Big Seven Destination
The Eastern Cape is known as a ‘Big Seven’ destination. There the usual Big Five (lion, rhino, buffalo, elephant, leopard) as well as the southern right whale and the great white shark.
Addo Elephant National Park
This park started off with just 11 elephants and now has an elephant population of 450 African elephants This exquisite park has been dramatically expanded and now extends from inland mountains to the coast near Port Elizabeth.
Shamwari Private Game Reserve
Renowned for its conservation initiatives, Shamwari Private Game Reserve covers over 25 000 hectares of ‘Big Five’ territory along the Bushman’s River.
The Tsitsikamma section of the Garden Route National Park is renowned for its protected forests and exquisite birds including the Knysna turaco and the oystercatcher as well as creatures like the Cape clawless otter, the tiny blue duiker antelope, and dolphins.
Baviaanskloof Wilderness Area
Named after the baboons that roam wild in this pristine area, the Baviaanskloof Wilderness Area covers some 192 000 hectares and is also home to leopard and exquisite bird life.
Mountain Zebra National Park
Situated outside Cradock, the Mountain Zebra National Park was established to protect this, the smallest zebra in Africa. The park is also home to cheetah, the Cape buffalo and black rhino.
Camdeboo National Park
The rugged landscape of this national park incorporates the Valley of Desolation and has a unique eco-system. There are plenty of creatures to be found including the bat-eared fox, meerkat, vervet monkeys and Cape mountain zebra.
North of Grahamstown and west of Stutterheim, you’ll find the Amathole forests – home to yellow woods, stinkwoods and Cape chestnuts in abundance and a wealth of birdlife.
Great Fish River Reserve
This reserve along the Great Fish River has dramatic views and protects black rhino, hippo, Cape buffalo, elephant, lion and numerous antelope species.
Mkhambathi Nature Reserve
Ever seen a waterfall drop directly into the sea? Here you can. Ever seen eland and wildebeest wander along the coast? This is the place. There's a Cape vulture colony, rare animals like the blue duiker, and plant species that grow only here, like the palm after which this reserve is named.