Fall in Love with the Eastern Cape Winter

Your Eastern Cape Winter Bucket List

1. Addo Cruises and Sand Sledding

Hop on the Sundays River Ferry and experience a leisurely cruise on the magnificent and breath-taking waters of the Sundays River estuary.  Search the riverbanks, bush and reed beds for a wide variety of bird life and smaller animals like the duiker and bushbuck. Climb the Colchester dunes, part of the biggest coastal dune field in the southern hemisphere, to enjoy views across Algoa Bay. The sand sledding add-on is an exhilarating experience on custom sleds that won’t leave you wiping out all the time.

Phone: +27 82 465 4391  |  Email: info@addocruises.co.za

2. Game Drive in Addo Elephant Park (Sunset & Sunrise)

Visitors may enjoy Big 5 wildlife viewing in their own vehicles or experience a professional game drive in an open safari-style vehicle during the opening hours of the park’s game gate. Opening times change according to season. 

For more information and bookings:


3. Tsitsikamma Segway Tour

Explore the pristine and magical Tsitsikamma forest on a Segway.  Journey through the quaint Storms River Village and into the untouched indigenous forest along the historic Storms River Pass and narrow forest paths. 

Phone: +27 81 320 3977  |  Email: bookings@segwayfun.co.za

4. Kayak & Lilo on Storms River Tsitsikamma National Park

This two-and-a-half hour Kayak & Lilo Adventure up the Storms River Gorge in the Tsitsikamma National Park offers the adventurer an opportunity to explore deeper into the hidden world of the Storms River Gorge.  Experience the long, bottomless pools, deep caves and ancient indigenous forests with nothing but the sounds of nature surrounding you.

For more information: https://www.untouchedadventures.com/adventure-activities/kayak-lilo-up-the-storms-river-gorge-in-tsitsikamma/

5. The Tsitsikamma Wolf Sanctuary

The Tsitsikamma Wolf Sanctuary is the oldest safe-haven for wolves and high-content wolf dogs in South Africa, established in 2001. The Sanctuary was created to drive public awareness and education surrounding wolfdogs and wolves in South Africa. We welcome visitors to experience our wolves in person and learn about their unique nature, how we can reduce backyard breeding of these animals and the connected importance of wolf conservation.

Phone: +27 82 956 4175  |  tsitsikammawolfsanctuary@gmail.com

6. The Highest Commercial Bungy Jump in the World

The Bloukrans Bungy jump takes place from the arch of Africa’s biggest bridge. To access the arch, you go via 200m zipline. Then it’s time for your bungy jump – the world’s best!  To get you back to the arch, we give you a winch ride back up. Then you walk the suspended walkway back off the bridge. The walkway is bolted to the underside of the road deck 216 meters above the Bloukrans River with spectacular views and a final exposure to the full height of the bridge. For the most amazing experience of your life, book now with Face Adrenalin.

For more information: www.faceadrenalin.com

7. Tsitsikamma Canopy Tour

Experience the originator of canopy tours in Africa and get 50% OFF for kids under 18.

Tsitsikamma Canopy Tour offers visitors a responsible eco-adventure forest tour that is fun, interactive, and adventurous for the entire family.

Discover the secrets of the spectacular and unique wilderness of Tsitsikamma Indigenous Forest. Visitors can be sure to enjoy birdlife and spectacular views of this enchanting forest as they monkey around while their qualified guide explains the ecology of this lush primeval forest. Online bookings only.

For more information visit: https://www.canopytour.co.za/locations/tsitsikamma/  |  Email: adventure@gardenroute.co.za  |  Office: +27 42 2811 836

8. Cheetah Tracking in Mountain Zebra National Park

Game viewing as never before! An opportunity to track the elusive Mountain Zebra National Park cheetahs on foot. Drive out with your guide to search for them. When the signal from a collared cheetah is found, you will have the opportunity to get closer on foot. An unforgettable experience that will bring you up closer to nature than ever before.

For more information and bookings: https://www.sanparks.org/parks/mountain_zebra/

9. Schreiner Karoo Writers Festival

Taking place in Cradock from 16 to 21 June 2022, this is one of the Karoo’s favourite winter kuier (visiting) opportunities.

This is your face-to-face date with the likes of Etienne van Heerden, Sally (Tannie Maria) Andrew, Tony Jackman, Martin (Noseweek) Welz, Dean Allen, Janet Kingwill, Dorothy de Kok, Chris Marais and Julienne Du Toit. They head up a strong cast of Eastern Cape talent for this special little festival. The programme is designed to embrace everyone in the bigger narrative. Come mentally hungry, go home with lots to chew over.

