Imonti Tours are based in East London in the Eastern Cape and we offer day trips, airport transfers and shuttle services in East London and the surrounding area. Grand Prix Winner in the 2007 SA Tourism Welcome Awards Awarded by Amathole District Municipality as the Best Tour Operator in the Amathole District Municipality in 2010 […]

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    Island Vibe Jeffreys Bay

    Accommodation  > Jeffreys Bay

    The most incredible location in Jeffreys Bay, Island Vibe is perched on a sand dune overlooking the Indian Ocean. Kitchen Windows – an awesome surf break for first timers and pro’s – is a mere trot down the dune; and swimming is a stone’s throw away. Many mornings you will wake to dolphins lolling past […]

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    Island Vibe Port Elizabeth

    Accommodation  > Port Elizabeth

    Island Vibe PE is a spacious house with a lush garden. Situated just 300 metres from Hobie Beach, Island Vibe Port Elizabeth features a large swimming pool, BBQ facilities and a bar. A shared,spacious kitchen and lounge areas are also offered. The rooms and apartments come with access to a shared bathroom, or have a […]

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    Jungle Monkey Backpackers

    Accommodation   > Eastern Cape

    Jungle Monkey is situated between mountains, forests, the Umzimvubu river and the Indian Ocean. The undeveloped and traditional Xhosa villages will give you a true African experience. Come and enjoy the friendly, vibey village, while Jungle Monkey will supply your basic needs.

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    Khaya Volunteer Projects

    Volunteering & internships  > Port Elizabeth

    Khaya Volunteer Projects offers volunteer projects in a responsible, transparent and ethical way, working hand in hands with local projects in South Africa and Tanzania and focusing on wildlife, conservation, sports, education, childcare and community. At Khaya Volunteer Projects, we make our volunteers feel that they belong. If you choose Khaya to organize your volunteering […]

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    Kumba Safaris

    Tours & adventures  > Adventure activities  > Addo

    Here at Kumba Safaris we live and breathe the African air. We want you to experience the African breeze and wildlife with the Kumba Safari team. We have a passion for what we do and would love to share it with you. We strive to be extraordinary in breathtaking safari tours and to give you […]

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    Lungile Backpackers

    Accommodation  > Port Elizabeth

    Lungile is a two minute walk away from the main beach, bars, restaurants and booming nightlife.
    There are excellent in house daytrips, activities, safaris and multi day tours down the Garden Route and the Wildcoast available!

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    Owlhouse Backpackers

    Accommodation  > Nieu Bethesda

    This establishment is an Associate Member of SAYTC, the tourism organisation bringing your Travel Now Now. A SAYTC Associate Member is an establishment that has not yet gone through an accreditation process with a recognized body to ensure that a minimum standard is obtained. They often are smaller establishments, looking to grow and expand before […]

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    Stormsriver Adventures

    Tours & adventures  > Adventure activities  > Storms River

    Stormsriver Adventures is a professional adventure company based in the Tsitsikamma Forest. Furthermore, we strive to enrich the surrounding environment and community. Tsitsikamma canopy tours – an eco-adventure in indigenous rainforest Slide between trees along cables 30m above the forest floor Ten platforms and ten slides, the longest of which is over 80m Spectacular scenery […]

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    Sugarshack Backpackers

    Accommodation  > East London

    Sugarshack is right on the beach and yet only 2 minutes walk from the main coach drop off, pubs, restaurants and popular night clubs. It is a really easy place to hang out with its exciting daytrips and great night life. We specialise in personalized attention from our friendly African staff.

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    Volunteer Africa 32 Degrees South

    Volunteering & internships  > Children & youth   > Eastern Cape

    Volunteer Africa 32 Degrees South is a volunteer organization based on the Wild Coast, South Africa. The organization focuses on education, conservation and humanitarian issues. Established in 2004 and averaging 300 volunteers per year on our projects. Highly motivated, dedicated professional project leaders and facilitators to each project. Personalised opportunities for volunteer involvement. Strength through […]

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    Wanderlust Adventures

    Accommodation  > Port Alfred

    This establishment is an Incubator Member of SAYTC, the tourism organisation bringing your Travel Now Now. SAYTC would like to represent the diversity that tourism in South Africa has to offer, particularly start up or smaller accommodation establishments. Incubator Membership offers these establishments an introduction to the tourism industry and SAYTC as an organisation.

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    Wild Lubanzi Backpackers

    Accommodation   > Eastern Cape

    This is Lubanzi, a little Xhosa Village in the middle of nowhere of the former Transkei. This is where the road ends, this is where the sea and the sky meet, where the sun kisses the waves and the rhythm of life is still pure and undisturbed. Kick off your shoes, check your Ego in […]