Eastern Cape Game Reserves Holidays

The Eastern Cape features expanses of untouched beach, bush and forest while boasting a wealth of flora and fauna, including the 'Big Five' in a malaria free environment. There are an outstanding selection of private game reserves, the famous Addo Elephant National Park with the densest elephant population in the world, and coastal waters teeming with marine life.

The city of Port Elizabeth is the gateway to the Eastern Cape and its many private game reserves. This import harbour town and industrial centre has an attractive atmosphere, wide beaches, some beautiful parks, landscaped gardens and an impressive promenade.

Within the last couple of decades the region has transformed vast tracts of fallow farmland into game sanctuaries making this a must-see destination, particularly with the added advantage of being malaria free and easily accessible.

Just over an hour's drive from Port Elizabeth in the malaria-free Sunday's River Valley is the Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa's third largest national park, which was set up in 1931 to protect the eleven elephants in the area. Today, it is home to over 600 elephants as well as lion, buffalo, black rhino, spotted hyena, leopard, antelope and zebra. The park can also exclusively claim to be the only national park in the world to conserve the 'Big Seven' – the 'Big Five' as well as the southern right whale and great white shark off the Algoa Bay Coast.

Along with Addo Elephant National Park, there are numerous private game reserves of between 6,000 and 25,000 hectares with luxuriously appointed accommodations and excellent game viewing. Whilst the terrain of low-lying scrubland is not the classic picture-postcard landscape of Africa, the vistas are huge and the game viewing opportunities abound. Our favourite private game reserves in the Eastern Cape include Kuzuko Lodge Game Reserve, Shamwari Game Reserve, Kariega Game Reserve and Pumba Private Game Reserve & Spa.

East London, South Africa's only river port city, is set on the broad Buffalo River and has sweeping beaches which extend for miles, while the river mouths, lagoons and gullies provide a paradise for fishing enthusiasts.

Let's not forget the aptly named Wild Coast, one of the world's most untouched scenic locations stretching from just outside East London to Port Edward, home to beautiful rugged beaches, shipwrecks and spectacular rock formations. This is also Xhosa tribal country, birthplace of Nelson Mandela and home of the inspiring Nelson Mandela Museum along with a landscape dotted by tribal huts and gentle rolling hills.

    Why visit Eastern Cape Game Reserves?
  • Malaria-free region
  • Fantastic Big Five game viewing
  • Wonderful game lodges
  • Incredible coastline


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Wide choice of tours and hotels in South Africa. Also includes Namibia, Botswana, Victoria Falls, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Uganda, Mozambique and Madagascar.

Where to stay in Eastern Cape Game Reserves

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Essential facts about Eastern Cape Game Reserves
Local Time

GMT +2 hours

Currency

South African Rand

Travel information

Port Elizabeth is the main city in the region and while there are no non-stop flights from the UK, there are flights available from Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban. Many also choose to drive via the Garden Route to the Eastern Cape.

Best time to go

Coastal cities have a subtropical and Mediterranean climate while inland the conditions are usually drier and hotter with lower levels of rainfall than at the coast. Temperatures are seldom extreme with summer temperatures ranging from 16-26ºC and winter 7-20ºC.

Travelling with children

Parents travelling with children into or out of South Africa may be asked to show the child’s unabridged full birth certificate, and where only one parent is accompanying, parental or legal consent for the child to travel (eg an affidavit from the other parent, a court order or – if applicable – a death certificate). You should travel with these documents in case you’re asked to provide them. There are other requirements for children travelling unaccompanied or with adults who are not their parents. For more information, contact the South African High Commission www.southafricahouseuk.com or the South African Department of Home Affairs www.dha.gov.za.