Eastern Cape

Description:
Eastern Cape, is in South Africa and stretches along the Indian Ocean between Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. The Eastern Cape province includes the former “homelands” of Transkei and Ciskei. With a long coastline on the Indian Ocean it offers great beaches

Reasons for Visiting Eastern Cape:

  • Addo Elephant Park – Situated in a malaria free area the magnificently diverse Addo Elephant Park offers a wide variety of game viewing, outdoor adventure, accommodation and cultural experiences.
  • Nelson Mandela Museum – The Museum offers visitors an inspiring journey through the life of Nelson Mandela.
  • Shamwari Game Reserve – Shamwari Game Reserve is the southernmost, Big Game, private reserve in Africa – Malaraia Free. This African adventure stretches along the Bushman’s river, halfway between Port Elizabeth and Grahamstown, and forms a natural extension to the famous Garden Route.
  • Amakhala Game Reserve – Steeped in history and beauty, this 6000-hectare game reserve creates an ideal environment for an unforgettable safari and an intimate experience of the varied landscape, including breathtaking views of the Bushman’s River.
  • Eastern Cape Beaches – The Eastern Cape in South Africa boasts some of the world’s best beaches and 800 km of un-spoilt picturesque coastlines where blue oceans tumble onto quiet beaches.

Population in Eastern Cape:
6, 900, 000

Climate:
Sandwiched between the sub-tropical KZN and the Mediterranean Western Cape, the Eastern Cape has a unique climate influenced further by its marked topographical variations.

Best Time to Visit:
The Eastern Cape climate is kind to visitors. Coastal areas are at their best from January to May. The interior is hot in summer, but dry and sunny in winter.

Languages:
83.7% Xhosa
9.6% Afrikaans
3.7% English
2.5% Sotho

Religion:
Predominantly Christian

Currency:
South African Rand (ZAR)

Tipping:
Tipping indicates appreciation for good service
Tipping is widely practiced in South Africa. Here is some information on South African tipping.

  • In restaurants and bars, 10% is the accepted tipping standard.
  • Parking attendants and security guards are common in parking lots and at roadside bays. They generally ask if they can watch your car while you are going about your business – if you agree, a tip of R2 and up should be offered, depending on the length of your stay.
  • In South Africa we still have the luxury of petrol attendants at gas stations to fill up our vehicle tanks, check oil, water and tyre pressure, and clean the windscreens, a tip of R2 and up should be offered.
  • The going rate for porters at airports is around R7 per piece of luggage.
  • Some of the other service providers you may want to tip are taxi drivers, tour guides and assistants in hairdressers and beauty salons. Should you need assistance in taking your purchases from supermarket to your vehicle, you may want to show your gratitude to your helper with a small monetary reward.

Social Customs:
South Africa is a very multicultural society and therefore has many different customs. Some examples:

  • Our English customs are the same as Britain because South Africa was once a British colony and was influenced greatly by them.
  • The Afrikaans customs, these were influenced by the Dutch immigrants during the late 1820’s.
  • The Zulu culture has many unusual customs that are different from today’s western cultures. These are some traditional Zulu customs which are still practiced in parts of Kwa-Zulu Natal.