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Eastern Cape and Great Karoo

Stretching from Port Elizabeth (now: Gqeberha) in the West to East London in the East this coastal route deserves its name - the Sunshine Coast. With over a million hectares of malaria-free game reserves and long beaches basking in sunshine, this region offers the perfect base from which to explore this part of South Africa's magnificent coastline and the interior.

Port Elizabeth, fondly known as "the friendly city" and often referred to as PE has officially been renamed on 23 February 2021 to Gqeberha - a Xhosa word for the Baakens River which flows through the city. Gqeberha offers a diverse selection of attractions for the whole family. The 40 km of Algoa Bay’s coastline offer superb beaches and warm, protected waters, making this a haven for watersports enthusiasts. Algoa Bay is regarded as one of the best sailing venues in the world, while scuba diving is of world class quality with beautiful reefs, shipwrecks, fish and colourful coral species.

Port Alfred, a picturesque town situated exactly half way between Port Elizabeth and East London has more sunny days than any other town along the Sunshine Coast. Here your holiday can be as relaxed or as energetic as you wish, from quiet walks on beautiful beaches to hiking the numerous mountain trails, or surfing the famous break at East Beach.

Nestled in the Sundays River Valley, just 41 km northeast of Gqeberha, you will find Addo National Elephant Park, home to a herd of over 350 elephant and other game. Addo is now the third largest National Park in South Africa and stretches some 90 000 hectares to the coast. The park includes the Big 7 (leopard, lion, elephant, rhino, buffalo, whales and dolphins).

The Karoo is the vast central plateau of South Africa, a semi-desert land of sweeping skies and wide horizons where nature reigns majestic. As an eco-tourism destination the Karoo is a land like no other, offering a diversity of scenery, fauna, flora, history and cultures. The Camdeboo National Park is surrounding the picturesque town of Graaff-Reinet and provides you an insight into this unique landscape.

Formed millions of years ago by the erosive and volcanic forces of nature, The Valley of Desolation is a national monument within the Karoo Nature Reserve high above the historic town of Graaff Reinet. Here sheer cliffs and percariously balanced columns of dolerite rise 120m from the valley floor.

The Mountain Zebra National Park provides a sanctuary for the rare Cape Mountain Zebra as well as herds of eland, springbok and kudu. The proclamation of the park in 1937 saved the zebras from extinction, and currently their population stands at approximately 300. Its 6 000 hectares boost scenery from grass covered plateaus to wooded ravines.

The Great Karoo's towns, from its smallest villages to the gracious town of Graaff-Reinet, are just as fascinating as the vast country surrounding them.

Eastern Cape and Great Karoo - Map

Eastern Cape and Great Karoo Map, South Africa

 East Coast - Climate

East Coast Climate

The East Coast receives approximately 920mm of rainfall and over 2600 sunshine hours each year.

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