Fun things to do in Province of Eastern Cape

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Most Viewed Things to Do in Province of Eastern Cape

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    Cradock

    by Jenniflower Written Jun 14, 2007

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    Cradock is a largeish Little Karoo town, in the midst of some harsh countryside... harsh but beautiful.

    It is primarily Afrikaans speaking, but they do cater for English-speaking folk as they get quite a few tourists here.

    They primarily visit TuisHuis, where I have stayed twice, last time being in January 2007.

    There is loads of character and charm in the town, but there is also much poverty apparent.. a seemingly cruel mix of the two.

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    The Owl House

    by Jenniflower Updated May 20, 2007

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    Nieu Bethesda is the Owl House, which was once the home of the eccentric sculptor Helen Martins.

    It is an eclectic space of all kinds of weird and wonderful figurines, sculptures, mirrors etc.

    This town still has no ATMs to withdraw cash and no street lights!

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    The Wild Coast

    by Jenniflower Updated May 20, 2007

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    The beaches all along the Wild Coast are simply spectacular.

    These are splendid for long walks and trails.

    Fine white sand that is so white you strain your eyes, and sea that is salty and blue, with crashing surf-loving waves.

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    Uitenhage

    by MikeAtSea Written Oct 4, 2005

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    Uitenhage is a large town in the Nelson Mandela Bay area and is situated at the foot of the Winterhoek Mountains. There are a number of resorts in the Mountains which are one of the premier Wilderness areas in South Africa.
    Uitenhage later is an important industrial centre with the advent of the railways, and many of the old railway workshops are still standing and are excellent examples of industrial architecture. The town also became an important centre in the automotive industry, and is a major hub for motor vehicle assembling and the production of accessories.

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    Storms River

    by MikeAtSea Written Oct 4, 2005

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    The little village of Storms River grew out of a hunting lodge and is situated in the Tsitsikhamma Forest between the Tsitsikhamma National Park and the dramatic peaks of the Tsitsikhamma Mountains. The village is in a very beautiful and tranquil setting and is famous for the number of activities on offer in the area.

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    Rhodes

    by MikeAtSea Written Oct 4, 2005

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    Rhodes is one of South Africa’s most beautiful and isolated villages. Originally called Rossville, the tiny hamlet occupies one of South Africa’s most stunning settings near to where the Kraai River starts to cut its valley out of the Drakensberg massif. The isolation of the place meant that it was often the hideout of bandits, cattle rustlers and for people on the wrong side of the law. Later it became the refuge of a gentler type of person and people of a more bohemian frame of mind, settled there to find peace and inspiration.
    When Cecil John Rhodes became premier of the Cape the name of the village was changed to Rhodes in the hope that the Premier would part with some of his enormous fortune for the betterment of the village. It is rumoured that Cecil John Rhodes did send some money but that disappeared along with the Town Clerk almost immediately.
    Because the village has been so well preserved and has retained its original character, it has been declared a heritage site. Rhodes is at the centre of the biggest and most extensive fly-fishing streams in the country where wild trout have been living for the past eighty years. There are many hikes, pony trekking opportunities, bird shooting, and snow skiing in the winter or simply recuperating in one of the most relaxing environments possible.

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    Queenstown

    by MikeAtSea Written Oct 4, 2005

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    Queenstown is the main centre of the Lukhanji Municipality and lies at the foot of the dramatic Hangklip Mountain. The town was founded by the then Governor of the Cape Sir George Cathcart in February 1853 and was named Queen’s Town after Queen Victoria. A unique feature of the town is the fact that the centre of the town is a hexagon from which six streets radiate, this was designed as a defensive measure during the War of Mlanjeni. The area was occupied by the Cape after the War of the Axe, Queenstown being established to consolidate those gains.
    Queenstown today remains the major centre of the region and is surrounded by a number of game farms and nature reserves. The nearby Bongolo Dam is well known for its watersports. The area is very beautiful and scenic.