For updates watch the festival’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/SchreinerKarooWritersFestival

For programme and bookings: Email: reservations@tuishuise.co.za  |  Phone: +27 48 881 1650

10. Ganora Guest Farm Excursions

Situated in the heart of the Karoo Heartland region of the Eastern Cape you will find Ganora Guest Farm where a range of guided excursions and tours are on offer such as fossil tours, medicinal plant tours, rock art tours, hiking and biking trails and more.  Accommodation ranges from camping to luxury farm stay accommodation. 

Email: Ganoraguestfarm@gmail.com  |  Phone: +27 49 841 1302 or +27 82 698 0029  |  https://www.ganora.co.za/

11. Leopard Trail

This is true wilderness hiking. A single-track path meanders through the inaccessible mountains of South Africa’s third largest wilderness area. With the Baviaanskloof hosting 7 of South Africa’s 8 biomes, the Leopard Trail offers an unparalleled diversity of landscapes. The Leopard Trail was designed for hikers by hikers.  The trail and overnight sites were purposely created to inspire WOW, and to connect hikers to the magic of true wilderness.

Contact: Catherine at 074 939 4395  |  Email reservations@gobaviaans.co.za  |  https://gobaviaans.co.za/project/leopard-trail-general-information/

12. St Francis Safaris – Boat-based Whale Watching

Experience a close encounter with Humpback and Southern Right whales on a short boat ride embarking from Port St Francis. This is a thrilling must do adventure suitable for the entire family!

Contact: Bridget +27 66 304 5913

13. SkyDive Jeffreys Bay

Enjoy the scenic 20-minute plane ride over Jeffreys Bay, followed by the rush and excitement from jumping out of an aircraft over Jeffreys Bay from 11 000ft then 40 seconds freefall at 200kph and a 5-minute parachute ride. Our experienced instructors have a minimum of 1500 skydives and will ease you into it.

For more information visit: https://skydivejeffreysbay.co.za/

14. Whale/Dolphin/Penguin island cruise

Take a cruise, visiting St Croix and Brenton Islands. St. Croix Island is home to about 10,000 African penguins (we have lost 80% in 10 years). Here guests will get a close-up encounter with these comical birds. During this cruise guests also have the possibility of spotting bottlenose dolphins (we are now known as the bottlenose capital of the world), common dolphins, Humpback dolphins, Bryde’s whales, minke whales, Humpback whales, Southern Right whales, Cape fur seals, various species of sharks and pelagic birds including terns, petrels, skuas, shearwaters and albatrosses

Tour length: 3.5 to 4 hours, leaving at 8am and returning by 12pm.

https://www.raggycharters.co.za/listing/whale-dolphin-penguin-island-cruise info@raggycharters.co.za  |  +27 73 152 2277

15. Shark Cage Diving/Algoa Bay

The tour starts with a run out into deep water to look for the migratory Humpback whales. We then take an 80km run across the mouth of the bay to observe any Sardine run action we may find. Visit the historically rich Bird Island group. Our guests enjoy excellent views of the gannets, African penguins and lighthouse.  

Near Bird Island we stop for our educational shark cage diving and topside viewing then lunch. The tour ends with a run inshore to the Alexandria dune field to observe bottlenose dolphins surfing the waves. and lastly a visit to St Croix Island, to view the African penguin colony.

Tour length: Full day: https://www.raggycharters.co.za/listing/shark-cage-diving-port-elizabeth  

Booking: info@raggycharters.co.za  | +27 73 152 2277

16. Explore the Wild Side of Mdantsane

Explore the wild side of Mdantsane with Uncuthu Tours. This unique Mdantsane township experience showcases the historical significance of South Africa’s second largest township and introduces you to the surrounding natural environment.  The tour includes a kayaking and mountain biking experience.

For more information visit: https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Tour-Agency/Uncuthu-Tours-1905473186331151/

17. Magwa Falls

The Magwa Waterfall lies in the middle of the 1 800 hectare Magwa tea plantation, South Africa’s last remaining tea estate just outside Lusikisiki.  The Magwa waterfall is one of few waterfalls on the rugged Wild Coast that is accessible. The curtain of water falls a startling 144 metres and drops into a narrow canyon formed by seismic movement (a past sudden movement of the earth’s crust along geologic faults, or volcanic activity).

For more information visit: https://www.wildcoastholiday.co.za/listing/the-magwa-waterfall

18. The Gate Trail

The trip is a three-hour outing by boat and on foot and will take you about 1,5km up the Qolora River from the river mouth through a gorge and to a waterfall with a deep pool.  Here a tempting high jump awaits the brave of heart.  Trevor and Carlos lead you through the riverine forest, stopping occasionally to point out medicinal trees and plants, whilst boulder hopping across the river to another pool.  You will be hard-pressed to find a better way to spend a morning or afternoon on this little patch of paradise at Qolora Mouth.

