Escape to the wonder of the Eastern Cape
It has been more than a month since travelling was banned and life as we knew it took a drastic turn, blowing all travel plans.
With Covid-19 infections increasing by the day globally, our globe-trotting goals have flown out the window, and while it remains unclear when we’ll be setting foot in our favourite holiday destinations again, it won’t hurt to take this time to plan our post-lockdown trips to a tee.
Plan your Eastern Cape sho’t left by following this itinerary, guiding you to a mix of the province’s best destinations and experiences as recommended by the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency.
Planning a trip to visit these beautiful places in the future will at least give one something exciting to look forward to, while under lockdown.
Morgan Bay breakaway — two nights
Head to Morgan Bay and enjoy time on the beach with family, a friend or good book, hire a canoe and enjoy a paddle on the lagoon or book a horse riding excursion.
Spread these activities out over two days.
Enjoy a lunch or dinner at Yellowoods Forest Lodge or at the Morgan Bay Hotel if you fancy a break from self-catering.
Enjoy sundowners and a selfie moment on the Morgan Bay cliffs.
Overnight at an establishment of your choice.
Areena and Chintsa — two nights
Head out to Areena Riverside Resort and book into the camp site or one of the chalets or rondavels.
Experience the double zip line, a quad bike game drive, a paddle in a canoe on the river or fishing from the banks of the river.
An on-site restaurant allows one to pack light. Otherwise enjoy a self-catered braai and an evening under the stars.
After breakfast, take a short drive to Chintsa East and stop at the Emeraldvale Brewery for a craft beer experience.
Continue through to Chintsa, check into your accommodation, and enjoy some time on the beach, book a beach horse ride or surf lesson or just kick back and relax.
If staying at Crawfords Beach Lodge, you can enjoy a game of pool or tennis or just enjoy cocktails on the deck while looking out for whale or dolphin activity in the ocean.
Mountain Escape — two nights
Hogsback offers the ideal outdoor mountain escape.
Visit the local arts, craft and chocolate shop and take a walk to the famous Madonna and Child or Kettle Spout waterfalls.
Walk the Labyrinth at the Edge, visit the Dianna Graham Eco Shrine, hire a mountain bike and explore a forest trail, dine at one of the local eateries, enjoy a fireside dinner or just recharge your batteries in a beautiful garden surrounded by nature.
Spend the night at any one of the local establishments that suits your budget. Self-catering options are available.
Sunshine Coast — two nights
Travel to Bathurst for a browse around the arts and craft shops and enjoy a lunch at a local eatery amid the banter of the locals.
Visit the famous Big Pineapple and then head through to Port Alfred or Kenton-on-Sea to enjoy a change of coastal and river scenery.
Local shops are available to stock up on self-catering items and restaurants are available for that special cocktail, mocktail, coffee and lunch or dinner.
Book a river cruise up the Kowie, Bushmans or Kariega river or just enjoy a walk along one of the blue flag beaches.
Both destinations have lovely curio shops to explore.
Cross the Kei — two nights
Enjoy brunch in Morgans Bay and cross the Great Kei river using the local pontoon.
Head to Trennerys or Seagulls hotel for a true Wild Coast breakaway.
Book an excursion to the Gates and learn something about the local culture with Trevors Trails.
Enjoy a beach walk to view the remnants of the Jacaranda wreck, enjoy the Saturday night seafood buffet and make the most of the hotel facilities on offer.
Overnight at the one of the hotels and enjoy being catered for.
Big 7 breakaway — two nights
At Addo Elephant National Park, enjoy a self-guided game drive and a packed picnic lunch at one of the designated picnic spots or treat yourself to lunch at the main camp restaurant.
In the afternoon, drive to Port Elizabeth, to check in to your accommodation.
A variety of accommodation exists, from hotels, guest houses and B & B’s to self-catering apartments and camp sites.
Treat yourself to dinner at any of the many restaurants Port Elizabeth has to offer.
On the morning of day two, a marine safari awaits you with one of the licensed whale and dolphin watching operators and, in the afternoon, take some time out to explore the Route 67 tour, a beachfront Segway ride or enjoy some retail therapy, ten pin bowling, ice-skating or an Imax movie at Baywest mall or some craft beer tasting at Beershack, Richmond Hill Brewing Company or Bridgestreet Brewery, ending off with another delectable dinner at a local eatery.
Coffee Bay — two nights
In Coffee Bay, accommodation options range from a stay at a backpacker lodge or an all-inclusive two nights at one of the local hotels.
Take a trip to the famous hole in the wall, sign up for a surf lesson and enjoy a leisurely beach stroll or pamper yourself with a massage.
Coffee Bay and Hole in the Wall offer a great weekend escape and many of the accommodation establishments offer guided excursions around the area.
Port St Johns — two nights
Travel to Port St Johns, where there is a variety of guest house, backpacker lodge and bed and breakfast accommodation establishments.
Enjoy sundowners at the air strip, with breathtaking views of the Umzimvubu River and the ocean.
Visit the Silaka Nature Reserve and enjoy a beach and nature walk and, at the Isinuka Sulphur pools, experience the healing qualities of the mud.
Book a tour through one of the local establishments for a river cruise or a trip to see the nearby Magwa Falls.
Port St Johns is also a well-known fishing destination, so update your fishing licence, pack your gear and try to hook a big one for an evening fish braai.