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Eastern Cape

Sufring Jeffreys BayThe Eastern Cape offers a wide variety of tourist attractions, including 800 km of untouched and pristine coastline, splendid beaches and "big-five" viewing in a malaria-free environment. The western interior is largely arid Karoo, while the coastal regions are well-watered and green.

Its popular tourist destinations include:

  • Jeffreys Bay, host to the annual Billabong pro, a surfer's paradise with many popular surfing beaches, including "supertubes", probably South Africa's longest and most consistently good wave. The area boasts with some of the country's wildest coastline, backed by some of Africa's most spectacular sub-tropical rain-forest.
  • The Addo Elephant National Park, a 743 km² sanctuary to 170 elephants, 400 Cape buffalo and 21 black rhino of the very scarce Kenyan sub-species.
  • South Africa's only Snow skiing resort, Tiffindell, situated near the hamlet of Rhodes in the Southern Drakensberg on the slopes of Ben Macdhui, the highest mountain peak in the Eastern Cape.
  • The Grahamstown National Arts Festival, Africa's largest and most colorful cultural event, offering a choice of the very best of both indigenous and imported talent. Every year for 11 days over 50,000 people flock to the region for a feast of arts, crafts and sheer entertainment.
  • The Tsitsikamma National Park, an 80 km long coastal strip between Nature's Valley and the mouth of the Storms River. Near the park is the Bloukrans Bridge and Bloukrans Bridge Bungy which is the world's third highest bungee jump.
  • Aliwal North is one of the country's most popular inland resorts and is famous for its hot springs.
  • The unspoilt Wild Coast is a place of spectacular scenery and a graveyard for many vessels.
  • Whittlesea, situated in the beautiful Amatola Mountains, is now famous for the first wine estate in the Eatern Cape.
  • Route 62 from the Langkloof to Port Elizabeth.

The climate in the Eatern Cape varies from region to region. The west is dry with sparse rain during winter or summer, with frosty winters and hot summers. From Tsitsikamma to Grahamstown receives more precipitation with mild temperatures. Further east rainfall becomes more plentiful and humidity increases, becoming more subtropical along the coast with summer rainfall. The interior can become very cold in winter, with heavy snowfalls occasionally in the mountainous regions between Molteno and Rhodes.