Sights to see in the Eastern Cape

Posted on 6 November 2023 By Nomvelo Masango

The diversity of the Eastern Cape is nothing short of lovely and astounding. It extends across landscapes ranging from the Great Karoo desert to the rushing waves of the Wild Coast. Plus, the province’s spectacular scenery is nature’s love letter to the eyes of sightseers.

A getaway in the province presents plenty of interesting and beautiful sights. Here are a few of them:

Addo Elephant National Park

The Addo Elephant National Park was founded in the early 1930’s in an effort to save the last 11 South African bush elephants from extinction. Today, the park, which is among the largest in the country, provides a habitat for more than 600 elephants. There are also a host of other fascinating creatures.

Additionally, Addo includes offshore islands that are home to important breeding populations of African penguins. Apart from the majestic elephants, lovers of wildlife can also spot zebras, antelope as well as an impressive array of beautiful birds. If you’re a night owl, there’s also the chance to spot some nocturnal beings including porcupines, bush pigs and anteaters.

The Big Pineapple

Picture: Wikimedia Commons. Credit – NJR ZA

If you thought Spongebob’s home under the sea was where the story of giant pineapples ended, you’re in for a pleasant surprise! Located in Bathurst, The Big Pineapple stands 16,5m high and  is literally the biggest man-made pineapple in the world. It consists of three floors and the top offers stunning views of parts of Bathurst all the way to the coast.

Inside the well-known landmark is a shop selling all sorts of pineapple-related products and gifts. When visiting The Big Pineapple, you will also get the chance to learn more about Bathurst and it’s flourishing pineapple industry.

Port Elizabeth’s pristine beaches

The popular tourist town of Port Elizabeth boasts more than 40 km’s of fabulous coastal beaches. As such, it comes as no surprise that water sports are popular around the area. Whether you’re a fan of riding the waves or simply admiring the beautiful marine life, there’s a beach for you. Areas such as Kings Beach, Wells Estate Beach and Pollock Beach are tourist favourites.

Depending on the time of the year, you can also enjoy the coast while on a whale watching cruise ship. Here you will have the chance to spot migrating humpbacks, Southern right whales, as well as the Bryde’s species of whales.

Sites in Makhanda

Formerly known as Grahamstown, Makhanda has many historic sites which provide an educational, fun and informative experience.

Central to the town is The Cathedral of St. Michael and St. George which is a must-see building in the area. It is greatly historic and dates back to the 1800’s. You can also visit the Makana Botanical Gardens where you might be lucky enough to spot different species of birds.

There is also the Albany Museum Complex which is the second oldest museum in the country. Inside the museum complex, a full spectrum of the Eastern Cape’s natural and social environment is documented. Additionally, some quaint restaurants in the small town stand ready with menus that are worth the try.


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