The Eastern Cape in South Africa is often referred to as the “adventure province” of South Africa because of the many activities, 800 kilometers of amazing coast line, and 40 exciting game parks. Not surprisingly, every game park in the Eastern Cape has a uniqueness about it that makes it almost compelling to visit all if possible at one point or another. The inland game parks usually have plants and animals in their natural habitat while the coastal areas offer abundance in marine life.
General Information on Eastern Cape Game Parks
Game parks and reserves located at the Eastern Cape Province are all overseen by the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency or the ECPTA. The ECPTA is the office to go to when you need specific information about any game park in the Eastern Cape including efforts on conservation, the tariffs to be paid, and a general overview of every park and reserve under their jurisdiction.
The ECPTA has also the agency responsible for setting guidelines and rules for all game reserves and reserves the right to evict anyone who disrespect or violates these rules. Some of the game parks rules implemented in Eastern Cape are:
- No pets allowed in nature reserves
- No rowdy behavior
- No firearms unless approved by ECPTA and the firearms must be sealed
- No quad bikes, motorcycles or water recreation vehicles are allowed in public roads
- No visitor can go off road without permission
- No guest or visitor is allowed in the game parks after 6 p.m. or by sunset – whichever is earlier
- Anyone over 12 years old is considered an adult and must pay entrance and other fees
In exchange for the professional maintenance and governance of the game parks and game reserves, ECPTA made sure all visitors have the best experience of their lives with the following amenities and provisions:
- All accommodations are cleaned daily
- Fuel can only be bought at the Great Fish River Nature Reserve or at the Tsolwana Nature Reserve
- Discounts are available but must be requested and negotiated with the CEO of ECPTA. Other discounts like that for pensioners are pre-set and do not need to be requested for
The Wonders of Eastern Cape Game Parks
Eastern Cape Province has a landscape that is very diverse and complex. The west side is mainly dry and arid while the east side is well irrigated and green. It is a malaria-free zone and home to the Big Five. Some of the popular game parks in the province are:
The Addo Elephant National Park – This park is about 73 kilometers from Port Elizabeth and has elephants, black rhinos, and cape buffalos. It opened in 1931 and covers more than 740 kilometers.
Tsitsikamma National Park – This park is located along the coast of the province and stretches over 80 kilometers from Nature’s Valley to one end of Storm River. Aside from the natural lush landscape, this park is famous for the bungee jumps at Bloukrans Bridge.
The Baviaanskloof Mega Reserve – Also known as “Valley of the Baboons”, this game park is 95 kilometers from Port Elizabeth. It is the 3rd biggest protected land in South Africa and has 2 nature reserves and private land used for farming. It is also a World Heritage Site as of 2004.
Amakhala Game Reserve – The price of the Eastern Cape and a private game park, Amakhala Game Reserve is a luxury place with accommodations such as restored cottages, tented camps, and safari lodges. The Big 5 are found here which is why it is always bustling with visitors and viewing trips.
Other popular places to see are the Shamwari Game Reserve and the great Fish River Reserve.
With all of the above brought into consideration, it would be crazy to think that one could fit in a thorough visitation within a holiday period; indeed check out Private Property for all their listings of the houses to rent in Port Elizabeth, and take the time needed to explore the Eastern Cape!