The Eastern Cape has been somewhat overshadowed by the Western and Kwazulu Natal when it comes to tourism, but increasingly people are seeking new places to visit. The rugged Eastern Cape Coast, the homeland of Nelson Mandela, and the wildlife in Addo Elephant Park are just three things that are taking locals and foreigners alike to the Port Elizabeth end of the Garden Route and beyond. Using a town such as Mthatha as a base, there is so much to see and do. There is an air connection with other major cities, and one of the Nelson Mandela museums is nearby once you are settled in and want to look around the locality.
Man has swallowed up land for his own use over time, and wildlife has inevitably suffered. South Africa’s reputation for conservation is strong. Kruger Park is a huge area set aside for wildlife and research, and tourists travel from all parts of the world to see it. In the Eastern Cape, indigenous species have found it much more difficult to survive. However, there have been concerted efforts to reverse the trend, and Addo, north of one of the Eastern Cape’s largest cities, Port Elizabeth, has been expanded to provide visitors with another chance of glimpsing the famous “Big Five.”
It was initially formed to protect elephants. The King of the Beasts, the lion, has successfully settled in Addo, where organised game drives can show tourists the wonders of South African wildlife.
The Wild Coast and Its Hinterland
Further east, there is the Wild Coast, a natural coastline with rugged cliffs and sandy bays, a place where tourists can enjoy nature without the crowds. Depending on the time of year, there is the Sardine Run and predatory fishes and mammals looking for an easy meal.
Inland, of course, is the homeland of many famous politicians, headed by Nelson Mandela, whose last resting place was in his home village of Qunu.
Those people who initially fell in love with South Africa usually went to Cape Town and its nearby Winelands or to Kruger Park. Those who wanted to see more of the countryside often travelled along the Garden Route on South Africa’s southern coast between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, stopping along the way to explore. This remains a popular route for a holiday, but increasingly tourists are looking to new areas, and the Eastern Cape is benefiting.
Mthatha accommodation is meeting the standards they have come to expect, and the growing town is an ideal base for those who wish to see more. Tsogo Sun Hotels can offer hotels for both the businessman and tourists, together with advice on the region as a whole. The Internet’s interactive properties mean that everything can be booked online without the slightest inconvenience.