Eastern Cape

Big Five safaris in the malaria-free Eastern Cape game reserves. The Karoo interior offers stunning scenery, wilderness safaris and frontier history.

Overview

The Eastern Cape is known for its scenic diversity and adventure. It is packed with raw beauty ranging from lush coastal forests to arid desert landscapes.

A focal point of the Eastern Cape is its malaria free game reserves. On the Coast, the attractive sandy beaches of the Wild Coast, the Ciskei and St Francis Bay are backed by forested dunes, and rolling pastures, offering some of the most unspoilt coastal scenery in South Africa. Inland lies the immensely beautiful Karoo with its majestic panoramas and frontier history.

The Eastern cape offers malaria free game-viewing and stunning scenery. The temperate climate and gently undulating hills lend themselves to game viewing.  With fewer trees obscuring sightings, no malaria, and better vantage points, it is easy to see why. There is a choice of game lodges to suit everyone from honeymoon couples to families. Groups of friends or family parties can enjoy some of the smaller safari lodges on an exclusive basis.

The Eastern Cape is one of the prime malaria free safari areas of South Africa. The Addo Elephant Park with its large and relaxed elephant herds is joined by several private game reserves. All offer big five safaris orientated towards families.

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Milandi Joubert

Africa Travel Specialist
Our experienced band of Safari Planners can create a bespoke plan for you. More enriching, more restorative and making more of a difference. Discover how working with a specialist adds value to your African adventure.

Features

Why you may love it

  • Malaria-free safaris.
  • Long sandy beaches at Kenton, Port St Alfred and St Francis Bay.
  • Family safaris & kid’s activities at many Eastern Cape game lodges.
  • Majestic Karoo scenery with superb star-gazing & cheetah sightings.
  • Superb links golf courses at Port Elizabeth, St Francis and Port St Alfred.

Explore the Eastern Cape map

When to visit Eastern Cape

November to March

Summer in Eastern Cape

The Eastern Cape is in the transitional climate zone between the Summer rainfall region of the north and east of South Africa and the Meditterranean climate of the Western Cape. The main characteristic is that rain is more evenly spread between summer and winter. Summer tends to be warm and humid with moderate rain. Game-viewing in the Eastern Cape is thus less seasonal than elsewhere in Southern Africa. This rainfall is quite high along the Wild Coast, whereas the interior of the Karoo tends to dry and hot.
AVG RAINFALL 44 mm
AVG DAYLIGHT 8 Hours
MAX TEMP 24 ℃ / 75 ℉
MIN TEMP 19 ℃ / 66 ℉

April to mid-May

Summer in Eastern Cape

This is a good time to visit as well as temperatures remain very pleasant and the rain is moderate.
AVG RAINFALL 55mm
AVG DAYLIGHT 7 Hours
MAX TEMP 21.5 ℃ / 71 ℉
MIN TEMP 13.5 ℃ / 57 ℉

Mid-May to August

Winter in Eastern Cape

These is our winter months which are characterised by cold winter nights, especially away from the coast but pleasant winter days of 20-22C. Though there is not much rain during the winter, game-viewing can be quite a cold experience. However many game lodges offer safari offers to warm up the experience.
AVG RAINFALL 59 mm
AVG DAYLIGHT 7 Hours
MAX TEMP 18 ℃ / 64 ℉
MIN TEMP 10 ℃ / 50 ℉

September to October

Summer in Eastern Cape

This is an attractive time to visit. Whales visit the coastal areas from July to November, peaking in number between September and October. The nights are much warmer and the days are sunny and warm but not hot. Great time for game-viewing.
AVG RAINFALL 63 mm
AVG DAYLIGHT 8 Hours
MAX TEMP 21 ℃ / 69 ℉
MIN TEMP 14 ℃ / 57 ℉

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Amakhala Bukela Staff Review

Bukela Lodge was my favourite lodge in the Amakhala Game Reserve, alongside Amakhala Safari Lodge. What I liked is the combination of personal service with understated luxury. Hosts play an important part in the safari business and all the staff at Bukela were friendly and attentive, very important when you arrive on a rather cold July evening!

We were immediately shown to our spacious rooms which were just the right mix of luxury and elegance. The fire was already roaring so that the room was deliciously warm. (Air-conditioning is available for the summer months when you want the room to be cooled). There's a cosy sitting room area with complimentary sherry and an interesting selection of coffee table books and a small alcove with the tea/coffee 'station' and minibar. The bathroom was semi open plan but the partial wall meant that people wanting privacy would not be on display to the rest of the room whilst bathing or showering.

We didn't have much time for a game drive but our guide was quietly knowledgeable and very enthusiastic about Amakhala, The reserve has a number of different eco-systems which makes for varied game-viewing and we enjoyed a morning coffee at a stunning viewpoint overlooking the steeply wooden valley with its river far below.

TIP: Ask for room 4 if you want a secluded romantic experience with four poster bed, but note that this means you are also furthest from the swimming pool and main lodge.

Cedarberg : Kate Bergh

Experiences in Eastern Cape

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Did you know
  • HealthMalaria free
  • Famous peopleBirth and resting place of Nelson Mandela