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Introducing Eastern Cape

From uninhabited desert expanses to lush tropical forests, from seriously easygoing hammock time to adrenalin-pumping adventures, the Eastern Cape offers up a wide range of topography and experiences. Compared to the much wealthier and more developed Western Cape, it can feel like a different country and provides an opportunity to gain familiarity with Xhosa culture. Some of the finest hiking trails wind their way along stunning coastlines and through mountainous, waterfall-filled landscapes.

Private wildlife reserves and national and regional parks abound; see the Big Five (lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhino) or migrating whales and dolphins. The imposing mountains and little-known valleys of the northeastern highlands are relatively unexplored. You’ll find stillness and tranquillity in the semiarid Karoo; seriously good surfing up and down the coast; and history (much of it bloody), including the legacy of some of the region’s famous sons – Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo and Steve Biko.