Discover the dry interior of the Great Karoo and the contrastingly verdant Wild Coast. Allow three weeks to explore these historic stomping grounds of Dutch trekboers, English settlers and Xhosa herders.
1 Port Elizabeth
Four thousand English settlers made landfall here in 1820 and today their descendants’ families are drawn to its safe sandy beaches.
2 Big Game Country
Addo, the only Big Five national park in the southern half of the country, is also close to Shamwari and Kwande, two of the top private game reserves. For more information, see the section on Addo Elephant National Park.
3 Graaff Reinet
Totally surrounded by the mountainous Camdeboo National Park, whose highlight is the deep Valley of Desolation, this eighteenth-century Cape-Dutch Karoo outpost is perfect for exploring on foot.
The atmospherically dusty frontier town sits on the west bank of the Great Fish River, the fractious nineteenth-century border between the English-governed Cape Colony and the traditional Xhosa chiefdoms.
Edgy blend of cultured university town and rural backwater, the Settler City glories in extensive Georgian- and Victorian-colonial streetscapes.
Cultivated fantasies of Little England abound in this lush Afromontane highland resort elevated above baking valleys where herders graze their livestock.
7 Madiba Country
Boys still herd cattle, just as Nelson Mandela did, around Qunu, the village where he grew up; at nearby Mthatha, a museum tells the story of his life.
8 Wild Coast
Immerse yourself in Xhosa culture and life at Bulungula Lodge, in an unspoilt region of traditional villages, undulating hills, lush forests and hundreds of kilometres of undeveloped sandy beaches.