The Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency (ECPTA) has developed a new Coastal Route covering over 500 miles of pristine coastline spanning the length of the Eastern Cape. The province is rich in biodiversity with contrasting landscapes featuring primeval coastal forests and white sandy beaches, diverse wildlife, ancient rock art and Xhosa culture, offering the intrepid explorer an adventure of a lifetime.
The new Coastal Route will appeal to both self-drive and group tourists looking for an authentic and memorable travel experience. The Route is divided into eight (8) regional routes which will take travelers to the Eastern Cape’s less explored and off-the-beaten-track attractions to discover the heart and soul of the province. The eight (8) regional routes include Baviaans, Tsitsikamma Adventure, Kouga, Frontier Country, Sunshine Coast, Amathole Mountain Escape, the Wild Coast, and Greater Addo. The route incorporates suggested itineraries based on interesting things to see and do as well as value-for-money local accommodation which are sure to extend visitor stays in the province.
The benefit of the Coastal Route is that it will highlight not only the Eastern Cape’s well known and iconic attractions such as the Mkhambati Nature Reserve, Addo Elephant National Park and the province’s amazing beaches and surfing spots, but it will also take travelers to some of the undiscovered places of natural beauty. For sand dune enthusiasts, the 6,500 year old Coastal Dune Field found at Alexandria is the largest shifting dune field in the Southern Hemisphere and has been nominated for listing as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Other attractions include the Amathole Mountain Escape and Port St John, Jewel of the Wild Coast.
For those interested in history and culture, tourists can view ancient man-made fish traps at Cape St Frances; experience Grahamstown, a small city which boasts more than 70 heritage sites including a cathedral and the surrounding Victorian and Edwardian shop fronts on the Church Square; spend time visiting the final resting place of Sarah (Saartjie) Baartman the “Hottentot Venus” in Hankey, visit the Xhosa cultural hub of the province in the Wild Coast and experience mouth watering dishes in East London, surrounding game reserves and in Port Alfred.
At Tsitsikamma adrenalin junkies can participate in the highest bungee jump in the world, take a treetop canopy tour or go black water tubing. Those who like their thrills a little more sedate, can spend a few days at one of the many 5-star game lodges, play golf, go fishing or just relax at a spa. The Eastern Cape has it all. Other highlights along the Route include Jeffrey’s Bay, home of the best right hand wave in the world; Port Elizabeth, a water sport paradise offering every conceivable coastal and marine recreational experience one could think of including the added thrill of deep sea diving to explore a few of the 300 ships wrecked in nearby Algoa Bay. There are 6 blue flag beaches along the coastal route including the world-renowned kite-surfing spot at Cannon