Interesting Eastern Cape Facts
Port Elizabeth’s Humewood beach has achieved Blue Flag status as a world-class beach.
The great white shark is an endangered species and is protected in South Africa.
Jeffreys Bay is famous for its ‘supertubes’, long and consistently good waves.
Port Elizabeth is home to the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, a sports venue that hosted matches during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
There’s so much to see and do in the Eastern Cape, which is blessed with rich natural beauty and wildlife. Its natural diversity is impressive: the Eastern Cape incorporates parts of all seven ecological zones that occur in South Africa. It also features all three of the country's biodiversity regions, which is further enhanced by its 820km of untamed coastline. This ensures an assortment of plant and animal species, including the Big Five, abundant birdlife and rich marine life (including 27 species of whales and dolphins).
Where to go in Eastern Cape
Know as the Friendly City, the Windy City, or simply PE, Port Elizabeth was founded as a town in 1820 to house British settlers. It is the second-oldest city and the fifth-largest in South Africa. Life here revolves around the ocean. The city caters for everyone, and is known as a great family vacation centre.
This charming port city is also known as Buffalo City because it lies between the Nahoon and Buffalo rivers. It is the only river port in the country. The East London Museum has some fascinating displays, which include the last known dodo egg in the world.
Jeffreys Bay, or J Bay, is situated in the heart of the Sunshine Coast. It is famous as one of the best surfing spots in the world, and in July each year, the world’s top surfers flock to the city for the Billabong Pro event. But the town also has more to offer – there’s skydiving, sandboarding, and whale and dolphin watching.
This is the only city in South Africa to be surrounded by a national park – the Cambedoo National Park. Founded in 1786, Graaff-Reinet has been a traveller's oasis in South Africa's semi-arid desert – the Karoo – for more than two centuries. It has magnificent examples of Cape Dutch architecture.
Port Alfred is a popular holiday destination along the Eastern Cape’s Sunshine Coast. There’s plenty to do here, including taking in its great beaches, water sports (kitesurfing and water-skiing) and diving among the reefs off the coast. The popular Fish River Sun is about 20 minutes’ drive from Port Alfred.
This little village is a popular holiday destination. There are great beaches, rock pools and sheltered bays with plenty of opportunities for water sports like fishing and canoeing. From April to December the village is a good place to do some whale watching. It is also close to a number of inland game reserves.