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    Port St. Johns

    by MikeAtSea Written Oct 4, 2005

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    This attractive town is the main centre in the Port St John’s Municipality and is becoming one of the fastest growing tourist destinations in South Africa. The town is situated at the mouth of the mighty Mzimbuvu River which along with the Tugela River in Kwa Zulu Natal can lay claim to be the river carrying the most water in South Africa.
    Port St Johns has a stunning setting with the Indian Ocean to the south and the thick, forested slopes of Mount Thesiger behind. Mt Thesiger was named after the commander of the British forces who were en route to the Anglo Zulu war while also fighting the local Xhosa in the last of the Wars of Resistance. Shortly after he left Ports St Johns Thesiger heard that the had succeeded to the title of Lord Chelmsford and it was a detachment of his force that was annihilated by the Zulu army at the battle of Isandlwana.
    Port St Johns has much to offer the visitor be it water sports on the beaches and the rivers, strong local cultural activities, surf and rock fishing, or hiking along the rugged and awe inspiring Wild Coast.

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    Port Elizabeth

    by MikeAtSea Written Oct 4, 2005

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    Port Elizabeth is the largest city in the Eastern Cape and is the main centre of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality.
    The first written recordings of the area come from the Portuguese explorer Vasco Da Gama who visited the bay in 1497 and named it Algoa Bay after the number of lagoons in the area. Diaz did not land at the bay but planted a cross or padrao on a small rocky island in the bay and named the island St Croix.
    Because of the relative shelter provided by the Cape Reciefe peninsular and the fresh water provided by the Baakens River, the area became known to seafarers traveling around South Africa between the trading station along the Indian, Indonesian and East African coasts and Europe. It was the only known anchorage between Delagoa Bay, (now Maputo, the Capital of Mozambique), and Cape Town.
    Port Elizabeth quickly established itself as the main port for the Eastern Cape, and grew rapidly; especially after the Settlers who were not farmers left their farms and moved to the towns to practice their trades, and those that remained imported Merino sheep which led to an economic boom in the Eastern Cape. During the wars in the Eastern Cape Port Elizabeth continued to grow as the port was the principle embarking point for the troops involved in the operations. When discovery of diamonds in Kimberley and later gold on the Witwatersrand Port Elizabeth expanded yet further as this was the most accessible port to those areas. The city once again became a major point of embarkation for the troops, this time during the Second Anglo Boer War. After the war the city repositioned itself as an industrial and manufacturing centre and successfully canvassed the automobile industry to establish their factories on Port Elizabeth. The city became the leading centre for automobile production in South Africa.
    Port Elizabeth has retained much of its historical character and the historic core of the city, the area known as central has kept much of its Victorian and Pre Victorian townscape.

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    Port Alfred

    by MikeAtSea Written Oct 4, 2005

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    Port Alfred is the largest town in the Ndlambe Municipality and one of the fastest growing holiday resorts in the Eastern Cape. Situated at the mouth of the Kowie River, Port Alfred has a great deal activities, including scuba diving, surfing, whale watching, fishing, canoeing and waterskiing on the river, bird watching, swimming and hiking and has some of the finest and best known golf courses in the country. Port Alfred is a superb beach and bush destination.
    The town was founded in 1825 and was named Port Frances after the wife of the then Governor of the Cape, Lord Charles Somerset. In 1860 the town was renamed Port Alfred after Prince Alfred, the second son of Queen Victoria who was visiting South Africa at the time. Some of the historic structures remain including the old settlers church which was erected in 1825 and was twice destroyed during the Xhosa resistance. In 1841 a resident of Grahamstown, William Cock decided that his region would be more prosperous if there was a harbour nearer his town, formed the Kowie Harbour Improvement Company, with the intention of turning the mouth of the Kowie River into a harbour. The scheme met with limited success, it managed some trade but the mouth of the harbour kept silting up and thus scuttled the scheme. The idea was revisited during the Second World War with a view to encouraging the local fishing industry but work was stopped soon thereafter for the old reasons.
    Today Port Alfred is a popular holiday and residential resort with a plethora of activities and attractions.

