South Africa’s Eastern Cape is a diverse and captivating province known for its stunning landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and historical significance.

One of the most prominent features of the Eastern Cape is its natural beauty. The province boasts a wide range of landscapes, from the rugged Wild Coast, with its dramatic cliffs and pristine beaches, to the rolling hills and lush valleys of the Eastern Cape Midlands. Inland, you’ll find the picturesque Amathole Mountains and the vast open plains of the Karoo. The province is also home to numerous national parks and game reserves, including the fabulous Shamwari Private Game Reserve and the renowned Addo Elephant National Park, which is famous for its elephant herds and diverse wildlife. The Eastern Cape is also malaria free so it makes for an easy safari destination to access the ‘Big 5’.

The Eastern Cape is a melting pot of cultures and traditions, with a rich history deeply intertwined with South Africa’s past. It is the birthplace of many prominent South African figures, including Nelson Mandela and Steve Biko. The provincial capital, Port Elizabeth, also known as Nelson Mandela Bay, is a vibrant city with a rich industrial and maritime heritage.

One of the Eastern Cape’s unique cultural aspects is its strong connection to the Xhosa people. This province is the heartland of Xhosa culture and is often referred to as the “cradle of the nation.” Visitors can explore traditional villages, interact with local communities, and witness age-old customs and rituals that have been preserved for generations.

The Eastern Cape is a hub for adventure and outdoor enthusiasts. It offers a wide range of activities, such as hiking in the Amatola Mountains, surfing along the Wild Coast, and exploring the lush Tsitsikamma Forest. The province is also a popular destination for wildlife safaris, birdwatching, and eco-tourism, making it a paradise for nature lovers.

The province’s economy is diverse, with industries ranging from agriculture to manufacturing, contributing significantly to South Africa’s overall economic landscape. The Eastern Cape is known for its agricultural output, particularly in citrus fruit production and livestock farming.

The Eastern Cape is a province of remarkable diversity, offering a blend of breathtaking landscapes, cultural heritage, and outdoor adventures. Whether you’re interested in exploring its wild and rugged coastlines, immersing yourself in the Xhosa culture, or embarking on thrilling outdoor activities, the Eastern Cape has something to offer everyone. This province is a true gem within the rainbow nation.


Our favourite luxury hotels

Shamwari Eagles Crag, Eastern Cape, South Africa

Shamwari Eagles Crag – Shamwari Private Game Reserve

Experience the epitome of luxury at Shamwari Eagles Crag, a true embodiment of ultimate opulence. Nestled in a picturesque valley, this sanctuary caters to the most discerning of travellers with thrilling game drives. With a total of nine superior suites, privacy is paramount in their design. Each suite features a private deck complete with a pool and both indoor and outdoor showers. Adorned in light, contemporary colours and adorned with expansive wall-to-wall glass doors on two sides, these suites offer breathtaking vistas of the surrounding cliffs.

Sindile Safari Lodge, Shamwari Private Game Reserve, South Africa

Sindile Safari Lodge – Shamwari Private Game Reserve

Sindile is a secluded and opulent retreat nestled deep within the African veld. This luxury tented camp is designed to emulate the isolated haven of a solitary leopard, the camp seamlessly merges into the bush surroundings, offering breathtaking perspectives of the Bushman’s River and the adjacent plains. Elevated above the bush, the 9 luxurious standalone tents afford unobstructed vistas, free from the intrusion of any artificial structures or light pollution. The thoughtfully crafted and intimate design of the camp minimizes its impact on the environment.

Bayethe Lodge - Shamwari Private Game Reserve, South Africa

Bayethe Lodge – Shamwari Private Game Reserve

Bayethe, meaning ‘I salute you’, stands as an exquisite tented haven seamlessly blending into the lush bushveld surroundings. This retreat offers lavish lodging, exceptional dining, and bespoke hospitality. Nestled along the riverbanks and concealed amidst trees, Bayethe features 12 sumptuous tents. These en-suite rooms boast wooden flooring, canvas walls, and sliding doors opening onto private decks with plunge pools. For an indulgent, malaria-free getaway, Bayethe Safari Lodge is your ultimate choice. This treetop sanctuary ensures seclusion and intimacy.

Riverdene Family Safari Lodge - Shamwari Private Game Reserve, South Africa

Riverdene Family Safari Lodge – Shamwari Private Game Reserve

Riverdene Lodge is a welcoming retreat designed for families, boasting nine interconnected luxurious rooms. Its amenities include a stunning rim flow pool, a supervised playroom, expansive green lawns, and a jungle gym. The air-conditioned rooms offer chic en suite sandstone bathrooms, private lounge areas, and balconies that open up to beautifully landscaped gardens.  Upon arrival, the children’s coordinator will chat with you about activity choices, while child minding services are provided for small children as those under four aren’t allowed on game drives.

