Best of the Eastern Cape

Top itineraries and travel advice in and around Eastern Cape
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A stunning sunset on the Western Cape
Map of Guide to South Africa's Top Regions: Where to Go for Safari, Culture, Hiking, & More
Guide to South Africa's Top Regions: Where to Go for Safari, Culture, Hiking, & More

South Africa's scenery is as diverse as its culture, providing an exemplary setting for an activity-packed trip. Below we've outlined the Rainbow Nation's nine provinces (and what they're best for)—plus two landlocked kingdoms—so you can choose your own adventure, whether it's big game safaris, apartheid history, hiking and biking trails, indigenous villages, or world-class vineyards. Read on to learn more.

V&A Waterfront art
Map of South Africa Adventure: Cape Town, Winelands, & Eastern Cape Safari - 7 Days
South Africa Adventure: Cape Town, Winelands, & Eastern Cape Safari - 7 Days

Find some of the most famous attractions in Cape Town and its surroundings on this seven-day saunter. Drive along the coastal cliffs to natural sights like the Cape of Good Hope, paddle through Table Bay at sunrise, and cycle through the vineyards of the Winelands before you make your way out to a safari on the Eastern Cape.

Penguins aplenty
Map of South Africa Adventure: Cape Town, Winelands, & Eastern Cape Safari - 9 Days
South Africa Adventure: Cape Town, Winelands, & Eastern Cape Safari - 9 Days

Follow the winding road to some of South Africa's most popular spots on this nine-day itinerary. You'll take a sidecar tour up the coast to the Cape of Good Hope, go on a cage dive next to great whites, and cross Table Bay before you keep going up to a bike tour of the Winelands and then out to a safari along the Eastern Cape.

Quayside, Cape Town
Map of South Africa Adventure: Cape Town, Winelands, & Eastern Cape Safari - 10 Days
South Africa Adventure: Cape Town, Winelands, & Eastern Cape Safari - 10 Days

Travel for 10 days through tantalizing South Africa on this trip plan. You'll bask in the sea air on your face as you take the scenic route up the coast, then feel the fins of great whites swimming past you on a cage dive. Relax in the Winelands as you enjoy their classic vintages, then go wildlife spotting on a safari on the Eastern Cape.

Kite surfers in Table Bay
Map of South Africa Adventure: Cape Town, Winelands, & Eastern Cape Safari - 12 Days
South Africa Adventure: Cape Town, Winelands, & Eastern Cape Safari - 12 Days

Take 12 days to travel through Cape Town and some of its nearby standouts with this itinerary. Whether you're atop Table Mountain, underwater next to great white sharks, or paragliding through the sky, you'll get a good look at the city. Leave Cape Town for its neighboring scenic Winelands, followed by a safari in the Eastern Cape to wrap up your adventure.

Tsitsikamma National Park
Map of Cape Town & Garden Route Adventure - 11 Days
Cape Town & Garden Route Adventure - 11 Days

Eleven days will allow you to encounter many of the highlights of the Western Cape with this itinerary. You'll start off in Cape Town with scenic city tours, wine tastings, and a shark dive before you set out on the Garden Route. This classic road trip will wind you through wilderness, wildlife, and more wine before loop back to Cape Town to depart.

Check out the towns on the Garden Route
Map of Cape Town & Garden Route Adventure - 12 Days
Cape Town & Garden Route Adventure - 12 Days

Combine a city break and classic road trip with this 12-day itinerary. Stroll through Cape Town's many attractions, whether on sandy Bloubergstrand Beach or the shops of the V&A Waterfront, before you duck under the vines of the Winelands' vineyards. Then get in your car for a drive filled with whale-watching, wildlife, and more.

Knysna's turaco
Map of South Africa Road Trip: Cape Town, Winelands, Garden Route, & Eastern Cape Safari - 14 Days
South Africa Road Trip: Cape Town, Winelands, Garden Route, & Eastern Cape Safari - 14 Days

Travel for two weeks through a tapestry of the Cape Town region's attractions with this trip plan. You'll start with Cape Town itself as your base for day trips into the Winelands and out to the Cape of Good Hope, then drive off through smaller cities and towns. Visit animal sanctuaries, ancient caves, national parks, and more before ending your trip with a classic safari.

Bloukran's Bridge
Map of Cape Town & Garden Route Adventure - 10 Days
Cape Town & Garden Route Adventure - 10 Days

Spend 10 days taking in the Western Cape with this trip plan. You'll explore Cape Town and see Table Mountain from both a distant beach and right under your feet, sample the wines of Stellenbosch, and dive in to a great white cage encounter before you hit the road on the Garden Route for canoeing, hiking, animal encounters, and more.

Ostrich family
Map of South Africa Family Adventure: Cape Town, Winelands, Garden Route, Safari, & More - 14 Days
South Africa Family Adventure: Cape Town, Winelands, Garden Route, Safari, & More - 14 Days

Sharks can give birth to up to 100 pups at once, so if your child asks to pet the pups on this itinerary, make sure you know what kind they're referring to. Learn about all sorts of small fry on this two-week trip through South Africa as you go from atop Table Mountain and pirate ship rigging in Cape Town to the farms and vineyards of the Winelands, followed by marine tours, cave excursions, swinging bridges, and safaris.

