South Africa Self Drive Honeymoon
A gorgeous self drive honeymoon taking in Cape Town, the Winelands, the Garden Route and culminating with a luxury safari.
South Africa’s Eastern Cape is a large province in the southeast of the country, the traditional home of the Xhosa people and the landing place of the 1820 settlers. Today, the region is also a popular destination for tourists visiting Kwandwe Private Game Reserve and Amakhala Game Reserve on a South Africa safari.
There are great wildlife watching opportunities, from sightings of the Big Five (lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhino), to migrating dolphins and whales off the coast.
Kwandwe and Amakhala have big populations of many large mammals, including black and white rhino, which are the most elusive of the Big Five. In addition to game drives, taking a bush walk around the reserve with a local guide is a great way to learn about the often-overlooked smaller species of animals too.
Aside from safaris, the Eastern Cape is known for the major cities of Port Elizabeth and East London, as well as its dramatic landscapes: the southern spur of the Drakensberg (Mountains of Dragons) and the deep valleys carved by the Great Kei River and the Great Fish River, as they wind their way to the ocean.
The undulating peaks and valleys of the dragons’ backs, the rushing river waters and the numerous waterfalls of the region make for exciting outdoor adventures, including some of the best hiking in the country.
There’s also world class surfing to be found along the Eastern Cape’s coast and impressive breaks can be found everywhere from Jeffrey’s Bay to Port Edward. Jeffrey’s Bay is on many surfers’ bucket lists; Supertubes is a treat for experienced surfers, while Kitchen Windows is great for beginners.
The Eastern Cape has a special significance in South Africa’s history and culture. The province was once home to some of the country’s most famous historical figures, including Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo and Steve Biko. You’ll also discover more about local Xhosa culture in the quiet towns of Karoo and along the less developed Wild Coast.
A trip to the Eastern Cape offers another side of South Africa you may not have seen before. Ideal for those who love adventure and the outdoors, here you can enjoy safari game drives, catch waves on the beach and hike to a fairytale waterfall hidden deep in the Mountains of Dragons.
South Africa is an all-year-round destination, with a temperate sub-tropical climate, however there are usually rains in November and April. Summers are hot, humid and wet, while winters are clear, sunny and warm in the day, but can drop below freezing at night.
If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, the 106-kilometre Herald Cycle Tour along the scenic coastline takes place in February (there are also shorter distances available for those who ride for leisure rather than adrenaline) and the Addo Elephant Trail Run around Addo Elephant National Park takes place in March.
If you’re in the Eastern Cape for New Year, head to Nieu-Bethesda, where locals hold workshops for lantern-making and the products of these efforts are paraded through the streets on an enchanting night walk.
We include time in the Eastern Cape as part of our South Africa Self Drive Honeymoon and South Africa Family Adventure. The Eastern Cape is malaria free, so a safari here is perfect for those looking for hassle-free wildlife encounters, especially with young children. If you’d like more time in the Eastern Cape or would like to add time here to your tailor made South Africa holiday, let us know and we can arrange this for you.
Our trips to the Eastern Cape include a stay at Kwandwe Melton Manor – a small and intimate safari villa, which offers the utmost in privacy and luxury (including your own private butler). Ideal for families and groups travelling together, the villa also features a swimming pool and amazing views of the Afromontane forests.
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