South Africa's Eastern Cape

Cinsta: A vacation in rural South Africa.

Cintsa

After a 15 hour drive from Cape Town my family and I arrived in Cinsta in South Africa’s Ciskei.  The sun had already set by the time we arrived and we checked into our resort.  The resort itself was nothing to write home about; in fact it was crummy, quite old and stank of smoke.  I was too tired to be bothered but in the morning when I walked out onto the balcony, I was greeted with the aroma of coffee and a canopy of trees and green bushes which formed a blanket all around our cottage.  I could spot a corner of the ocean in the distance and one rooftop sticking out through the green sea.

 

It was the perfect to sit, sip your coffee and wait to see monkeys with blue balls jumping through the trees and stop to watch us.  As soon as we were out the resort, you could turn and walk right down onto the beach which unfolded for miles to the left banked by tall sand dunes and all the way to the right before sand dunes and a river came into view. My husband and I found a deserted kayak beside the river and decided it must’ve been Buccaneers’’ backpackers.  We assumed they wouldn’t mind and set off paddling slowly inland.  The river took us past a proud eagle perched atop a tree waiting for his moment to dive for a fish.  Waders made their way along the edge dipping their long legs into the mud and looking for food.   We floated over shallow sandbanks and past closed up holiday homes.  All about us the hills of Eastern Cape vegetation unfolded before us.  The deeper into the ravine we paddled, the less we could hear the ocean.  All we heard were birds who seemed totally oblivious to us. Read more

Surfing in Jeffery’s Bay

Surfing in Jeffreys Bay

Scant kilometres from Port Elizabeth and nestled in the province of the Eastern Cape, Jeffrey’s Bay is the small seaside town that has captured every surfer’s heart. The image’s, first brought back, from 1966’s “The Endless Summer” and countless films since have whispered hope and magic into the hearts and minds of even the most novice board-riders.

 

The rolling swell, being conceived in the deep of the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans, travels thousands of kilometres before they bend around the entrance to the bay at Cape St Francis. When, finally visible to the human eye, standing atop the wooden walkway & facing the ocean, with the North-Westerly wind blowing steadily against your back you bear witness to one of the most magnificent right-hand point break waves that this world has to offer. Welcome to Supertubes, J-BayRead more

More Elephants at Addo

Addo Park Elephants

I really love going to the Addo Elephant National Park. I’m passionate about the Elephants (as you might have deduced by now).

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Urban Espress Coffee Co. in Port Elizabeth

Urban Express

The success of Port Elizabeth deli and coffee shop, Urban Espress Coffee Co., lies in its combining awesome food with excellent service, while keeping the entire mix very simple and down-to-earth. Situated in the new centre on the corner of Villiers Road and 6th Avenue, Walmer, Urban Espress is central, making it an easy place to pop in, have a delicious cappuccino or Americano (for only R15 and R10 respectively) and then be on your way.

 

What makes Urban Espress particularly interesting is that its savoury menu consists solely of gourmet sandwiches. These are made using the freshest ingredients and breads, and come in a couple of variations. Although the menu is small, there is definitely something for everyone and all sandwiches (made on ciabatta or rye) are only R30, despite being ample portions. Read more

The Amatola and Stormberg Region

Gonubie in the Amatola Region

Draw a line from Port Alfred north along the coast as far as the Kei Mouth, and now extend this block north west from the coast, as far as Aliwal North. This is the Amatola and Stormberg Region that includes a portion of the Eastern Cape known as Frontier Country, the plains of the Karoo and the Stormberg region that lies beyond.

 

It can get a little confusing when writing about the Amatola and Stormberg Region. Essentially it is named after two mountain ranges – the Amatola (and Katberg) Mountains lie to the north of Grahamstown and King Williams Town, west of Stutterheim, whilst the Stormberg Mountains (regarded as the southern Drakensberg range) are further north east, seen looming above the Karoo town of Burgersdorp. Read more

10 Best kept secrets of the Eastern Cape

Beautiful Beaches

The Eastern Cape of South Africa is known for many things – its gorgeous beaches, scrubby vegetation, friendly folk and temperate weather. However, it remains one of the quieter regions in terms of tourism because it lacks the funds needed to create a bustling hubbub of activity and attractions. But, this has its own advantages, as the Eastern Cape is a quiet retreat with an endless array of things to see and do.

Here are my top 10 best-kept secrets of the Eastern Cape … Read more

The Eastern Cape for the keenly Cultural

Port Elizabeth

The Eastern Cape has a long heritage that is fascinating in cultural, natural and historical terms. For those travellers that have a particular interest in the cultural features of this province, the following sights are definitely recommended:

  1. Qunu is the birthplace of former-President Nelson Mandela and the home of the The Nelson Mandela Museum.
  2. The Drakensberg Ukhahlamba Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is home to rock art from times past. Read more

Elephants

Splish splash I was taking a bath ...

The best spot to watch Elephant in the wild, has to be the Addo Elephant Park. Expect lots of pics of elephants from me, as this is one of my favourite weekend getaways and I have many pictures to share.

Cintsa Lagoon

The stunning Cintsa lagoon - wouldn't this make a gorgeous "wish you were here" postcard
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