Tsitsikamma National Park
Map of South Africa Road Trip: Cape Town, Winelands, Garden Route, & Eastern Cape Safari - 15 Days
South Africa Road Trip: Cape Town, Winelands, Garden Route, & Eastern Cape Safari - 15 Days

Take yourself through some of the Cape Town's top spots with this 15-day road trip. Your trip begins with five days in Cape Town itself and its neighboring attractions, including the Cape of Good Hope, Table Mountain, and historic Robben Island. Then you'll get in your car and head to the relaxed town of Greyton, caves and animal reserves of Oudtshoorn, and Tsitsikamma National Park and the famed lagoon of Knysna, before you conclude with a safari in the Eastern Cape.

Cape White-Eye Bird
Map of Cape Town & Garden Route Adventure - 13 Days
Cape Town & Garden Route Adventure - 13 Days

Thirteen days through the Western Cape will thrill you with all that this region has to offer. Your trip begins in Cape Town, where you can enjoy views from on the shore, atop Table Mountain, and amidst the city streets. Venture into the vineyards of the Winelands and rocky coasts of Hermanus before you embark on a Garden Route drive that will bring you from one of the world's highest bungee jumps down into glittering caves, and so much more.

Cape Town, South Africa
From South Africa to Zimbabwe - Cape Town, Knysna, Victoria Falls - 13 Days

Perfect for those wishing to explore the best of South Africa, this 2-week tour includes some of the country's most popular regions, including a luxury stay with 5-star, private safaris. Start in Cape Town exploring its impeccable coastline, penguin colony, and Table Mountain, before renting a car and heading into the famous wine country. Sip world-renowned wines, go cave spelunking, visit an ostrich farm, and try the country's best oysters before heading north to Zimbabwe to hike Victoria Falls and view elephants.

Ostrich snacking
Map of Cape Town & Garden Route Adventure - 14 Days
Cape Town & Garden Route Adventure - 14 Days

Take a two-week adventure from one of the world's highest bungee jumps down into a cage next to a great white shark with this trip plan. Start up on Table Mountain in Cape Town, chased with a culinary tour, treetop walkway, and wine tastings. Once you get onto the Garden Route, you'll make your way around canoeing through lagoons, hiking in national parks, and spelunking through caves.

A view of Johannesburg's skyline
Map of Authentic South Africa: Cape Town, Garden Route, Safari, and Johannesburg - 15 Days
Authentic South Africa: Cape Town, Garden Route, Safari, and Johannesburg - 15 Days

Over two weeks, you'll do everything from touring Cape Town's top tourist destinations to eating lunch in a local tavern in the township of Soweto. The trip will start with five days discovering the best spots in Cape Town and its vibrant city life before flying to the Eastern Cape where you'll spend four days in Knysna and Jeffreys Bay exploring the Garden Route. For two days, you'll get up close with the big five while staying in a tented camp in Manyeleti Game Reserve before heading to South Africa's commercial capital, Johannesburg, where you'll have a full city tour.

Declare yourself king of the rock
Map of South Africa Family Adventure: Cape Town, Winelands, Garden Route, Safari, & More - 15 Days
South Africa Family Adventure: Cape Town, Winelands, Garden Route, Safari, & More - 15 Days

While parenting can feel like an extreme sport at times, you can really get your adrenaline up on this 15-day itinerary. Warm up with a hike or cable car ride up Table Mountain and some beach time in Cape Town before you get on the road and follow the Garden Route to adventures like ziplines, a shark encounter, sandboard rides down one of the world's largest dunes, and safari drives.

We have got to stop meeting like this
Map of South Africa Family Adventure: Cape Town, Winelands, Garden Route, Safari, & More - 16 Days
South Africa Family Adventure: Cape Town, Winelands, Garden Route, Safari, & More - 16 Days

Despite their dramatic size difference, the elephant's closest living relative is the hyrax. See if you can spot both elephants and their cousins as you take your own family on this 16-day adventure that will take you from up in the trees of Kirstenbosch Garden, onto the cliffs of Cape Point, out to sea for marine wildlife sightings, down into caves, and into safari grasslands, just to name a few, to take in landscapes as varied as your family.

A lion at Kruger National Park
Map of South Africa Wildlife Road Trip - 10 Days
South Africa Wildlife Road Trip - 10 Days

This 10-day itinerary is the ultimate introduction to South Africa for animal lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Start your adventure with two nights in Kruger National Park followed by a self-drive tour from the Eastern Cape through the Garden Route and all the way to Cape Town while seeing members of the 'Big 5', as well as ostriches, penguins, meerkats, and a range of marine life off the South Atlantic Coast.

Table Mountain at sunset
South Africa Photography Adventure: Cape Town, Garden Route, Cango Caves - 7 Days

"Chasing the light"—a photographer's true calling—has never been this invigorating as you explore the most mesmerizing mountains, rivers, coastlines, and plateaus across the Western and Eastern Capes in South Africa. Flexible for all budgets and skill levels, photographers will explore the shadows of Cape Town's colorful neighborhoods, capture stunning sunrises atop Table Mountain, and cruise the Stanford River in search of glistening sunbeams. End your trip by heading east along the coastal Garden Route for even more photographic scenes of nature and wildlife, including rare rhinos and meerkats in their natural habitats.

Other popular travel destinations in South Africa
Cape Town · Western Cape · Cape Winelands · Kruger National Park · Johannesburg · Garden Route