Sarili Private Lodge, Shamwari Private Game Reserve, South Africa

Sarili Private Lodge – Shamwari Private Game Reserve

Sarili Lodge, a charming eco-conscious private villa with a thatched roof, boasts a generous deck offering stunning views of the Bushman’s River. Nestled in the southern sector of the reserve, it gazes out onto the expansive plains. Its decor echoes a bygone era of traditional farmhouses, blending seamlessly with the natural surroundings. With 5 suites accommodating up to 10 guests, the lodge features a swimming pool, dining area, lounge, and a dedicated space for youngsters. A delightful courtyard awaits for braai gatherings, complete with a special kids menu and childminders.

Kwandwe Great Fish River Lodge, Eastern Cape, South Africa

Kwandwe Great Fish River Lodge – Kwandwe Private Game Reserve

Nestled alongside the verdant banks of the river, which lends its name to this haven, every facet of the lodge has been meticulously crafted to accentuate the boundless panorama. A lengthy wooden pathway encircles the primary lounge, seamlessly integrating natural elements into the interior spaces. Here, the boundary between the outdoors and indoors blurs harmoniously. Your stay includes one of the nine charming thatched and stone suites, each with foldable glass doors that open onto private balconies graced by plunge pools. The grandeur of Fish River Lodge knows no bounds.

Kwandwe Ecca Lodge, Kwandwe Private Game Reserve, South Africa

Kwandwe Ecca Lodge – Kwandwe Private Game Reserve

Ecca Lodge boasts stunning vistas of steep shale cliffs overlooking a lush valley where its expansive wooden platforms offer an ideal spot to immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the bushveld. The rooms are spacious and airy, blurring the lines between indoors and the African wilderness with a subtle separation. Each of the 6 elegant suites has a generous en-suite bathroom, both indoor and outdoor showers, and dual basins for his and her use. Expansive wooden decks seamlessly connect sitting rooms and bedrooms to private plunge pools and outdoor showers.

Fort House Kwandwe

Kwandwe Fort House – Kwandwe Private Game Reserve

This secluded villa is a stunning blend of design and wilderness, seamlessly fitting into Kwandwe’s rugged beauty. Step onto the veranda for exclusive views of a private waterhole and the vast Great Fish River valley. The open plains provide an unparalleled wildlife spectacle, where animals roam freely. With two luxurious master suites, two classic rooms, sprawling living spaces, a wine cellar, & a refreshing pool, Fort House is an idyllic retreat. Indulge in treats from the guest pantry, relax in the study, or unwind with a spa treatment—all while a discreet team ensures every need is met.

Samara Karoo Lodge, Samara Private Game Reserve, South Africa

Samara Karoo Lodge – Samara Private Game Reserve

Samara Karoo Lodge, a meticulously renovated farmhouse, harmoniously blends contemporary luxuries with an authentic safari experience. Accommodation at Karoo Lodge comprises 10 suites across two room types: eight Karoo Suites and two Karoo Family Suites, sleeping up to 24 guests. Embracing guests with its welcoming ambiance, the lodge features candlelit dinners gracing the verandah, a snug bar area, and an array of antiquities, cherished family heirlooms, and vintage books sprinkled throughout its spaces. Cheetah tracking on foot is one of the highlights at Samara.

The Manor at Samara – Samara Private Game Reserve

The Manor is a graceful 4-suite villa, a stunning refuge amidst the semi-arid terrain. Its design, a fusion of local essence and contemporary flair, exudes warmth and uniqueness. Upon arrival you are immediately captivated by the expansive glass double doors, adorned by intricate African art and Karoo relics, leading to a majestic infinity pool overlooking awe-inspiring vistas. The Manor caters perfectly to families and groups seeking seclusion, luxury, and pure serenity. Exclusive bookings grant guests access to a private vehicle, guide, chef, and host, along with a personalised list of activities.

Settlers Drift, Kariega Game Reserve, South Africa

Settlers Drift – Kariega Game Reserve

Settlers Drift sits within the remote haven of the Kariega wilderness, redefining luxury with a fusion of tented safari charm and five-star opulence. Among the nine expansive tented suites, each spanning 110m², guests enjoy a lavish blend of living spaces, sumptuous bedrooms, both indoor and outdoor showers, and a secluded viewing deck overlooking the panoramic vistas of the Reserve and the meandering Bushman’s River. Enhance your safari adventure by embarking on a serene boat cruise along the Bushmans River, where an abundance of river birdlife thrives.

Gorah Elephant Camp, Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa

Gorah Elephant Camp – Addo Elephant National Park

Gorah Elephant Camp holds the distinction of being the pioneering ‘Big Five’ private concession established within a National Park. This exclusive retreat is situated amidst the captivating landscape of the malaria-free Addo Elephant National Park. Beyond its impressive elephant population, the camp is also home to iconic species like lion, cape buffalo, and black rhino. The camp’s 11 luxurious tented suites, designed in the timeless colonial safari style, provide generous space and ultimate comfort plus exceptional cuisine with views out to the waterhole.