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    Mthatha

    by MikeAtSea Written Oct 4, 2005

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    Mthatha, (formerly spelt Umtata), is the head town of the King Sabata Danilyebo Municipality, (pop 89464), and was the capital of the formerly independent Bantustan of Transkei. King Sabata Danilyebo was the traditional leader of the AmaThembu people and was a prominent anti apartheid activist. Many of South Africa’s leaders, including President Nelson Mandela come from this area.

    Mthatha is situated along the N2 180 kilometres from East London and 280 kms from Durban, was founded as a military post by the colonial forces in 1882, and the town was founded in 1883. The city was founded along the banks of the Mthatha River. The name derives from an ancient, now discontinued custom of the local people, who would dispose of their dead by placing the remains in the river, imploring the river to “Mtathe bawo” or “take him, Father”.

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    King William’s Town

    by MikeAtSea Written Oct 4, 2005

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    This centre was established on the orders of the then Governor of the Cape in 1835 during the War of Hintza on the banks of the Buffalo River near the mission of the Rev Charles Brownlee. The town was named after King William IV and was intended to consolidate the British gains in the area. It was abandoned in 1836 after the dispatch of the Secretary of the Colonies Lord Glenelg which ordered that the colonial forces withdraw to the west of the Great Fish River but was reestablished in 1846 during the War of the Axe. After the War of Mlanjeni the main British Garrison moved from Grahamstown to King William’s Town and the old military Reserve, which remained the main garrison until after the Second Anglo Boer War still remains.

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    Kenton on Sea

    by MikeAtSea Written Oct 4, 2005

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    The Sunshine Coast of the Eastern Cape is a long stretch of wide beaches that are some of the finest in the world. These beaches are bordered by high dunes where terrestrial vegetation begins to make a foothold and are filled with a unique ecosystem of their own. These beaches are punctuated by broad tidal estuaries along which coastal resorts have sprung. About ten kilometers from Cape Padrone, where the African continent begins its northwards course to the tropics, are the estuaries of the Bushmans River and the Kariega River, lying in close proximity to each other. On this peninsular is the resort town of Kenton on Sea, an increasingly popular holiday destination. Kenton has some splendid beaches not only on the seashore but also the two rivers where sailing fishing and waterskiing is popular. Inland there are a number of game reserves in the rolling country side. The primary vegetation in these reserves is the Eastern Cape Thicket which has a carrying capacity for wildlife that exceeds most other vegetation types.

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    Joubertina

    by MikeAtSea Written Oct 4, 2005

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    Joubertina is the principal town of the Koukhamma Municipality and the main town in the spectacular Langkloof Valley, one of the most productive fruit producing areas of South Africa. Situated on the banks of the Wabooms River Joubertina was founded by the Dutch Reformed Church in 1907 and was named after the Rev W.A. Joubert, the Dutch Reformed Minister for the area between 1878 and 1893. The area first reached some prominence when a Battle between a Boer Commando and a Xhosa force was fought on the banks of the Wabooms in 1802.

    The Dutch Reformed Church is a dominating structure above the town; in its grounds are the Graves of the former Prime Minister and State president of South Africa, John Vorster. and his wife.

    The Langkloof Valley is between the Tsitsikhamma and the Kouga Mountains and is a long beautiful and fertile valley that many feel is a pleasant and equally spectacular alternative to the Garden Route when traveling between Port Elizabeth and Cape Town. It merges into Route 62, the longest wine route in South Africa.

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    Jeffrey’s Bay

    by MikeAtSea Written Oct 4, 2005

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    Jeffrey’s Bay straddles the western side of St Francis Bay and is world famous in the international surfing fraternity. Jeffrey’s Bay is the largest town in the Kouga municipality and one of the fastest growing towns in the Eastern Cape. This seaside resort was an almost unknown fishing village, with some status in the conchologist community for the number of seashells to be found in the area until the 1960s when the word reached the surfing network that the town had some of the most ideal surfing conditions to be found on earth.

    Since then Jeffrey’s Bay has expanded beyond all recognition as it became apparent that the town was not only ideal for surfers but was also an ideal area for family holidays.

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Province of Eastern Cape Things to Do

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