Eastern CapeDelight in over 800 km of pristine coastline along the warm Indian Ocean - a haven for water sport enthusiasts; take in the thrill of abundant wildlife in over 40 game reserves - a year-round, malaria free Big 5 game viewing paradise; explore its heritage routes and trails; and discover its unique history, authentic cultural experiences, frontier forts and ancient rock art.
This spectacular eco-tourism destination boasts extremely rich biodiversity of national and international significance with seven of South Africa’s nine biomes (bio-geographic regions); over 3500 endemic plant species found nowhere else on earth; many internationally recognised important birding areas; and diversity of natural terrain offering unique wilderness and coastal experiences.
Jeffreys BayInternational surfers flock to catch the legendary waves in this, a paradise of sunshine, aloes, dolphins, shells, perfect points and classic reefs. The Supertubes is world renowned for its great waves and has attracted the annual Billabong Surfing Contest. If you’re not a pro yet, stay long enough to sign up for some surfing lessons.
Surfers and others, who found it hard to leave such an idyllic spot have turned Jeffreys Bay into a year round fun place to be, creating a thriving local craft industry besides the surf shops on just about every corner. The bustling town is bordered on both sides by nature reserves and rivers. Soak up the sunshine, enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and have a wonderful stay. A wide variety of shops reflect the diversity of local talents. A good selection of coffee shops, fast food take aways and restaurants cater for every culinary taste, from fine dining to barefoot on the beach.
One of the Plus Points of the Eastern Cape is that it is a malaria free area, which is the answer for those who are not keen on entering the game reserves up north in the Kruger Park and surrounding areas which are prone to malaria carrying mosquitoes. Choose between national parks such as the Mountain Zebra or the Addo Elephant National Parks, or the many private game reserves with accommodation varying from luxury 5-star and comfortable 4-star to budget 3-star lodges.
Addo Elephant National ParkBefore the 1700s the Eastern Cape was teeming with wildlife and elephants. But hunting for ivory between the 1700s and the 1900s had exterminated most of the elephants in the area. Only isolated herds remained and the largest of these, in the Addo region, estimated at 140 elephants. With the development of farmlands, elephants were declared a nuisance in damaging crops and many more were shot before 1920. When only 11 elephants remained, they suddenly got publicity and sympathy and a huge area of land was proclaimed as the Addo Elephant National Park. Slowly the elephant numbers grew to 100 in 1979 and today there are over 400 elephants in the Park. The last of the buffaloes were also protected and Eland, Burchell's zebra, warthog, black rhino, hippo and mountain zebra were introduced and the park further expanded to the "Greater Addo Region". Through the combined efforts of the SA National Parks and donor agencies the Park has expanded to its present size of over 148 000ha. The end result makes the Addo the third largest National Park in South Africa after the Kruger and Kgalagadi Parks and the only Park in the world to showcase the "Big Seven" - apart from the usual Big Five, (lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and rhino) also the two largest sea animals, (whales and sharks) as it now stretches down to the south coast. Book your Big Five Safari now.
At one of the main waterhole viewing points it is not unusual to see groups of elephants up to 50 at a time! Guided safari game drives on open vehicles are available, or drive your own or hire car on your self-drive game drive (which is not allowed in the private game reserves).
Wild CoastThe Wild Coast is in the south-eastern part of South Africa and stretches 250 very rugged kilometres from the Kei River in the south to the Mthamvuma River on the border of KwaZulu-Natal. Its hilly terrain and political history have made it less accessible and less open to development than the rest of SA, and this, together with the unpredictable waves and rocky shores that have wrecked so many ships over the centuries, gives it its name.
The area is home to the Xhosa people, the country's second-largest tribal group. During the last half of the 20th Century the area was known as the Transkei and was administered as an "independent" homeland by the Apartheid government of the day. It is now part of the country's Eastern Cape Province but, to a greater extent than anywhere else in the country, has retained a traditional ethos, with tribal justice being dispensed by the King and his Chiefs and Headmen. Another result of its troubled past is that the area has largely escaped western-style building and industrial development. In fact, it has retained such an "African" feel that it is popular as a movie location for films set in the remotest parts of the continent.
Port St JohnsThe idyllic town of Port St Johns is the unofficial capital of the Wild Coast and is often referred to as its "Emerald Gem." Its location is probably the most exotic in the country, with a dramatic approach through the golden cliffs lining the Umzimvubu River (SA's 4th largest), and surrounded by thousands of hectares of rare Afromontane jungle, with mile upon mile of pristine beaches and spectacular cliffs stretching into the distance. Port St Johns was named after the Sao Joao, a Portuguese caravel which was wrecked here in the 16th Century.
Prompted by the growth of the colony of Natal and the growing number of ships sailing up the coast, the town was established in 1878 as a supply port. However, with the increased range of more modern ships, its importance declined, and with the silting of the Umzimvubu River mouth in the early 1940's, the port was closed.
Today the town remains the biggest on the Wild Coast, and actually consists of two hamlets, First Beach and Second Beach, seperated by a 5 km jungle- and village-lined road. The town has a very casual feel to it, but First Beach is its busy centre and there are several accommodation establishments ranging from guest houses to B&B’s. Second Beach is more laid-back and consists of a few more establishments and restaurants arranged around a beautiful little lagoon fringed with banana trees.
Due to its isolation in the midst of so much jungle, Port St Johns' climate is unique. The scientific name is Afromontane forest, and this is one of the few remaining patches left on earth. It contains subspecies of flora and fauna found only here, in particular the extremely rare southern subsecies of the endangered Samango Monkey, several troops of which are seen daily around the town. Cape Parrots, which are dependant on the predominantly Yellowood forests, are also present - some of the estimated 300 remaining in the wild.
|Fahren Sie auf Safari im malariafreien Ostkap und besuchen eins der Wildparks|