The Eastern Cape province includes the former "homelands" of Transkei and Ciskei. With a long coastline on the Indian Ocean it offers great beaches as well as several interesting National Parks. It`s population is mainly Xhosa and the province is home to several of South Africa`s most important persons in the fight against Apartheid (e.g. Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki, Steve Biko and Oliver Tambo). It`s still a poor province espescially in the former homelands.
The main gateways to the Eastern cape are:
The main motorway in the province is the N2. It runs along the coast from Cape Town via the Garden Route to Port Elizabeth and further on to East London, the Transkei and Durban. The road condition is mainly excellent except in the Transkei.
Port Elizabeth and East London are the main airports both with several flights daily to other South African destinations and a very little range of international flights (mainly to the neighbouring countries)
Definitely the best option if you are more than two as several regions and some of the National Parks aren`t accessible by public transport. Road Conditions are mainly good but get informed before you start. Car rental is available in larger cities and along the popular resorts of the Garden Route.
The main companies cross the Eastern Cape on their way from Cape Town to Durban. There are other main routes from Port Elizabeth and East London to Johannesburg.
The Baz Bus transverse the province on its Cape Town - Port Elizabeth - Durban run making PE a compulsory overnight stop.
Minibus services are available for local transport between neighbouring towns (and also on several longer distances)
With the limited range of railways this isn`t a real option for touring the province.
Port Elizabeth: the provincial capital and major transportation hub East London: Gateway to the Wild Coast Grahamstown: University town with a colonial English atmosphere Graaff-Reinet: a national heritage site and the classical example of an inland town. Wild Coast: spectacular scenery and only a few tourists make this an out-off-the-beaten track destination Tsittikama National Park: not as spectacular as some of the other National Parks it offers superb coastlines, whale watching and excellent hiking. Addo National Park: once famous for the elephants this park is after the unification with Zuurberg NP one of South Africa`s largest.
Visit the bustling cities of Port Elizabeth or East London before heading on for the Wild Coast.
The Garden Route is a major tourist destination with a broad range of accommodation in all ranges as is Port Elizabeth. East of East London and more inland accommodation is a little bit more limited but their will always be an option.