For more information visit: https://www.wildcoastholiday.co.za/listing/trevors-trails_20_2017

19. National Arts Festival

The National Arts Festival will run from 23 June-3 July 2022. The festival has deep roots in Makhanda which has been its home since 1974. For decades the Monument has been a place where people from different walks of life gather to celebrate the arts. No two festivals have ever been the same. What hasn’t changed is our belief that the creative arts offer more than entertainment.

For more information visit https://nationalartsfestival.co.za/

20. Observatory Museum - Camera Obscura

The Observatory is a unique multi-storeyed 19th century Victorian shop and home which is now a museum. The owner-designer of the Observatory was a watchmaker and jeweller, Henry Carter Galpin, who lived in Grahamstown from 1850 until his death in 1886. A successful businessman with seven sons, he still found time to pursue his interests of astronomy, optics, natural history, music and practical mechanics – all of which are reflected in the house he designed. Its unusual features include:

  • a Camera Obscura, today a rare Victorian amusement, and the only one ever build in South Africa. For more information visit The Magic Mirror of Life.
  • an Observatory, ingeniously combined with the Camera Obscura.
  • a Meridian Room, from which astronomical time – GMT (Grahamstown’s mean time) could be calculated.
  • a Clock, a miniature of the one constructed in 1883 for the new Royal Courts of Justice in London. The pendulum swings in the Drawing Room and is decorated with a painting of Father Time by the Frontier artist Frederick Timpson I’Ons.

For more information visit: http://www.am.org.za/observatory

21. Amatola Hiking Trail

The Amatola Trail is widely regarded as the toughest and best hiking trail in South Africa. A six-day and five-night hike, it starts at Maden Dam near King Williams Town, traversing the incredible Amatola Mountains and ending in the iconic village of Hogsback. 

The Amatola Trail is truly amazing and very strenuous so one needs to be prepared, however the views, remoteness, pristine indigenous forest and endless waterfalls make it a true bucket-lister.

You must be fit and capable of hiking 20km+/10 hours a day, never knowing what Mother Nature might throw at you. 

For more information visit: https://amatolatrails.co.za/wp/

22. Khologha Forest Walks

Step into a different world, one unspoiled by man and revel in the natural beauty of the Khologha Forest. This pristine indigenous forest is the second largest natural forest in South Africa after the Knysna Forest.

A choice of three beautiful walks start and end at the sheltered picnic area which is well equipped with braai places, tables and benches, a lappa and safe parking.  There are stunning waterfalls, streams and dramatic views on the various routes. Each route is clearly marked with coloured footprints.

Another excellent option for exploring the area is to take the horse and mountain bike trail.

For more information visit: http://stutterheimtourism.co.za/activities/44-kologha-forest-walks

23. Rhodes Snow Festival

Nestled in the Eastern Cape Highlands, bordering Lesotho, the Victorian-era village of Rhodes, declared a conservation area in 1997, is surrounded by pristine rivers and a magnificent mountain range. The tranquil village ambience makes for an ideal getaway for city dwellers seeking a break from the stresses of big city life. 

The Rhodes Snow Festival has an exciting line up of entertainment over three days from 30 June-3 July.  Book your 3-night event ticket early to avoid disappointment.  Enjoy food and wine pairing, cave experience, Radio Kalhari Orkes, Bouwer Bosch & Lucinda Neetling, Bibi Slippers, Rhodes arts and crafts, and much more.

Email:  Elizma@rhodesevents.co.za

24. Fly Fishing in the Eastern Cape Highlands

Rhodes is at the heart of fly fishing and the Wild Trout Association (WTA) is based there. The Rhodes area straddles the magisterial districts of Barkly East, Dordrecht, Lady Grey and  the Maclear area includes Ugie.  The WTA is an organisation of riparian owners with trout waters at their disposal. The WTA arranges access to these waters and offers advice to anyone interested in planning a fishing trip to the area, including where to fish and accommodation options. They also have a guide book, probably one of the most comprehensive “where and how” publications on fresh-water fly fishing on the continent. 

Email: dave@walkerbouts.co.za  |  Tel: +27 45 974 9290.


25. Naudes Nek Pass

At 32.7km in length, Naudes Nek Pass is known as a mega-pass.  For maximum enjoyment it is recommended that the pass be driven from west to east. Many sources quote this as being the highest gravel pass in South Africa, but Naude’s Nek Pass is actually the fourth highest altitude, publicly accessible pass in South Africa and is a much sought-after personal trophy for pass ‘hunters’ to say: “I’ve driven it!” 

Zig-zagging its way over the southern Drakensberg, the pass is a long and slow drive with an average gradient of 1:41, but the steeper parts measure out at 1:7. Considering that the builders were not engineers, but humble farmers, the lines chosen and gradients achieved are remarkably good for the time. This is without question a bucket-list pass!

For more information visit: https://www.mountainpassessouthafrica.co.za/find-a-pass/eastern-cape/item/205-naude-s-nek-pass.html

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