The Eastern Cape, a land of undulating hills, expansive sandy beaches, majestic mountain ranges and emerald green forests, is the secondlargest of the nine provinces by surface area. The region boasts a remarkable natural diversity, ranging from the dry, desolate Great Karoo; to the lush forests of the Wild Coast and the Keiskamma Valley; the fertile Langkloof, renowned for its rich apple harvests; and the mountainous southern Drakensberg region at Elliot. The Eastern Cape’s main feature is its spectacular coastline lapped by the Indian Ocean. With its long stretches of pristine sandy beaches, rocky coves, secluded lagoons and towering cliffs, the coastline provides the province with an unsurpassed natural tourist attraction. The graceful curve of Algoa Bay provides an ideal setting for the port of Port Elizabeth. East London offers equally favourable harbour facilities. The province is serviced by three airports situated in Port Elizabeth, East London and Mthatha. The architecture of many of its cities and towns reflects the rich heritage of its people. Important towns in the province include Bhisho, the capital; Uitenhage, which has important motor vehiclemanufacturing and related industries; King William’s Town, rich in early settler and military history; Grahamstown, also known as the City of Saints because of its more than 40 churches; Graaff-Reinet, with its interesting collection of historic buildings; Cradock, the hub of the Central Karoo; Stutterheim, the forestry centre of the province; Aliwal North, famous for its hot sulphur springs; and Port St Johns, the largest town on the Wild Coast. In the Eastern Cape, various floral habitats meet. Along the coast, the northern tropical forests intermingle with the more temperate woods of the south. This makes for an interesting forest habitat of various species endemic to this region. Age-old forests occur at Keiskammahoek, Dwesa, Port St Johns and Bathurst; dune forests are found at Alexandria; and mangroves along the Wild Coast.
Wild Coast Nature Reserves