Eastern Cape

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


The Eastern Cape is known for it’s scenic diversity and adventure. It is packed with raw beauty ranging from lush forests to arid dessert with exciting experiences in each region.

A focal point of the Eastern Cape is its Game Reserves.  Eastern Cape safaris offer malaria free game-viewing and stunning scenery as well as fascinating frontier history. 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 are able to lease some of the smaller safari lodges on an exclusive basis.

On the Coast, the attractive sandy beaches of the Wild Coast are backed by forested dunes, and rolling pastures, offering some of the most unspoilt coastal scenery in the country. Inland lies the immensely beautiful Karoo with its majestic panoramas and distinctive vegetation.

Highlights of the Eastern Cape

  • 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
  • Easy to combine with a Garden Route trip
  • Attractive Cape Dutch colonial architecture in historic Graaff-Reinet
  • Superb links golf courses at Port Elizabeth, St Francis and Port St Alfred

Family safaris

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 reserve. All offer big five safaris orientated towards families. These include some of the lodges at Shamwari, Kwandwe, Lalibela, Kariega and Amakhala game reserves.

When to visit

The Eastern Cape is in a transitional climate zone that  doesn’t have a distinct winter or summer rainfall pattern (though the rain falls mainly at night which is good). So it stays fairly lush and green year round. Generally the best time to visit is from late August to early May. The winter months can get very cold inland, though the coast stays warmer.

The Eastern Cape is often combined with the Garden Route as you simply drive east from the Garden Route to Port Elizabeth and the malaria-free game reserves beyond (3½ hours drive from Plettenberg Bay to get to many of the Eastern Cape game lodges).

Where To Go