Attractions in Eastern Cape, South Africa
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Addo Elephant Park
Situated 73km from Port Elizabeth in South Africa's Eastern Cape, the
conservation success story of this park is world famous. Since its proclamation
in 1931, the last eleven elephants (55 kbyte file) in that region have
bred to number 170. Its 11718 ha also offers sanctuary to the last Cape
buffalo and 21 black rhino of the very scarce Kenyan sub-species. Also
notable is the unique flightless dung-beetle which is found almost exclusively
in Addo. Day sightings of animals are frequent and an illuminated waterhole
provides excellent night-time viewing.
A large waterhole near the chalets and cottages enables guests to watch
game from the comfort of their verandas. Illuminated at night, it provides
exceptional opportunities for game viewing. Accommodation is also available
in self- contained rondavels as well as caravan and campsites. Facilities
include a swimming pool, an a la carte restaurant and attractive picnic
Hole in the wall
Near Coffee Bay in the Eastern Cape is a prominent rock formation with a big hole in the
middle, which has become a symbol for the Xhosa of a great historical
tragedy, the "Great Cattle Killing". It is a unique structure
with a huge detached cliff that has a giant opening carved through its
centre by the waves. The local Xhosa call this place "izi Khaleni",
which means "place of thunder". At certain seasons and water
conditions (high tide) the waves clap is such a fashion that the concussion
can be heard throughout the valley.
Tsitsikamma National Park
The Tsitsikamma National Park is an 80 kilometre long coastal strip
between Nature's Valley and the mouth of the Storms River in the Eastern Cape. In the park
the visitor finds an almost untouched natural landscape. Two long hiking
routes with some huts for overnight stays are well established. The
popular Otter Trail of 48 km and the Tsitsikamma Trail of 72 km, both
offer the well-trained hiker an experience of a unique plant and animal
world. Some indigenous.Yellowwood trees still exist here, over 800 years
old. Besides the diverse bird life, one can also observe smaller mammal
species, the cute dassies for example, which often graze near the beach.
The Owl House
The owl house, in Nieu-Bethesda just outside Graaf-Reinet in the Eastern
Cape, was where Helen Martins, or "Miss Helen" as she was
known to the locals, spent the latter part of her life in the house
where she was born. Regarded as an eccentric and deeply interested in
Eastern philosophy, she lived a hermit-like existence, devoting her
life to her beloved Owl statues, and "the search for light and
From the moment you step into the house a 360-degree canvas of colour
envelops you, where the walls, ceilings and even the doors are decorated
with finely-ground glass of various hues. In the "Camel Yard"
at the back of the house, trapped by a stone wall and high chicken-wire,
are hundreds of figures, camels and sphinxes, made of cement and glass,
all paying homage to the East.
Hogsback is famous for its spectacular waterfalls such as Madonna and
Child, Swallowtail and Kettle spout. The village and holiday resort
are magnificently sited on the slopes of the Amatole Mountains in the Eastern Cape, overlooking
the rivers and fertile plains of the Tyume Valley in a region dominated
by three ridges said to resemble the bristles on a hog's back.
There are also large tracts of indigenous forest, where the rich variety
of birdlife includes parrot and Loerie. Rivers tumble prettily to the
plain, creating a number of small but spectacular waterfalls such as
Madonna and Child, Swallowtail and Kettle spout - where the water flows
through a natural spout in the rocks and, in windy conditions, arches
up in a feathery plume some 9 m high.
Walks and trails range from 3 km to 20 km and some of the routes -
which include places of historic and natural interest - are marked with
painted hogs. The hiking trail covers a 2 day walk. The locally produced
guidebook is an essential investment for visitors, especially those
interested in exploring this lovely area of the Eastern Cape on foot. Hogsback is 30 km
from Alice, which in turn is 22 km from Fort Beaufort.